Saturday 7 January 2012

Tacos with fresh mango salsa

I love Mexican food. I have never been to Mexico, but I lived in California when I was little and the one thing I remember is the amazing Mexican food. In general, Hong Kong's Mexican food is pretty average. I cannot understand why restaurants like iCaramba can't manage to make a fresh salsa; there are so many fresh tropical ingredients available in HK but the food tastes like it came out of a can.

So, usually, I make my own Mexican food, and lately I have been on a mission to find a tortilla press and some masa harina, without much success. I have been to Shanghai Street, which sells everything for home and professional kitchen supplies. The only press I could find was about 4 inches across and said 'Fish' on it - I can only imagine it was for flattening fish. (Not sure when this would be called for?!)  Next, I went to Chungking Mansions (the ghetto of HK - lots of South Asian food shops and restaurants), thinking I could find a chapati press, but again with no luck. I looked for masa at all the grocery stores, and eventually found that Gateway (an American bulk grocery store) carries it, but they didn't have it in stock. So while I continue to wait for the masa and tortilla press from Amazon, I will use a package of slightly freezer-burnt corn tortillas from the grocery store. 

Mango Salsa
serves 4, prep 10 min
3 shallots
1 Bird's eye chili
1 mango
1 avocado
2 large red chili peppers
1 lime

Finely chop shallots and chili. Roughly chop mango, avocado, and red chili peppers. Put all chopped ingredients in a bowl. Juice lime and add to bowl. Stir gently.

serves 4, prep 15 min, cook 15 min
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
4 shallots
1 yam (sweet potato)
1 cup chicken stock
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
3 large green chili peppers
1 Bird's eye chili (optional)

Mince garlic, Bird's eye chili and chop shallots.  Peel yam and slice finely to approximately 0.5cm thickness. Cut chicken into thin strips; add 2 teaspoons seasoning and set aside. Roughly chop green chili peppers and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Stir in yam, 2 teaspoons of seasoning, Bird's eye chili and chicken stalk; cook for 7-10 minutes until stock has evaporated and yam is slightly softened. Remove yam and shallot mixture from pan, and set aside.

Add remaining oil to sauté pan; add chicken and sauté for 2 minutes. Add chopped green chili and sauté until chicken is cooked. Add yam mixture, stir and cook for 1 more minute.

Make own tortilla or warm up store-bought tortillas in pan for about 30-50 seconds each side. Spoon filling on to tortilla and top with fresh mango salsa. Add lettuce and sour cream on top if desired.

2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cayenne

Mix all spices together and set aside.


  1. You CAN get good Mexican food in Hong Kong! There's a place called Tequila Jack's in TST. Every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday, with HK$10 tacos.

  2. I will have to check it out sometime soon. I rarely venture to the dark side, but I will make an exception for mexican food!

  3. Try Mr. Taco Truck in Quarry Bay or Central.
    Also, Masa Harina is available at CitySuper.

  4. I ve been to Mr. Taco truck a few times now, I really like their Al Pastor Taco's! Thank you for letting me know where the Masa Harina is sold, I also found some at Gateway but its not always in stock.

  5. Did you find a tortilla press ultimately? I've been looking, but not much as I'm new to HK. I'd use it daily to make chapatis. Btw, it's amazing you know "chapati"....most know them only as roti

    1. Hi
      No I didn't end up finding one, I looked around a lot but no luck. A friend ended up buying me one when they were in USA. I think the best option is to order one online. Yah everyone seems to call them roti's in HK, I friend of my moms taught us how to make chapati's when I was a about 6 in Canada. Ill write back if I ever find a press in HK.

  6. ive been trying to find a press everywhere in hk too, probably gona get when it when i go to uk by the end of the month...

    1. I have looked pretty much everywhere in HK, I don't think you can find one.. best to order from Amazon or buy in the UK, I broke the handle off mine and ended up buying another one in Canada this summer.