The diapers have been ordered. The hospital bag has been packed (and repacked). The freezer, as you well know by now, is at capacity.
Dare I say we’re ready?
It’s incredible, really, the things you can find to pass the time when it seems any moment could be the last moment that you’re this exact person. You know, before you become that person — that next iteration of yourself that is somehow you and yet not at all you because suddenly there exists a tiny little bugaboo of a human that only knows this new you and nothing else.
Rambling incoherently to a questionable quantity of virtual friends eats up about three and a half minutes of that time, if you’re wondering. Like I said: incredible.
The only thing I’ve left until what could possibly be the very last minute (ok, let’s not get overly dramatic, we’re only at 38 weeks…breathebreathebreathebreathebreathe) is this taco post, which I’ve been sitting on for almost two weeks now because my day job has unofficially become breaker-downer-of-all-the-cardboard-boxes-probably-ever-created-in-all-the-land-ever. And when I’m not breaking down stroller boxes and carseat boxes and baby swing boxes and more boxes of breasty things than I knew existed, I’m also moonlighting as sterilizer-of-all-things-ever-created-in-all-the-land-ever.
And then sometimes, I just pass the time standing in the mirror practicing obnoxious phrases like “ohhhh yeah, she’s 23 months cooooo…” and then wanting to punch myself in the face because SHE’S ALMOST TWO.
I mean, she’s not. She’s, like, -2 weeks plus or minus a week (wow, now who’s obnoxious), but one day she will be and I’ll be that month-counting moron that I’m getting so good at mocking.
So maybe I’m not ready.
You guys know how I feel about tacos. Veggie tacos, belly tacos. Certain breeds of pastor tacos that could be solely responsible for the whole baby thing happening within. (The tequila probably didn’t hurt, either.) I could legit eat tacos for almost every meal and feel very little regret. (Though I can’t say the same about using the word legit. Sorry about that.) So when we went to Maui this winter, my belly list was stacked high with some of the best fish tacos on the island. Did I cry a little at night thinking of all the forbidden poke, the scandalous SPAM lurking around every bend? Indeed. But tacos are a fine consolation prize, my friends. I made do.
And when tacos weren’t within reach, mochiko chicken most definitely was becaaaaaause mochiko chicken is everywhere. Ok, I lied. Decent mochiko is everywhere — like, for realio, you can find all too adequate mix plates at the freaking 7-Eleven — but I feel like the best mochiko chicken is probably hiding in the kitchens of Hawaiian aunties and grammas all over the island. Perfectly tender and shoyu’d and sweet with errant edges of crisped, fatty dark meat.
That’s why, when I decided to commemorate our vacay with this little hybrid sitchy, I took major notes from that pretty lady (and Maui native) Alana when it came to doing up the mochiko chicken proper. Oh haaai, girl! ♥ And then, um, heavily consulted my tastebuds when it came to the rest. I mean, I was pretty confident it’d be hard for even me to screw up something as inherently delicious as Asiany-fusiony-tacostuffs, but just in case, I ate whole bunches of them.
For you guys. Because safety.
And also it turns out umeboshi mayo is striggity addictive. 😉
Here’s to phenomenally tasty tacos, inevitably obnoxious mommyisms and maybe, juuuust maybe, another week or two of being this exact me.
- For the Mochiko Chicken (adapted from Fix Feast Flair)
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 T mochiko flour
- 2 T tapioca starch
- 2 T sugar
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 T sherry wine
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 2 T green onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- neutral oil for frying, such as avocado
- For the Umeboshi Mayo
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayo
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4-5 pickled umeboshi plums, pits removed
- For Serving
- about 6 small flour tortillas, warmed
- shredded carrots/cabbage
- thinly sliced radishes
- chives or scallions
- extra lemon
- salsa (it's no surprise we use this one)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, soy sauce, sherry wine, salt, egg, scallions and garlic until well combined. Add chicken and marinate in the fridge, covered, several hours or overnight.
- (Once chicken has marinated) Prepare a cooling rack set over paper towels on a baking sheet.
- To shallow fry chicken, heat about ¼" of oil in the bottom of a large, deep sided skillet over med to med-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken pieces in batches (chopsticks work lovely for this task) -- being careful not to crowd the pan -- and fry until deep golden brown and crisp on the edges, about 3-4 mins per side. Remove to cooling rack to drain. Repeat with remaining batches. Allow chicken to cool.
- While chicken cools, combine mayo, sour cream, lemon juice and umeboshi in a small food processor and blend until smooth.
- To serve tacos, layer warm tortillas with umeboshi mayo, warm chicken, veggies, cilantro and chives. Top with salsa, furikake, a squeeze of lemon and more umeboshi mayo. Enjoy!
OH! before you go…
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