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Grilled Tamarind Chicken Tacos

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 15 tacos

In these tacos, chicken thighs are marinated in sweet-sour tamarind soda, garlic, and soy sauce, and then rubbed with a coriander-chile spice rub. The tacos are great garnished with chopped red onion, avocado slices, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.


  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 lb.)
  • 1 12.5-oz. bottle tamarind soda (such as Jarritos brand)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbs. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. pure chile powder, such as ancho
  • Sea salt

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size 1 taco (not including garnishes)
  • Calories (kcal) : 150
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 40
  • Fat (g): 4
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Cholesterol (mg): 25
  • Sodium (mg): 140
  • Carbohydrates (g): 21
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 9


  • Put the chicken in a large bowl and cover with the tamarind soda. Add the soy sauce and garlic and mix well. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Prepare a high charcoal or gas grill fire for indirect grilling.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry. In a small bowl, combine the coriander, chile powder, and a pinch of salt. Dust the thighs on both sides with the spice rub. Cook on the hot part of the grill until grill marks form on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and mark the other side, about 2 minutes more. Move the chicken to the cooler side of the grill and grill until cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Let the chicken rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes and then cut the meat into strips and serve.

Make Ahead Tips

You can marinate and refrigerate the chicken the night before. You can also grill the chicken up to 30 minutes before you plan to serve it.


If you can’t find tamarind soda, use lemon, orange, or ginger soda, preferably made with real cane sugar.


Rate or Review

Reviews (9 reviews)

  • Bquart | 05/31/2019

    I made this years ago for a multi-type of taco party, and forgot about it until another friend (who attended) said she was making it for visitors on a regular basis. Now it's on my 'regular' list too. It's so good!!! Sometimes a challenge finding the soda but when I see it...this is the first thing I think of!

  • User avater
    khavasutra | 08/26/2014

    Loved it. So easy I cant even believe how flavorful and juicy they were. They marinated for 24 hours and I used breasts as well as thighs. Easy and delightful. I am fortunate that I live in an area where I can get the tamarind soda. That sweet with the sour were perfect. These are not spicy but then guests can add the heat with peppers after. I roasted some different chiles that my guest could add to their tacos. Someone did mention the lack of salt and I would agree but I like using a finishing salt anyways.

  • Nora1979 | 01/23/2013

    Love this chicken taco recipe- A go to for dinner guests. Keys are using the actual Tamarind soda (don't sub it) and marinating overnight. So juicy and flavorful.

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