Asian Style Grilled Chicken Pita Pockets with Slaw

Asian Style Grilled Chicken Pita Pockets with Slaw

I just love this recipe for Asian Style Grilled Chicken Pita Pockets with Slaw. Grilled chicken is so versatile and easy to make, and the crunchy slaw with sweet and savory dressing is a great compliment to the juicy chicken. This handheld meal is great for spring and summer months, since grilling can be be done indoors or out, and the slaw contains no mayo!

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First, I marinated my chicken thighs in a Korean marinade. I used this one, and it’s quite delicious, but you can use any Asian style sauce such as teriyaki or your favorite homemade sauce. I marinated my chicken thighs overnight, but a minimum of 30 minutes should do it.

 
Since I don’t (yet) have my own outdoor grill, I heated my stove to medium high heat, sprayed my grill pan with olive oil cooking spray, and let the pan heat up. Once hot, I put the thighs down and let the grill pan do its thing!
While the thighs were cooking, I sliced up a large red bell pepper and tossed it with a bag of shredded cabbage and half a bag of shredded carrots. (No shame in taking a few short cuts from the store, am I right?!) I added about 3 chopped green onions and half of a bunch of chopped cilantro to the bowl.

 

Veggies for Asian Style Grilled Chicken Pita Pockets with Slaw

Make sure to check that the thighs look good, then flip to the other side. Should be about 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on size and thickness.

 
Now start the slaw dressing in a separate bowl. Since I used pre-cut veggies, I wanted to make sure to wake up the slaw with a super fresh and flavorful dressing. Full disclosure, I modified the dressing found here, but the flavor is spot on! The most noticeable difference in the recipes is that I omitted the peanut butter, which I think should cut down on some of the calories.

Dressing for Asian Style Grilled Chicken Pita Pockets with Slaw
I started with 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of avocado oil (but olive oil would work here), 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of liquid aminos (you can use soy sauce), 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce, 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, and 1 large garlic clove, minced. I also added 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds. Then, I whisked all of these ingredients together in a small bowl. The fresh garlic and ginger really provide the pop of flavor you’re looking for, so don’t skimp here! It’s worth it!

 
To be honest, this recipe provides a bit too much dressing for how I like my slaw, so I recommend mixing just what you’re going to eat immediately. The dressing is still in my fridge a week later and it’s delicious, so save what you don’t use right away for another day.

 
Once the chicken is nearly done, pop your pitas into the toaster, toaster oven, or microwave to heat until just warmed through. Cut in half and gently open the pocket. Once the chicken thighs are cooked through, remove them from the heat and let them rest for 2-3 minutes, just to make sure they stay juicy. Then, slice them so each strip is about 2 bites. (You can also chop the chicken into bite sized pieces.)

Asian Style Grilled Chicken Pita Pockets with Slaw
Stuff each pita pocket with as much chicken and dressed slaw that will fit, and top with Sriracha or gochujang sauce (this is what I used), if desired. (I found that even with the Sriracha and red pepper flakes in the slaw dressing I could use a bit more heat on my pitas, so I topped mine pretty liberally with the extra sauce.) If you’ve never tried gochujang sauce before it’s got a great umami flavor – savory, a little sweet, but not very spicy.

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Bonus! You can easily make this gluten-free by using a gluten-free pita or tortilla and liquid aminos (I use Bragg) instead of soy sauce. Just make sure to check all the labels in the sauces to make sure they’re GF. Better yet, go low-carb! Load up the plate with more slaw, and top it with the sliced chicken. Eat it like a salad!

Asian Style Grilled Chicken Pita Pockets with Slaw

Time: 25-30 minutes cook time

Serves: 4 (1 whole pita pocket per person)

*Check ingredients to ensure it’s gluten-free.

8-10 large chicken thighs, about 1-1/4 pounds

1/2 cup Asian style marinade or teriyaki sauce*

1 bag (about 10 ounces) shredded cabbage

1/2 bag (about 5 ounces) shredded carrots

1 large red bell pepper, sliced

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup avocado oil

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tbsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce)*

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce*

1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp sesame seeds

4 whole wheat pitas, halved*

gochujang sauce (optional, for drizzling)

Sriracha sauce (optional, for drizzling)

  1. Marinate your chicken thighs in your favorite Asian style sauce for 30 minutes or overnight.
  2. Heat your grill pan (or grill) on medium high heat and spray with olive oil cooking spray. Once the grill pan is hot, place chicken thighs on the grill. Cook until grill marks are present on the first side, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl toss all of the veggies (minus the garlic and ginger).
  4. Check the chicken and flip when ready. The chicken should take approximately another 5 minutes.
  5. Mix all remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to incorporate.
  6. Heat each pita half in a toaster, toaster oven, or microwave, just until slightly warm.
  7. Toss the slaw with the dressing, adding a little at a time to be sure not to overdress it.
  8. After letting the chicken rest, slice into strips.
  9. Stuff the warm pitas with the chicken and slaw.
  10. Plate it up and dig in!

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