Elvis Prado, owner of Bad Son Tacos in Little Tokyo, says his mother would prepare this recipe for him and his siblings when they were kids. “She wanted us to eat more vegetables and she found just the way,” he says. “At first, we didn’t want to eat them. Then she’d put a dollop of sour cream on top and the rest is history.”
He still makes Calabacitas today and says that, though his mom served it as a side dish, “at Bad Son it is the main star!” A fan favorite is to add it to quesadillas, but it can also be used in tacos, as a salad topping and even on burritos. You can also add jalapeño to spice it up.
Kids, Prado says, prefer this dish with the dairy. “Try to find a good Mexican sour cream, as it packs more flavor than regular sour cream,” he says. “The best part of the recipe is that you can play around with the ingredients. Some people like more corn. Others more squash. Make it your own!”
Calabacitas from Bad Son Tacos
2 large squash (zucchini is best), cut into 1-inch cubes
Half a large yellow onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kernels from one ear of corn
1 Roma tomato, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Queso fresco and Mexican sour cream for topping
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash, onion and garlic and seasoning salt to taste. Toss ingredients together for 2 minutes, then add the corn kernels. Cook another minute and add the tomatoes. Adjust seasoning and remove from heat. Top with queso fresco and Mexican sour cream.
Bad Son Tacos is currently open from 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat. Walk-in orders are welcome. To order ahead, call 213-278-0364 or visit badsontacos.com. Delivery options are available, as are vegan options (tacos, burritos, and salads).