We here at Vegicano love tacos – and by we – I mean me. There’s just something about ’em that sets ’em apart from any other dish in any other cuisine. Perhaps its the layers of flavor or the ability to mix textures; or maybe its because they are the perfect ‘hand’ food – It’s like an edible envelope of yummy goodness.
Wow. I’m starting to sound like Rachel Ray.
This taco is simple, delicious and adheres to my idea of a good taco: No more than 3 (filling) ingredients. Now, that’s not me being some sort of taco snob mind you – that’s just personal preference. I don’t like too many flavors competing against each other – can’t we all just get along?
If there was a fourth addition it would more than likely be something that I’d add after the fact, like, a salsa or hot sauce. But that’s preferential, it’s a matter of individual taste and doesn’t dictate the flavor profile, it merely enhances it.
But. Seriously. No Taco snobbery here yo!
This taco is simple, delicious and plays off a tempeh marinade I use often. I blanch the tempeh as I’ve shown before, marinade it, then sear it on both sides in a little canola oil and finish it off by deglazing the pan with the leftover marinade and a bit of water.
From there I add guacamole (always a nice play against the texture of tempeh) and I finish it off with a quick (super simple) sorta-slaw of julienned greens and thinly sliced radish. Me Likey:
Tacos De Tempeh
1 TBS of Canola Oil (for searing tempeh)
1/4 Cup of Water
1/4 of Agave Nectar
2 TBS Soy Sauce
1 TBS of Nutritional Yeast
1 TBS of ketchup
1 tsp canola oil
1/4 tsp liquid smoke (or a splash of apple cider vinegar)
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 black pepper
1/4 chili powder of your choice (to your liking, I enjoy dried chipotle)
1. First things first. Blanch your tempeh according to the directions found HERE
2. Cool your tempeh.
How to Slice your Tempeh:
Cut evenly down the middle of the block of tempeh; its basically going to go from a long rectangle to two squares. From there, using a sharp knife (and y’know being mad careful) slice down through the middle – to create two flat pieces. You should end up with 8 thin(ner) squares.
3. Place your tempeh in a flat rimmed dish (preferably glass) and cover in marinade, making sure that each part of the tempeh slice touch the marinade.
4. Marinade for at least 1 hour or up to over night. Turn tempeh a few times here and there.
5. Heat your oil in a large flat frying pan over medium high heat; place your tempeh down flat and cook a few minutes per side. You’ll want a little char – but be careful not to burn.
6. While your tempeh is nearing the end of cooking – when you’ve achieved a nice color & char – pour remaining marinade and 2 TBS of water – lower heat to medium and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed.
7. Slice your Tempeh in diagonal “strips” – or however you’d like really.
8. Building your Taco: Tempeh Strips (as many as you’d like) A couple TBS of Guac and finish with Greens & Radish Sorta Slaw (recipe follows)
Greens & Radish Sorta Slaw
2 Heaping Cups of your favorite greens julienned
6 – 8 radishes (stems removed) sliced thin
1 – 2 tsp fresh lime juice
salt & Pepper to taste
1. Wash and Spin (or pat dry with a clean paper towel) your greens
2. Stack your greens on top of eachother, turn them sideways and cut thin slices
3. Thinly slice your radishes (I use a mandolin)
4. In a medium mixing bowl toss both your radishes and greens
5. Add your lime juice (to your liking – I go for a lot of lime) and salt and pepper