I Heart Tacos
I have a great love of tacos. I make them at least once a week, and I’m always mixing up the fillings. I’ve had people ask me what vegans fill their tacos with, and the answer is usually “whatever I can get my hands on.” I sometimes use beans and rice, sometimes I’ll use tofuor seitan, and other times I might use cauliflower.Tempehis another favorite taco filling in my house. I like to crumble it and mix it with spices.
I’ve found that a lot of people don’t know what to do with tempeh, so they don’t cook with it often. People have also told me that they don’t like its fermented flavor. I like to demonstrate tempeh recipes when I do cooking classes to show people that it’s pretty easy to cook with. These Tempeh Tacos were at a hit at a recent class, even with non-vegans.
Simmering tempeh in a bath of vegetable stock will help remove some of the fermented taste, and it will also help “open up” the tempeh so that it absorbs sauces and marinades better. You can also steam it for a few minutes for the same effect. I’ve used the simmering technique here, which can be done while you’re prepping the rest of the ingredients for the tacos.
The ingredient list for this recipe looks long, but don’t let that fool you—this recipe is super simple and it comes together quickly. Most of what’s on the list are spices and toppings. If you don’t already have all of these spices on hand and don’t want to go out and buy them all, you can use a packet of taco seasoning instead.
To make these tacos, you simply sauté onion and garlic and then crumble in the tempeh. Add some spices along with tamari, tomato paste, and vegetable stock and let it cook! The tempeh will soak up the liquid and the spices. If your pan dries out too quickly, just add more stock.
I like to top my tacos with lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, and hot sauce, but of course, you can use whatever fillings you prefer.
For the Tacos
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 8-ounce package tempeh
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon neutral vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons tamari
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 6 corn tortillas, warmed
- 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced, optional
- Hot sauce, optional
Add the stock to a large pan over medium heat, and add the full block of tempeh. Allow to simmer for about half an hour.
Remove the tempeh from the pan and allow to cool. Save the stock for later use.
Add the onion and oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to brown and become fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Whisk together the tamari, tomato paste, spices, and ½ cup of the reserved vegetable stock
Crumble the tempeh and add it to the pan along with the vegetable stock mixture. Mix everything well.
Continue cooking until the mixture is heated throughout, about 5 more minutes. If the mixture gets too dry, add a little more reserved vegetable stock.
To serve the tacos, fill each tortilla with the tempeh mixture along with lettuce, diced avocado, diced tomato, jalapeño, and hot sauce, if using. Serve hot.
Other Taco Recipes You Might Enjoy Include:
- Buffalo Chickpea Tacos
- Soy-Lime Seitan Tacos with Mango and Chipotle Aioli
- Vegan Chorizo Tacos
- Sesame Black Bean Tacos