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+ servings
Unicorn Tacos from The Great Vegan Protein Book

Unicorn Tacos

To the best of our knowledge, these are a Cleveland thing that originated at Deagan’s in Lakewood, Ohio. Sweet (or not so sweet, as you prefer) chili-garlic sauce tops a crisp slaw and grilled seitan strips. For a sweeter sauce, add an additional tablespoon (12 g) sugar. Save any extra sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Yields 4 tacos
Author Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes


For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons 36 g sugar
  • 3 tablespoons 45 ml seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon 15 g sambal oelek, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons 45 ml cold water, more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon 8 g cornstarch

For the tacos:

  • 3 cups 210 g shredded cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons 21 g grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoons 12 g minced scallion
  • 3 tablespoons 42 g vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces 227 g seitan
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 8-inch, or 20 cm soft flour tortillas


  1. To make the sauce: Whisk the sugar, vinegar, garlic, onion powder, salt, and sambal oelek in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Whisk the water and cornstarch together in a small bowl, and then pour into the sauce. Cook and whisk for 2 to 3 minutes, until thickened. Add additional water 1 tablespoon (15 ml) at a time, if needed, to get a drizzle consistency. Set aside.
  2. To make the tacos: Toss together the cabbage, carrot, and scallion in a medium-size bowl. Stir in the mayonnaise and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Season the cutlets with salt and pepper. Lightly coat the grill pan with the cooking spray. Grill the cutlets for 4 to 6 minutes, until they have marks. Turn over to grill the second side for 3 to 5 minutes, until they also have grill marks. Cut into thin strips.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tortillas one at a time, for 1 to 2 minutes, turning them over with tongs until softened and hot.
  4. To serve, put one-quarter of the seitan strips in each tortilla. Top with one-quarter of the cabbage mixture and drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons (24 to 48 g) chili-garlic sauce, as desired.

Recipe Notes

From The Great Vegan Protein Book @2015 Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes. Reprinted with permission from Fairwinds Press.