My favorite thing about tacos is the toppings. They often have all of the flavor and texture anyway – who needs meat? But sometimes, it would be nice to have a filling that is good for the environment but also protein packed to make the meal feel hearty. I’ve been inspired by my vegan sister to eat more tofu recently. Here I used the tofu crumble method from blogger It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken to make something approximating ground meat, then COMBINED it with one of my favorite taco recipes from EmilyC on Food52. It’s crucial to be patient with this method to make sure the tofu is dried out enough that it gains the texture of cooked meat.
Coconut-Pineapple Tofu Tacos
- 14 oz extra firm tofu
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1.5 tsp cumin
- 1.5 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano, crumbled
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup coconut milk
- 15 oz canned black beans
- 3 Tbsp pineapple juice
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- Flour tortillas
- Diced avocado, chopped tomato, shredded cheddar cheese, and minced cilantro, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a large bowl, mix together the canola oil, cumin, chili powder, oregano, paprika, cayenne, and a large pinch of salt.
- Drain the tofu but don’t press. Crumble tofu to varying sizes (should look roughly like ground meat) and add to bowl. Toss to coat.
- Spread the tofu onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake 40 min, tossing occasionally until quite dry and starting to brown.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add garlic, a large pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook 3 min.
- Add the baked tofu to the pan.
- Pour in coconut milk and simmer 5 min until thickened.
- Stir in beans, pineapple juice, and lime juice. Simmer until almost all liquid was absorbed.
- Taste and adjust lime and seasoning.
- Serve in flour tortillas topped with avocado, tomato, sour cream, cheese, and cilantro
These were not great. I guess for tofu tacos they were ok – they didn’t really scream fake meat – but the tofu absorbed the coconut milk in a way that ground meat wouldn’t have, which made it pretty soggy and spongy. I might try the ground tofu method again in the future, but in a preparation that was flavored with dry seasoning only.