Tacos are literally my favorite food. Anytime someone asks me what my favorite food is, I always say tacos. If I could eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be tacos. I am also a firm believer in the fact that anything can be a taco topping. Burgers, veggies, fruit, whatever. Put it in a tortilla, and you got yourself a winner! Do you believe me that I really love tacos yet?
I think tacos need to be colorful in order to be their best selves, so this version of a taco has some bright purple cabbage and a bright green jalapeno sauce to really liven things up. I love the use of corn tortillas here because they are lower in calories than flour tortillas, and that just means more tacos on my plate without more guilt. Duh.
These are super flexible- use just the bean sauce, or just the tofu, or make some sauteed veggies instead of the tofu, whatever makes your heart happy. You can up the spice on the sauce by using the seeds and ribs of the jalapenos, or tone it down by removing the ribs and seeds. Adam likes things mild, I like things spicy- and since I am the one cooking, it usually ends up too spicy for him. Oops! I served this meal with a side of fried plantains, because fried plantains are the bomb.
I’m going to break down this recipe into the different components, and then you can piece them together to make the perfect tacos.
Black Bean and Fried Tofu Tacos, serves 4-6
- 12 corn tortillas, taco size
- black bean sauce, recipe below
- fried tofu, recipe below
- 1 small head purple cabbage, sliced super thin
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp natural sugar
- 1-2 tsp celery salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 red onion, sliced thin
- 1 large avocado, sliced
- batch of jalapeno- cilantro sauce, recipe below
- Start by mixing together the finely slice cabbage, vinegar, sugar, celery salt, and pepper. Toss and set aside to let the flavors deepen. This can also be made the day before too.
- Make black bean sauce, fried tofu, and jalapeno sauce.
- Warm corn tortillas on a hot griddle pan for 30 seconds each side. Alternatively, you can char the tortillas on a gas burner for 30 seconds each side.
- Start with a warmed tortilla, spread 2-3 tablespoons black bean mixture as the base. Add one or two pieces of tofu. Top with cabbage slaw, red onion, a few slices of avocado, and jalapeno sauce. Now go eat as many tacos as you please.
Black Bean Sauce
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp each of onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper
- 1 tsp liquid smoke, optional, can add 1 tsp more chili powder instead
- 1/3 cup water
- In a large pot, mash the beans with a potato masher until almost no chunks remain. Add in spices and water and mix. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Cook over medium heat until heated through, or about 15 minutes. If it gets too thick, add more water a couple tablespoons at a time. It should be spreadable with a spoon, but not runny and thin.
- 1 16 ounce package firm tofu, drained and patted dry
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- 2 tsp each of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
- vegetable oil for frying
- Using a sharp knife, slice the tofu block in half. Then, slice each half block into 12 long strips. You’ll end up with 24 strips.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the rice flour and spices. Toss the tofu a few strips at a time in the mixture, completely coating each piece of tofu.
- Add oil to a large pot, about half an inch from the bottom. Heat at medium-high until hot. My trick is to take a drop of water and put it in the pan- if it sizzles and pops, it’s ready. Just be careful!
- Carefully add tofu into the pan, a few at a time, don’t overcrowd the pot! Fry the tofu on each side until golden brown. When golden on each side, remove tofu from the pot and put on a tea towel or paper towels to drain excess oil. Optional, but delicious, you can sprinkle a little more salt on each piece after frying.
- Repeat until all tofu is fried.
- 2 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed if less heat is desired
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems,
- juice of one lime
- zest of half of lime
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Put all ingredients into a high powered blender. I use a mini smoothie making blender cup when I make sauces so it blends better and the sauce doesn’t get lost in a giant blender cup. Blitz it up until completely smooth. It will take a little longer than you might think because of the cilantro- but you can’t really over mix this, so have at it!