SO. It’s taco time.
Did I have you at chipotle? Don’t let me lose you at tempeh…
This mysterious brick of fermented soybeans scares people like nothing else. I’ll never forget my first attempt at spicing up my life with a little more plant protein- by means of a tempeh shepherds pie. While I’m sure there are many ways to enjoying a tasty tempeh-laden shepherd pie, I assume your crumbling it directly into the pan before baking is not.
Fast forward after seemingly hundreds of tempeh fuelled exploits and well, not to brag, but I think i’ve got this bean on lock.
Protein-packed tacos with a crunchy creamy filling is basically the best of all worlds, right?
Even for those tenative to packaged soy product, the smoky/spicy/savoury sauce lights a delicious fire to everything it touches. With a sprinkling of marinated lime cabbage and slices of creamy avocado you’re playin’ in the big leagues.
What makes this tempeh so special?
Let me explain. Achieving the perfect texture and/or blank canvas for deliciousness is alllllll in the cooking method(s).
First we steam the big guy (reduces bitterness), then its fried (brown it up a bit) and finally its quickly simmered in the chipotle sauce.. cauuuuse yeah.
Throw it all between a warm corn tortilla and watch even the meatiest of men go crazy. (Sample size= 2, very carnivorous men)
- --For the tempeh--
- 1 package tempeh, 250 g
- 1 poblano pepper
- 2 chipotles peppers in adobo sauce (plus 3 tbsp adobo sauce liquid)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- --For the Lime Slaw--
- 2 cups red cabbage, finely shredded (roughly)
- Juice from half a lime
- pinch of salt
- --All the rest--
- 8 corn tortillas
- green onions
- hot sauce
- Broil the poblano: Preheat the oven to a high broil. Place the poblanos directly on the top rack and broil for 10 minutes, until blistered and softened. Remove from oven.
- Marinate the slaw: To a medium bowl, combine shredded cabbage and juice from 1/2 the lime. Sprinkle with salt. Massage with hands to coat and set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
- Steam the tempeh: Slice tempeh in half width wise (so its like 2 thin slices of bread). Place in a medium pan and cover with water. Bring to a light boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Make the sauce: To your blender, add roasted poblano, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, brown sugar, 1/4 cup vegetable broth, cumin, paprika, and salt. Blend the sauce for 20 seconds, until creamy (some chunks are OK)
- Fry the tempeh: Add 1 tbsp oil to a large frying pan. When the pan is hot, crumble the tempeh into chunks the size of dime into the pan. Cook tempeh on high for 7 minutes, until golden brown and crispy in parts, stirring occasionally. Season with salt.
- Finish the tempeh: Pour the sauce into the pan with the tempeh. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring gently.
- Serve: heat the tortillas in the microwave, on a pan or in the oven, just to warm. Spoon hot tempeh mixture onto tortillas, and top with a hearty portion of marinated cabbage and a slice of avocado. Sprinkle with green onions and cilantro. Drizzle with hot sauce if desired!