My sister (the familial vegan) is obsessed with vegetarian tacos. So much so, in fact, that she dubbed October 'Tacotober' and put herself up to the challenge of eating a different vegan taco for lunch or dinner every single day. There were lentil tacos, sweet potato tacos, even crispy cauliflower tacos! But perhaps her most favorite (and most eaten) tacos over the course of the month were vegan fish tacos.
Fish tacos are hugely popular in California. We have a popular fast food chain that specializes in them, and incredible taco shops throughout the region that can serve them up fast and cheap. This recipe for beer battered tofu tacos has all the charm and flavor of the traditional fish taco except not only cruelty-free, but intensely flavorful especially with the guacamole and chipotle aioli sauce!
Beer Battered Tofu 'Fish' Tacos with Chipotle Aioli
16 oz. package of extra firm tofu
2 cups flour
A 12-ounce can of Mexican beer
1 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt, to taste
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (You can find this usually canned in the international section of the supermarket.)
1 - 2 tsp. adobo sauce
2 tbsp. vegan mayonnaise
1 1/2 limes, juiced
1 - 2 small cloves garlic
Salt, to taste
Small head red cabbage
1 lime, juiced
Salt, to taste
8-10 fresh corn tortillas
3 medium avocados, peeled and chopped
1 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 limes, juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt
To make Tofu:
1. Drain the tofu and slice the block into about 8-12 slabs. Brine, if desired (recommended), or continue ahead to next steps.
2. Brine the tofu (optional): Salt some water and bring to a boil. Stir until the salt dissolves, then pour over tofu slabs. Let sit about 15 minutes, then drain and continue on with recipe.
3. Make your slaw. Using a mandolin, slice the red cabbage thin, until it is shredded. Place in a medium mixing bowl. Squeeze juice of one lime and sprinkle big pinch of salt over and toss to combine. Set aside.
4. Make your aioli: In a blender, process avocado, chipotle, 1 tsp. adobo sauce, garlic cloves, mayonnaise, and juice of 1/2 a lime until very smooth. Taste and add more adobo sauce, lime juice, and salt, if desired. Process again. Add milk to thin to desired consistency. Set aside.
5. Make the guacamole: Combine the onions, cilantro, jalapeños and salt to a large mixing bowl. Pour the lime juice over the mix. Using a sturdy fork, muddle the ingredients until well combined and the onions, jalapenos, and cilantro are all slightly crushed. Add in the chopped avocado and stir with a fork, mashing up some of the pieces until it is somewhat smooth but there are still chunks of avocado. Stir in the diced tomato. Taste and adjust ingredients until it suits your preference.
6. Make the beer batter: Whisk together all dry ingredients then slowly pour in beer, whisking until smooth. In a large skillet, heat about 1/4 - 1/2" oil over medium-high heat.
7. If you did not brine the tofu, sprinkle salt over the pieces now. (Be generous - this is the only flavoring for the tofu!) Dip tofu pieces in beer batter then place in skillet, being careful so as not to splash any hot oil! fry until golden-brown on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towel-lined plate.
8. Wrap corn tortillas in a few moist paper towels and microwave in 30-second bursts (should only take about 30 seconds) or until warm and soft. Arrange with a couple pieces of tofu per tortilla, top with slaw, a drizzle of chipotle aioli, a few spoons of guacamole, and chopped fresh cilantro.