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Vegan Chorizo Tacos That Will Make You Forget The Real Thing

Mark Bittman
Author:
May 8, 2014
Mark Bittman
Written by
May 8, 2014

One of my favorite recipes from my new cookbook, The VB6 Cookbook, is the vegan chorizo tacos. The are spectacular and very healthy.

Soft corn tortillas make a perfect vehicle for this tofu “chorizo,” which is so good you’ll find a lot of other uses for it too. Make it as soft or as crisp as you like, but use a nonstick pan for the best results; cast-iron is a good second choice. Since it’s easy to double the batch well ahead of time, you might think about making this dish the next time you have a brunch scheduled too.

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Chorizo Tacos

Serves 4: Cooking time 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the desired texture

  • Eight 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1½ pounds firm tofu (1½ blocks)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 limes, 1 halved
  • 1 quartered
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions, for garnish

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Stack the tortillas on a large square of foil and wrap them loosely.

2. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Crumble the tofu into the pan with your hands. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet occasionally, and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the tofu browns and crisps as much or as little as you like it, anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

4. When the tofu is almost ready, put the tortillas in the oven.

5. Add the bell pepper to the pan if you’re using it. Sprinkle the mixture with the chili powder; stir, and cook, continuing to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan until the mixture is fragrant, less than a minute. Squeeze the juice of the halved lime over all, garnish with cilantro and scallions, and serve with the tortillas and lime quarters.

More Ideas

  • For a little more kick without being too fiery, try 1 or 2 poblano chiles instead of the bell pepper.
  • Substitute 3 cups well-drained cooked or canned black or pinto beans for the tofu. (If you’re using canned beans, rinse them before draining.)
  • Use tempeh instead of tofu. It will be tangier and slightly more dense, closer to the texture of ground meat.
  • Small whole wheat tortillas are good, here, too. Soften them the same way as described above.
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For more healthy vegan and flexitarian recipes, check out The VB6 Cookbook.

This post is presented by Clarkson Potter

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Mark Bittman
Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman, whose “Minimalist” column ran in the Dining section of the New York Times for more than 13 years, is a Times Opinion columnist, the lead food writer for The Times Magazine, and a columnist for the Times Dining section.

His books include the bestselling How to Cook Everything and the groundbreaking Vegan Before 6 P.M. (VB6), where he provides all the necessary tools for making the switch to a Flexitarian diet. It includes lists for stocking the pantry, strategies for eating away from home in a variety of situations, pointers for making cooking on a daily basis both convenient and enjoyable, and a complete 28-day eating plan showing VB6 in action.

Following up on his bestselling diet plan, VB6, the incomparable Mark Bittman delivers a full cookbook, The VB6 Cookbook, of 350 new recipes designed to help you eat vegan every day before 6:00 p.m.–and deliciously all of the time.