I don’t eat dead animals. I don’t eat live ones either, at least not on purpose. Gross? Hey, give me a break, I’m a cyclist, it’s impossible not to occasionally suck down an insect. I really do try to spit them out, because that’s gross. But the pesco-vegetarians really annoy me. Just because fish live in water does not turn them into plants. You’re not vegetarian, so find another label. Don’t get me started on the chicken eaters…
But even if I was more liberal, I still wouldn’t eat fish because I’m allergic to the critters. This is a useful condition when dealing with high-fatters and Paelo-Punx when they mount their omega-3 fatty acid soap box. I just ask them if I’m doomed to watch my heart and brain disintegrate without fish or fish oil. They have no response…
So when I found this awesome recipe for tofu tacos in an old McDougall newsletter I was intrigued. It looked really good. Mary McDougall wrote that she developed it from a recipe for Baja style fish tacos. She replaced the fish with tofu, kept the seasonings similar, and made a tofu based crema sauce to mimic the traditional topping. But I have no idea how authentic it is since I’ve not had the original. So one summer we gave it a try, and it became a family favorite, even for SAD addicted omnis. I was very excited to see that the recipe made it into the The Starch Solution, John McDougall’s latest book so that I can always find it without searching the interwebs.
This recipe is a rich one, with two layers of tofu. It is best reserved for special occasions and entertaining. Everyone likes it. Obviously, the soy haters will have to look elsewhere. Seasoned and marinated tofu cubes replace the fish, and they are topped with seasoned cabbage and a tofu like cilantro aioli. Here it goes:
Tofu Taco Filling:
about 20 oz. firm tofu (usually two packages) drained, (pressed if possible) and cubed
1/4 C soy sauce
2 T lime juice
2 T chili powder
2 t cumin
2 t garlic powder
Mix all ingredients and let marinate about 15 minutes. Cook in a non-stick skillet until lightly browned.
Topping #1: Cabbage
3-4 C finely shredded cabbage (one package pre-shredded should be enough)
2 T seasoned rice vinegar
1 T lime juice
Combine cabbage, vinegar, and lime juice in a bowl. Add a dash of salt and mix well.
Topping #2: Cilantro Aioli Crema
1 C tofu sour cream (store bought, or see Note)
1/3 C cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T lime juice
hot sauce (optional)
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate to blend flavors. A little Siracha works really well.
Warm some corn tortillas and assemble. Place a few cubes of tofu in the tortilla, top with cabbage, spoon some aioli crema, and top with extra hot sauce if desired.
*If it all possible, make your own corn tortillas. It’s easy to do, and they really send this dish over the top!
*Tofu Sour Cream:
There are various recipes, here’s one:
1 box silken tofu
2 T lemon juice
2 t sugar
dash of salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until very smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.