Shredded tofu tacos

Shredded tofu tacos

shredded tofu tacos

It doesn’t get more summery than shredded tofu tacos, right? Although summer has clearly been cancelled this year – after a couple of days in mid-twenties a few weeks ago, Britain has been treating us to 17-19°C (62-66°F) days for a few weeks now and this cold trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future – I felt like some vibrant summer food and few things scream summer as much as juicy tacos that burst with colour and flavour so shredded tofu tacos is my today’s food suggestion for you. I think you’ll appreciate them regardless of the weather but especially if you are lucky enough to be basking in sunshine, cold beer in hand.

These shredded tofu tacos are easy to make, full of plant protein and flavour. They are inspired by my friend Shelley who has given me so much support lately (I am going through something major) and even cooked for me on a couple of occasions. One of the dishes she made were shredded tofu tacos and they were delicious. This is my version of this dish and after a couple of attempts, I am really pleased with the result and I plan to include them in my weekly meal rota more often.

The taco filling is made up of shredded tofu, seasoned with some soy sauce and dry spices and baked in the oven, which then gets rehydrated in a sweet and smoky chipotle sauce. Like in case of many similar dishes like that, the filling benefits from being made at least a day in advance so that all the flavours have a chance to mingle and develop. I paired this surprisingly meaty no-meat filling with a dollop of smashed avocado and with some quick pickled radishes for acidity and crunch and wrapped the whole thing up in a beautifully charred and smoky corn tortilla and sprinkled with coriander. They have been a winner in my house and I hope they will be in yours too.

MORE ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS

shredded tofu tacos ingredients

TOFU: Extra firm tofu is the protein source in these shredded tofu tacos. I used an already pressed type of tofu, which here in the UK is sold by a brand called Tofoo. It’s brilliant as it comes already pressed so it’s very firm and no extra work is requires. It comes is strange amounts so I bought an XL Tofoo pack and used 300 g (10.5 oz) in these tacos. If using regular, water stored tofu that requires pressing, but guess is that you would need about 500 g (17.5 oz) of tofu get the same amount once the water has been extracted.

SOY SAUCE: I used all purpose soy sauce to season the tofu and give the sauce depth of flavour. If you are gluten-free, use tamari instead.

OIL: I added a bit of oil to the tofu to stop it from drying out too much in the oven and a bit more to fry my aromatics in for the sauce. I used light olive oil but anything neutral will work.

DRY SPICES: A combination of dried spices typical for Mexican food is what I used here to give the sauce and the tofu component lots of flavour – liberal amount of sweet smoky paprika, cumin, oregano (Mexican oregano if you can get it easily) and only just a touch of cinnamon and a sprinkling of ground cloves.

TOMATO PASSATA: I make the sauce smooth and to speed up its cooking time, I used smooth tomato passata. If you only have canned tomatoes, that’s fine too. You could give them a whizz in a blender first and they will need a little longer to reduce.

ONION & GARLIC: Small red onion and a couple of fat cloves of garlic are the two aromatics that the sauce is relies on and I don’t think they need any explanation.

CHIPOTLE PASTE: Chipotle paste – made of jalapeno chillies that have been smoked and dried – adds both spiciness and flavour to this dish. Be aware that there are many different brands of chipotle paste and they tend to differ as far as the level of heat is concerned. I recommend starting off with a tablespoon and adding more if you want more oomph – it’s always easier to add than to take away.

ORANGE JUICE: I looked at quite a few carnitas recipes and a common theme emerged, many of them use oranges or orange juice to make the filling. I borrowed that idea and added some orange juice to the sauce, it adds sweetness and flavour so this is a very welcome addition in my opinion. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have it but it does make the filling better.

LIME: A dash of lime in the sauce adds a welcome burst of acidity and I also use some to seasoned mashed avocados and to quick pickle my radish slices.

MAPLE SYRUP: A small amount of maple syrup is needed to balance the sauce out and I use a little bit more to take the mellow the flavours of my quick pickled radishes.

CORN TORTILLAS: I used small corn tortillas to make these, which I singed over my gas burner until the outside was lightly charred and smoky. You can use flour tortillas if you like too, but use corn ones if making these for a gluten-free crowd.

CORIANDER/CILANTRO: Fresh coriander (cilantro in the US) belongs in tacos so it’s a no brainer. I added a large handful to the tacos and a some more to pickled radishes.

AVOCADO: Creamy avocado adds another texture to these tacos and mellow the heat. I made a quick avocado smash seasoned simply with some salt and pepper and some lime juice to cut through the richness.

RADISHES: Thinly sliced radishes, pickled in lime juice add freshness and a crunchy element to these meaty shredded tofu tacos. If you prefer you could make a quick salsa (known as pico de gallo) with sweet cherry toms instead.

shredded tofu tacos tofu

Shred well pressed tofu (I used an already pressed block of tofu by Tofoo) coarsely. Combine dry spices with soy sauce and a bit of oil and stir this mixture through the tofu really well, until all the strands are well covered.

shredded tofu tacos baking

Spread tofu on a large baking tray in a single layer. Bake it in the preheated oven until dried out and crispy in parts, but mix it now and again and don’t allow the tofu to get too crispy and hard or it won’t rehydrate in the sauce.

shredded tofu tacos sauce

While the tofu is baking, make a simple sauce by sautéing aromatics in a little bit of oil, then a pinch of salt, adding dry spices, chipotle paste, tomato passata and orange juice. Simmer the sauce on low heat to reduce, season it with lime juice and maple syrup but wait with the salt until you’ve added seasoned tofu to the mix.

shredded tofu tacos tofu sauce

Next add in baked tofu and mix it in well. If the mixture is too dry for your liking, add a small splash of water to thin it out. At this point, I recommend storing cooled mixture in the fridge overnight if you have time as that definitely improves its taste and gives it more depth of flavour, but you can also just crack on with assembling the tacos if you’d rather.

shredded tacos assembly

shredded tacos piling on

shredded tofu tacos board

shredded tofu tacos closeup

makes
12
PREP
20 min
COOKING
45 min
makes
12
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
45 min
INGREDIENTS

TOFU

  • 300 g / 10.5 oz already pressed tofu (I used Tofoo), see NOTES*
  • 20 ml / 1½ tbsp soy sauce (or tamari if GF)
  • 20 ml / 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • spices: 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp oregano, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp cinnamon, pinch of cloves

SAUCE

  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, finely diced
  • spices: 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp oregano
  • approx. 4 tsp chipotle paste, adjust to taste*
  • 200 g / 7 oz tomato passata
  • 120 ml / ½ cup orange juice
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp maple syrup

REMAINING INGREDIENTS

  • 200 g / 7 oz radishes
  • small bunch of coriander / cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 limes
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 12-14 corn tortillas

METHOD

TOFU

  1. Shred tofu coarsely using a grater and pre-heat the oven to 190° C / 375° F (or 170° C / 340° F with fan).
  2. In a mixing bowl combine soy sauce (or tamari), oil and dry spices, mix well then add tofu. Stir until well combined.
  3. Spread grated tofu in a single layer on a large baking tray and bake for about 20-30 minutes. Until dried out – some bits will get a little crispy but you don’t want them too crispy and hard. Toss it once or twice while baking.

SAUCE

  1. Pre-heat oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry on low heat until translucent, then add garlic and fry for a few more minutes – until fragrant and no longer opaque – stirring regularly.
  2. Stir dry spices into the onion and garlic mixture, next add a good pinch of salt, chipotle paste, tomato passata, orange juice and a splash of water.
  3. Allow the sauce to simmer on low – about 20 minutes – until thickened. Season with lime and maple syrup, then add shredded tofu and stir well to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed.

REMAINING INGREDIENTS

  1. Combine 3 tbsp of lime juice and 1 tbsp of water in a small bowl.
  2. Slice radishes really thinly, add them to the diluted lime juice and massage with your hands. Allow them to stand for 10-15 minutes, then season with salt, pepper and maple syrup to taste. Chop a handful of coriander and add it in.
  3. Mash avocados on a separate plate, season with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

ASSEMBLY

  1. If you have a gas hob, place each tortilla directly on the hob for a few seconds on each side to warm up and char lightly – be very careful as they will catch on fire if left too long. Alternatively, heat them up in a well seasoned cast iron skillet.
  2. Fill each tortilla with a generous amount of shredded tofu mixture, top with mashed avocado and pickled radishes and top with chopped coriander.

NOTES
*TOFU: I used an already pressed tofu (UK brand Tofoo) for this recipe – I used 300 g / 10.5 oz out of XL block. If you don’t have that kind of tofu at your disposal, use regular extra firm tofu pressed really well. I estimate that you’ll need about 400-500 g / 14-17.5 oz before pressing.

*CHIPOTLE PASTE: I find that the level of heat varies between brands so thread carefully. Start off with a tablespoon and add more if needed.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
214
11%
sugars
3 g
4%
fats
9 g
13%
saturates
1 g
6%
proteins
6 g
12%
carbs
28 g
11%
*per *1 out of 12 tacos (generously filled)
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5.0
1 review, 1 comment
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Fergus:
Hi Anya, just made this tonight. Had to substitute cucumber for the radish as I had not planned anything in particular!
Also, added a yellow bell pepper to the onion and garlic.
Otherwise, another winner!
Keep up the great recipes!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw thanks Fergus, I am super chuffed to hear that! It's been on our menu a lot lately too. Thanks for letting me know that it was a winner for you. Ania
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