Monday, June 21, 2010

Baja Tempeh Tacos (Veganomicon)

A little spicy and a little tangy, these beer-marinated tacos are some of the best I've ever eaten. Since there are several components to the recipe, I would either recommend making these on a lazy weekend day or making the slaw and lime crema the night before. This recipe is featured in Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

Feeds 4-6, depending on the size of your tacos & how many everyone eats.


Taco Slaw:

Finely shredded cabbage (10-12 oz bag or 3 heaping cups)
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 pickled jalapenos, diced finely
1 tsp salt
fresh grated black pepper, to taste

Lime Crema:

3/4 cup plain soy yogurt
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp grapeseed oil or avocado oil
1/3 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp salt

Chile-Beer Marinade:
3/4 cup Mexican beer, pilsner or ale style (I used Modelo Especial)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2-3 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 (8 oz) package tempeh
12-16 white corn tortillas

Plus, whatever you like on your tacos: tomato, avocado/guacamole, radish, jalapeno, etc.


To make the slaw, mix all the ingredients in a large glass or plastic bowl. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and press the wrap down on top of the slaw, then put it in the fridge. Weigh it down with something heavy, and allow it to press for at least an hour.

To make the lime crema, blend all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Add more salt or lime to taste. Pour it into something airtight and let it chill in the fridge for an hour.

To make the marinade, mix all the ingredients together and pour into something flat, like a small casserole dish or pie pan.

To prepare the tempeh, bring around 2 qt of water to a boil. Slice the tempeh lengthwise into 3 pieces, then slice each of those in half. When the water starts boiling, add the tempeh and lower the heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Use tongs to remove the tempeh and place them in the marinade dish for about an hour, flipping them occasionally.

Preheat a grill pan or skillet to medium-high and add enough peanut oil to coat the skillet. Grill or fry each side of the tempeh for about 5 minutes, spooning marinade over the tempeh about 30 seconds before you flip it. Remove the tempeh and slice into thin strips.

Next, heat your tortillas in a skillet over medium for about 30 seconds on each side. I'd recommend using 2 tortillas per taco unless you plan to be skimpy on the toppings. Otherwise they may fall apart.

Now make yourself a taco assembly line. Moskowitz recommends spreading a line of the lime crema down the middle of the taco, then adding the slaw, then the tempeh, then the rest of your toppings, but it's really up to you.

Serve with rice and beans or something Mexican-like.


  1. Holy crap, those look good! Must make Karen make these ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Those look really good! You make Vegan cooking sound easy!

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  4. leave up to isa and terry to come up with a simple marinade that packs a punch. thanks for posting the recipe.