Before I lived in the States I only ever really thought of tacos as the hard, crunchy shells you buy from the supermarket and fill with chilli and cheese. I was utterly oblivious to the world of deliciousness which ‘proper’ tacos provide, there are so many possibilities. I think even when we travelled in Mexico I missed out by virtue of being a vegetarian.
Mr Colonial Cravings still lets out a wistful sigh upon recalling one particularly good taco al pastor purchased from a food truck in Austin TX (henceforth known as ‘the best taco ever’).
I’ll be the first to admit that these ones aren’t particularly conventional but that doesn’t make them any less tasty, and anyway, why should the meat eaters have all the fun!
serves 3-4 (depending on greed)
1/4 red onion
200g red cabbage
1 medium carrot
small bunch of fresh coriander
1 large ripe avocado
salt and pepper to taste
200g extra firm tofu (pressed for at least 20 mins and patted dry)
2 tbsp cornflour
pinch each of salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp chipotle powder
oil for frying
flour tortillas (if you’re making this for vegans make sure these aren’t made with lard)
Slice the onion, as thinly as you can, and macerate it in the lime juice. Set this aside until later. Grate the carrot and shred the cabbage. Roughly chop the coriander and toss it together with the carrot and cabbage. Add the onion and lime juice. Blend the avocado flesh with the salt and pepper until it is really smooth and creamy and then use this as the dressing for the coleslaw.
Mix together the cornflour and spices in a shallow dish. Slice the tofu into bite sized cubes and toss it in the spiced cornflour blend. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a large frying pan and carefully place the dusted tofu into it. Let the tofu sit for a few moments to become crispy and golden before turning it. Keep turning the tofu until it is nice and golden on all sides.
Warm the tortillas, either in a dry pan or just by microwaving them, and then pile them up with the coleslaw and top them with the spicy, crispy tofu.