What? Another taco recipe? Yea, I know. I post a lot of taco recipes. I get it, but hear me out.
We went up to the north shore of Lake Superior again this summer and I had some of the most amazing tempeh tacos. I was sure I could replicate them with some of my own twists, and OH BOY. Are these ever good. And stupid easy to prepare. They’re great for those nights when you’re just hungry and don’t want to make a big production out of dinner.
The secret really is in the sauce when it comes to making these tacos. You can use regular BBQ sauce if that’s all you have. They’ll still be good. But if you have a little Korean gochujang paste to add to it, these tacos will be even better. There’s just something about that stuff that makes recipes sing. And… if you have the luxury of a little time to plan your recipes in advance, order some of that sauce above. It’s the perfect balance of flavors with zero fuss. I happened to find it in one of the little markets here in Red Wing and couldn’t resist the cute label. But OH that flavor. Amazing.
Okay, ready? Here’s how I made them. Feel free to substitute if you don’t have exact ingredients. Regular slaw will work if you don’t feel like grating carrots. Pumpkin seeds or chopped walnuts (or even peanuts or cashews) will stand in well for pistachios.
for approximately 8 to 10 tacos:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 oz. tempeh, cut into little strips or cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
Korean or regular BBQ sauce
kimchi and/or pickled red onion
cabbage and/or carrot slaw (recipe below)
roughly chopped radicchio and arugula (or whatever greens you have)
roasted, lightly salted, shelled pistachios (or whatever nuts you like)
taco size corn or flour tortillas, lightly toasted
Sriracha or whatever hot sauce you like
Heat oil in a large skillet. Chop the tempeh into little 1/2 inch cubes. Fry them up in the oil until lightly golden on all sides. Add minced garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Add enough Korean BBQ sauce to coat well. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
Toast tortillas (I do this over a low flame on my gas stovetop.) Fill tacos with the BBQ tempeh and the rest of the ingredients.
for the slaw:
2 cups shredded cabbage and/or carrots
2 teaspoons oilve oil + 1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or agave syrup
1 to 2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
Toss all in a medium bowl and use as a taco topping.