Lately I’ve been trying to have a meatless dinner or two every week. I love Mexican food, and I’d been wondering how tofu would work in tacos when I saw tofu tacos on a menu on our trip to Kaua’i and decided to give it a try. The taco was pretty good, but the tofu needed some textural and seasoning improvements. Thus began my search for an appealing Mexican tofu recipe. Finally I found a recipe for blackened tofu that sounded like it would fit the bill.
I altered the recipe to suit my preferences and this tasty taco was born! This recipe is quick to make and requires only a few ingredients. The blackening spices on the exterior of the tofu give it tons of flavor, and the cooking method ensures the tofu is nice and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. You may not even realize you’re not eating meat…
Blackened Tofu Tacos
Prep Time: 10 minutes (not including tofu pressing)
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6 tacos (2-3 servings)
10 oz. Extra Firm Tofu, drained and pressed (see our post How to Make Tofu Edible)
1 tbsp. Homemade Taco Seasoning
1/2 tbsp. dried Mexican Oregano
Vegetable or Canola Oil
6 Flour Tortillas (see our recipe for Homemade)
My Recommended Toppings
squeeze Lime Juice
grated Monterey Jack or Farmer’s Cheese
chopped Fresh Cilantro
Hot Sauce (I like Chipotle-flavored)
1. Once you’ve drained and pressed your tofu (see How to Make Tofu Edible), cube it. You want the pieces to be about 1 inch cubes so you should get 24-32 pieces for two servings (12-16 pieces per 5 oz. serving of tofu). You can also leave the tofu in two larger slabs and cut it down after cooking.
2. Combine the taco seasoning and oregano in a small bowl.
Note: Mexican oregano is not the same as your typical oregano – it’s an entirely different species of plant. You should try to find the Mexican variety for this recipe, but you can use the more common Mediterranean variety if you are unable to find Mexican.
3. Press the tofu cubes into the spice mixture making sure each side of the cube is coated. This much tofu should pretty much use up all of your spice mixture. You can always double the mixture if you’re worried you’ll run out. I just hate wasting ingredients so I try use the amount that will not leave excess.
4. Heat a shallow layer of vegetable or canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add your tofu cubes, turning every minute or two until the cubes have been cooked on all sides. The spices should be dark (or “blackened” if you will) and the pieces should be crisp on the outside. You may have to add additional oil as the tofu cooks – I generally do.
5. Once your tofu is done, put it in the tortillas (homemade are the best!) with your favorite taco fillings. I put some of our Avocado Spread (or leftover avocado cream sauce from our Green Citrus Chicken Enchiladas) down the middle of the tortillas then top that with the tofu. Or if I’ve got some of our Roasted Garlic Guacamole leftover I’ll use that and a little Greek yogurt or sour cream. Then I squeeze a little lime juice over the tacos and add freshly-grated Monterey Jack or Farmer’s cheese. Finally, I drizzle the tacos with some chipotle hot sauce for a little extra heat (plus you get an added metabolism boost from the capsaicin!) and sprinkle them with cilantro.
Note: These tacos are already somewhat spicy from the blackening spices on the tofu so go easy with the hot sauce until you’ve had a chance to taste your tacos.
Voilà! You’ve got yourself a scrumptious vegetarian/meatless taco dish, and you won’t even miss the meat. If you just can’t bring yourself to enjoy tofu, you can always use chicken in place of the tofu for meat tacos. When I have this dish, I generally make myself three tacos and find them quite filling. If you only want two tacos or don’t think three will fill you up, you can pair these tacos with our Mexican Roasted Corn Salad or Mexican White Rice Pilaf.