Crispy Sesame Crusted Tofu Tacos
Not only has the sun finallllllly decided to get its blooming hat on, but it does so on arguably the greatest of all of the mid-week nights, and Behold! It’s a sunny Taco Tuesday! And long may it continue.
Since it is National Vegetarian Week, I thought I would share this vegan version that is loaded with a rainbow of brightly coloured vegetables and is just packed with flavour, as well as a ton of nutritious ingredients. It is a great meal for entertaining, as people can just help themselves if you lay out a big platter of fillings. I find it takes the stress out of cooking for a group, and makes it more fun for everyone.
I used crispy baked tofu in these, but marinated fish, chicken and prawns are also on a constant rotation in our house. I also love how this meal can be easily switched up from lunch to dinner – I either make it using raw, chopped veggies for a quicker cold lunch version, or else I sauté some vegetables and use hot protein for dinner instead.
Once you add your preferred good-quality protein of choice, the meal becomes wonderfully balanced - with a ton of fibre and antioxidants from the vegetables, as well as blood sugar stabilizing complex carbs from the wholewheat seeded tortillas.
The recipe for the crispy baked tofu is also very versatile and so very delicious. I either use it in a lunchtime salad; a dinnertime stir-fry loaded with veggies and noodles, or I even enjoy it cold as a snack to seriously up my protein game. Organic tofu is a great source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. But if it doesn’t float your boat, then this marinade also works brilliantly with chicken or salmon too.
Making the marinade is as easy as mixing a few ingredients together in a bowl. Preparing the tofu block however, takes a little bit more love and patience, but it’s not exactly difficult — all you need is some kitchen roll and some heavy books to help squeeze out some of the moisture.
P.S. I like to make a double or triple batch of the marinade, as it is a good one to have stock piled in the fridge for when I am short on time.
For the Tofu Marinade
· 1 tbsp Fresh Grated Ginger (or ground)
· 1 tbsp Fresh Grated Turmeric (or ground)
· 1 Garlic Clove — minced
· 4 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
· 1 tbsp Miso Paste
· 1 Lemon — Juice and Zest
· 1 tbsp Tamari (or Soy Sauce)
· 1 tbsp Japanese Rice Vinegar or Mirin
· 1 tsp Chilli flakes (or fresh chopped red chilli)
· Fresh Ground Black Pepper
· Sesame Seeds to coat the tofu
For the Salsa
· 200g Cherry Tomatoes
· 75g Sundried Tomatoes
· Handful of Coriander (or Basil if like me, you are a coriander-phobe)
· 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
· 1 tsp Fresh Chilli or dried Chilli Flakes (I like Chipotle chilli to add to the smokey taste)
· ¼ of a raw Red Onion
· Salt & Fresh Pepper to taste
For the Tacos
· 1 Packet of Firm Tofu
· Veggies of your choice – (I recommend chopped red cabbage, baby gem lettuce, avocado, jalapeños, cucumber, corn and spring onions.)
· Fresh Herbs of your choice
· Wholegrain tortillas
· Sour Cream if not vegan
· Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
· For the marinade, place all of the ingredients (apart from the tofu itself) into a high-speed blender and blitz, or simply whisk together in a bowl and set aside.
· Drain the tofu and remove it from its packet.
· Place the tofu between two thick tea-towels or several layers of kitchen paper, and then put something heavy on top like a coffee table book or a frying pan.
· Let them soak up the moisture for about 20 minutes, changing your towels/kitchen paper around 3 times when they get too wet.
· The drier the tofu, the more the marinade will be absorbed.
· Once dry, chop into roughly 2cm cubes and put in a container and smother with the marinade, making sure each piece of tofu is well covered.
· Sprinkle some sesame seeds into a shallow bowl and dip each tofu cube into the seeds, making sure they are all fully coated.
· Line a roasting tray with parchment paper and carefully place the seeded tofu in a single layer on the paper.
· Cook in the oven until golden and crispy, for around 30 minutes or so.
· While the tofu is cooking, wash and chop all of the vegetables.
· Simply put all of the salsa ingredients in a high-speed blender and blitz to desired consistency.
· When the tofu is crispy – it’s time to assemble the tacos and enjoy!
TOP TIP! I like to prepare my tofu the day before and keep it in the fridge to really let the marinade do it’s thiiiing, and then you also have the added bonus of hardly having to prepare anything the next day for dinner.