Gluten-Free, Vegan Korean BBQ-Inspired Tofu Tacos

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Alright guys, remember a few #TacoTuesdays ago when we whipped up some last-minute, pantry-ingredient Korean BBQ-inspired tofu tacos, well in typical fashion I didn’t write down what I was doing, just keep adding ingredients and sampling until dinner was ready.

Well we tried our best to recreate the original recipe and I think we got pretty dang close, so without further adieu—get ready to enjoy some Korean-flavored tofu strips and crisp, fresh veggies cuddled between warm corn tortillas…and SAUCE!

Korean food has been one of our faves since 2014. We’d had Americanized-Korean food experiences long before that, but they were just that Americanized.

When my family moved to D.C. we found ourselves surrounded by authentic culinary options. Many restaurants family-owned and located in small, unique spaces around the city. The best part? The food was cooked by people of the ethnicity of the cooking. Many recipes (especially sauces) passed down as part of their cultural upbringing. SOOO GOOD!

On one night in the district we found ourselves climbing up a crooked, narrow stairway to an cozy upstairs’ space decorated with ornate wood carvings, dim lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and a menu with more items we were no where close to pronouncing than not.

Our taste buds were singing “Hallelujah!” and our palettes were changed forever, for the better!

Now I gonna say this straight up—this is NOT authentic Korean in anyway, but because of our love for Korean food we always have several Asian/Korean sauces and ingredients in our pantry. If one of these items is not present in our pantry at any given time, check on us as our house may be in rubble!

  • Soy Sauce/Tamari
  • Sesame Oil
  • Gochujang/Korean Chili Paste/Hot Pepper Paste
  • Spicy Chili Crisp
  • White Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Sesame and Ginger Marinade
  • Shaohsing Rice Cooking Wine
  • Chinkiang Black Vinegar
  • Bulgogi
  • White Pepper
  • Ginger Root
  • Sesame Seeds

Yes, these ingredients are of Asian-ethnicity, but they can be used in such a wide range of cooking! We go through ginger root and spicy chili crisp like it’s our job!

One lesson we have learned in our Asian cooking experiences is that each dish contains at least 20 ingredients. Every addition builds on the base to create the complex flavors that makes this food the best!!!

For example: If you feel compelled to do so, feel free to make your own Asian salad. We tend to pick up a pre-chopped bag from the store otherwise we find ourselves with a fridge-full of half used vegetables. A good Asian salad bag is filled with savoy and green cabbage, carrots, celery, and cilantro.

These are quickly becoming a weekly staple so check back soon in case we’ve made some new additions!

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GLUTEN-FREE, VEGAN KOREAN BBQ-INSPIRED TOFU TACOS

Ingredients

For Marinated Tofu:

  • 14 oz extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into strips
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2-3 tbsp gochujang (1), to taste
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp black vinegar

For Sriracha Mayo Sauce (2):

  • 3/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp garlic mince
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, optional but recommended

For Asian Salad:

  • 1 (10.5 oz) bag of Asian chopped salad (disregard the dressing and toppings, you’ll use just the chopped veggies)

For Tacos + Toppings:

  • 6-8 corn tortillas
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup radishes, sliced
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Lime, sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the sesame oil, maple syrup, and gochujang in a small bowl.
  3. Gently toss the marinade with the tofu until each strip is well-coated.
  4. Arrange strips evenly on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes until the strips turn golden brown and begin crisping.
  6. While tofu is baking, whisk all sauce ingredients in a small bowl until well combined and smooth. Adjust flavors to taste.
  7. To assemble, warm the tortillas in a pan over medium heat for 20 seconds each side or in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
  8. Evenly distribute Sriracha mayo sauce between tortillas, leaving extra for topping. Then layer with tofu, asian salad, and additional toppings to preference.
  9. Chow down!

Notes:

  1. Gochujang is also known as Korean Chili Paste.
  2. For spicer sauce, add more Sriracha. For sweeter sauce, add up to 2 tbsp maple syrup.