Posted by Stephanie Simpson on
I have, in my day, eaten my fair share of vegetarian tacos.
Sit-down, takeout and homemade. No-nonsense and creative. Made with endless combinations of black beans, refried beans, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, lime, cilantro, salsa verde, salsa fresca, fruit salsa, who knows what else.
But the tacos I’m sharing with you today, they tick none of those boxes. And they’re the best I’ve ever had.
(I recognize that, in omitting all meat from the competition and not having sampled tacos in their Mexican homeland, I’ve narrowed the playing field considerably, but I’m confident that the tacos I’m about to describe to you can be classified as exceptionally tasty, whether we’re talking beans in a tortilla or food in general.)
I had the now-much-hyped tacos just once, at Red Fish Blue Fish, a fish and chips stall on Victoria’s harbour. And delicious though the place is famed to be, I was (as you no doubt will be) hesitant. Because on paper, this particular offering only gets more unusual as you keep reading: mashed edamame, peas and white beans; million island dressing; sweet smoked chilies in adobo; slaw; pea shoots; lemon-pickled onions.
But, as the existence of this blog post suggests, it was wholly delicious. The kind of delicious that I knew, just a few bites in, would stick in my mind and eventually lead me to a grocery store in search of the raw materials. Which brings us to today.
I know the recipe looks daunting, with its list of sub-recipes and its demands that you stir together mayo, ketchup and pickles (yes, really). But don’t be fooled! The prep is beyond easy (chop, mix, stir), comes together quickly and leads to food-happiness.
Edamame Tacos with Sesame Slaw
Recipe inspired by the edamame tacones from Victoria’s Red Fish Blue Fish
Makes 4 soft tacos (serves 2 hungry people)
THE MAIN RECIPE
Before you tackle this recipe – which essentially just tells you how to assemble your tacos – you’ll need to prepare all of the component parts. The recipes for the component parts (they’re all simple – promise!) are below.
~1/2 cup Thousand island dressing (storebought or homemade; the recipe I used is below)
4 9-inch tortillas
4-6 chipotle peppers packed in adobo, thinly sliced
Prepare your onions, coleslaw and smashed beans according to the recipes below. Ideally, you should make the onions a day before serving (though a few hours will do), the coleslaw about 15-20 minutes before serving, and the beans immediately before serving.
If you’re making the Thousand Island Dressing from scratch, it can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance, though at a minimum you should make it before you prep your coleslaw and your beans.
As you finish mashing your beans, pop your tortillas in a warm oven (setting the broiler to low works well) and heat them just until they’re hot, but not crispy.
Top each tortilla with a few tablespoons of Thousand Island Dressing, ~1/2 cup of the bean mixtures, 4-6 slices of chipotle peppers, a few tablespoons of pickled onion and about 1/2 cup of coleslaw. Wrap them up and eat them while they’re still warm (this is essential – if they cool down, warm them back up in a toasty oven or a microwave for a couple of minutes). Add additional dressing as you see fit (they should be reasonably spicy and saucy!).
RECIPES FOR THE BITS & PIECES
Make these first!
Adapted from Readers Digest
Makes ~1 cup (more than you’ll need – extras go well with falafel!)
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice (about 1.5 lemons)
6 tbsp mirin*
1/4 cup of unseasoned rice vinegar**
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp white sugar
1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mirin, vinegar, salt and sugar. Add the onions and toss to coat them in the juice mixture. Cover and let sit in the fridge, preferably overnight but at least for a few hours, until the onions are soft.
*Or substitute 1/4 cup of white wine and 2 tbsp water
**Or substitute 2tbsp each of cider vinegar and white vinegar
Adapted from the Food Network Kitchen
Makes ~1 1/4 cups (more than you need – extras can be used anywhere you’d use a creamy salad dressing)
3/4 cup prepared or homemade mayonnaise
2 tbsp ketchup
1-2 tbsp hot sauce (like Sriracha)
1.5 tbsp minced onion
2 tsp minced dill pickle
1/2 boiled egg, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt, plus extra to taste
In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Cover and store in the fridge until you need it. It’ll keep for two days, but given that you’ll likely have leftovers, I’d recommend making it no more than 24 hours in advance.
Makes ~2 cups
Heaping 1/2 cup each of: frozen peas, frozen edamame (soy beans), and cooked white beans (like navy, cannellini or kidney)
1-3 tbsp water
Several pinches of salt
Fill a medium-sized pot with about an inch or two of water and a couple pinches of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then toss in your frozen peas. Let simmer for two minutes, then add the frozen edamame and continue simmering for a couple minutes, until the peas and edamame are nearly cooked through. Finally, add in the white beans and let simmer for a minute more, just to heat through.
Turn off the heat, drain the water, then roughly mash the beans in the pot (as you would potatoes) with a tablespoon of water and a couple more pinches of salt. Add the extra tablespoons of water and a few extra pinches of salt, if you’d prefer a slightly smoother and/or saltier bean mixture.
Made it this far? You’ve earned yourself a taco gif!