Pickled red onions on a taco?! Oh bay-bee! The favor combination of the vinegar-y onions, creamy guacamole and the spicy, smoky sauce on the tofu is other-worldly good. Like something I’ve never tasted or even imagined. You may think you don’t like tofu, but after trying these tacos, you’ll be running to the store for more! We came across this combo in a Denver restaurant called Fuel Cafe–a tricky place to find in an industrial part of the RINO district–click through the images on their page to get a feel for the place. Well worth the journey for tacos like these.
To get started, you’ll need to pickle a red onion. It’ll need time to chill and be ready for your tacos. You can make the pickled onion ahead of time.
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced.
Slice the onions as thin as you can.
Blanch the onions in boiling water for about 10-20 seconds. You don’t want to blanch the color out–if you see it starting to fade it’s time to drain them!
Drain completely in a colander and return to the now empty but still warm blanching pot.
Add the vinegar, sugar and salt along with enough water to just cover the onions. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute.
Place onions and vinegar into a jar and chill. The onions will turn a beautiful fresh hot-pink color! So pretty!
Now that your onions are chilling, prepare the sauce–it’s essentially the same as for sofritas. The sauce can be made ahead of time. You’ll need:
- 1/4 cup chipotles in adobo sauce
- 2 poblanos, roasted, peeled and seeded
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chili blend–like a fajita mix or a chili powder of your choice
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- a splash of lime juice
- 1/4 cup broth–I use No Chicken broth
- 1-2 TBSP tomato paste
- NOTE-ignore the tofu, I recycled the pic from the sofritas post! 🙂
Roast your poblanos, either in a 400F oven or on your grill. I chose my outdoor grill–it was a beautiful day! Roast, turning until blistered on all sides.
Place the peppers in a plastic bag and seal to steam. This will help the skins slip right off.
When the peppers have cooled enough for you to handle them, peel by rubbing them gently with your fingers.
Then remove the seeds and stem.
Place the cleaned poblanos in your blender.
Then add the chipotles, cumin, chili blend, salt, garlic powder, oregano, lime juice and broth.
Blend until smooth, transfer to a bowl and stir in the tomato paste. Set aside.
Now for the tacos! You’ll need:
- pickled red onions (see recipe above)
- prepared sauce (see recipe above)
- 1 (14 0z) package extra firm tofu–always choose organic tofu to avoid GMOs
- prepared guacamole–buy it or make it yourself. Mine is simple–avocado, garlic powder, salt, lime juice, and cilantro.
- corn tortillas
- chopped lettuce
- chopped cilantro
- lime wedges
Drain and then press the tofu by placing it on a clean kitchen towel.
Wrap the towel around the tofu and place something on top to help press out most of the remaining liquid.
Let the tofu sit for at least 15 minutes (up to 30 minutes) and then cut into cubes, by cutting through the side and then cutting long sticks. Finally cut the sticks into cubes. The cubes will be about 1/2 inch on a side.
Spray a fry pan with oil and place over medium high heat. Add tofu cubes and fry, stirring occasionally to brown on all sides–or as many as you can get. Don’t worry about getting every cube perfectly browned. 🙂
Reduce heat to low and add enough sauce to coat the tofu–about half of the sauce.
Stir to coat. Now it’s time to put the tacos together!
Warm the tortillas inside a kitchen towel in a microwave or however you like to warm them. Place a bit of lettuce, then tofu cubes, then a bit of guacamole, then pickled onions and finally a sprinkle of cilantro. Look at them! Like art!
Squeeze a lime over the top, pick one up and have your first wondrous bite. Oh my.
Both the sauce and the onions can be made ahead to speed up the tacos when you’re ready to make them. Is this my new favorite way to eat tofu? Yessssssss! Mmmmmmmmmm-yummy!