If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know Mexican food is in my top three favourite cuisines. After slap chips (French fries) - and yes, I consider fried potatoes a cuisine, fight me - and sushi, there's nothing that I love more than a really good taco. Or enchilada. Or nachos...maybe a quesadilla - honestly I'll just take one of each.
Authentic Mexican food is fresh and zinging with flavour, not weighed down by bucket loads of cheese. Which has proved useful since I stopped eating dairy. But tacos don't need cheese anyway. They are probably the easiest Mexican dish to make: fry up a filling of your choice, mix some guacamole, chop tomatoes and onion with lime juice for a fresh salsa and off you go. We have made so many variations of tacos over the years that it's hard to pick my favourite recipe to share, but this one with King Oyster Mushrooms is definitely up there.
Before I share it, here are some things to remember when building your tacos.
* Tacos consist of a tortilla shell (soft or hard), a base filling (beans, tinned jackfruit or mushrooms - we have even used chopped vegan sausages!), guacamole and a crunchy element (fresh salsa or slaw).
* You can mix and match depending on what you have in the fridge, you don't need to follow a recipe to the letter.
* We don't make our own tortillas because life. We buy our hard taco shells from Pick & Pay (look in the Mexican section which is usually next to the Japanese section), or we use soft mini wraps. If you use the hard shells, remember to heat them up for a couple of minutes before filling; this is a game changer!
The King Oyster Mushroom is the vegan version of pulled pork. You pull the raw mushroom apart with a fork until it makes strips before adding smokey seasoning and baking to perfection. The smaller (ie not King) oyster mushrooms do the same thing to an extent, but you need so many packs it starts becoming ridiculous. The only place I've managed to find King Oysters in Cape Town is Sea Point Spar. Don't worry if you can't find them - you can make mushrooms tacos with normal mushies too. Cook them as per the recipe below but don't bake them in the oven at the end.
King Oyster Mushroom Tacos
Ingredients for the mushroom filling (other ingredients are in instructions):
- 300g King Oyster Mushrooms
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 1-2 tsp chilli paste
- 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
- ¼ cup veg stock
- 1 tbsp agave (can omit or use brown sugar)
1. Cut the caps off the mushrooms and shred the stems with a fork before pulling individual strands apart with your hands.
2. Heat up olive oil in a frying pan and add onion. Sauté until translucent then add garlic. Sauté until fragrant and just browning. Add the cumin, smoked paprika and coriander and fry for a minute or so, stirring constantly. Mix in the tomato paste and chilli paste. Add the mushrooms (including the caps) and coat them in the spice mixture. Add soya sauce and stock.
3. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, then add agave/sugar if desired. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and spread them mushrooms piece on a baking paper-lined baking tray. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the edges are turning crispy.
4. While your mushrooms are baking, prepare your guacamole by mashing up an avo and adding salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
5. Make your slaw by combing chopped red cabbage with 2 tsp soya sauce, 1 tsp lime juice, a dash of rice vinegar and vegan mayo if desired OR make a fresh salsa by chopping up fresh tomatoes, half an onion and 1 fresh jalapeno chilli (can omit) and combine with 2 tsp lime juice.
6. Assemble your taco and prepare to get messy!