Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine
LET’S TACO BOUT IT
Vegan bites to make your Taco Tuesday (and every other day of the week).
Makes 16 tacos
For the Quick-Pickled Cucumbers:
3 Persian cucumbers, sliced
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
For the Scallion Tortillas:
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1 ½ cups all-purpose four
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup sesame oil
For the Crispy Hoisin Tofu:
1 (16-ounce) block extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients for the pickled cucumbers. Let sit in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the meal.
For the scallion tortillas, arrange the chopped scallions on a clean dish towel or paper towel to absorb some of the moisture. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together the flour and boiling water until a shaggy mixture forms. Once cool enough to touch, transfer mixture to a floured work surface and knead for 4 minutes. Form into a ball, wrap loosely in plastic wrap, and let sit for 30 minutes.
Back to your floured surface, unwrap and roll dough into a log 20 inches long. Cut the log into 16 equal pieces (about 1 and 1/4 inch each). Starting with one piece, cut side up, roll it, or press using your palms, into a disk 3 inches in diameter. Add 1 teaspoon of the chopped scallions on top, then fold the sides of the disk into the middle, securing the scallions inside. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a 5-inch tortilla. Add more flour to the surface and rolling pin if necessary to prevent sticking. Dust off any excess flour on the tortilla then oil each side with about 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and set aside.
Repeat again with the next piece. This time, once you have your 5-inch tortilla, oil one side and place it oil side up on top of the last tortilla. Repeat with the rest, oiling one side and stacking as you go.
Once you have all of your tortillas, heat two teaspoons of sesame oil on a skillet (preferably a cast-iron) over mediumhigh heat. Using a paper towel, spread the oil around in the skillet. Fry each tortilla for about 45 seconds on each side, until both sides have golden brown spots. Oil and wipe the skillet as you go.
For the crispy tofu, remove excess liquid from tofu by slicing the tofu block into equal pieces. Next, position the slices in the middle of a clean dish towel (or paper towels), fold the towel over the tofu and press down on the tofu until the towel absorbs a good amount of liquid. Move the slices to a dry part of the towel, fold over and press again. If using paper towels, toss the towels once they are soaked and repeat a couple more times using fresh paper towels, until towels no longer get soaked.
Add the tofu to a bowl. Crumble into small pieces, add the cornstarch, and toss to coat.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the crumbled tofu and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Turn the heat off and mix in the hoisin sauce.
Assemble the tacos with the tofu and top with the quick-pickled cucumbers! *