Let's be real. Tacos are good at any time, but if you are looking for something a little different next Taco Tuesday or for Cinco de Mayo, give these Baja Style Tempeh Tacos a try!
The tempeh here is coated in a seasoned cornmeal crust that gets crispy without deep frying. It's like having fish tacos without the fish.
What's in Baja Style Tempeh Tacos?
Most of the ingredients for these tempeh tacos are pretty common. You probably have most of them on hand. But I'll go through each ingredient and explain the more unusual ones further.
- chickpea tempeh (I used our Sun Rise variety here but our Sesame Delightful or soy tempeh would also work well)
- fine cornmeal
- almonds (my Ninja smoothie cup was able to handle whole almonds, but use sliced or slivered if you want)
- sweet paprika
- kelp granules (I use these from Maine Coast Sea Vegetables.) If you aren't a fan of seaweed, you can leave this out. It just gives the tempeh a hint of sea flavor.
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- dill weed
- black pepper
- plain, unsweetened soy milk (you can use any unsweetened plant milk that doesn't have any strong flavors)
- olive oil (spraying with olive oil will get the tempeh nice and crispy but you can leave out if you avoid oil)
- guacamole (or use sliced avocado)
- pico de gallo
- red cabbage (or white but red is prettier)
- cilantro (haters, skip it)
- flour tortillas (you can also use whole grain tortillas or corn tortillas to make gluten-free)
How do you make this recipe?
One thing I like about this recipe is that you don't need to marinate the tempeh. If you're using fresh tempeh like our Sun Rise, no additional prep is needed. If you're using a mass-produced pasteurized soy tempeh, you may want to steam or boil it first if you don't like the slight bitterness it can have.
You simply blend the dry ingredients together in a blender, then add to a wide, shallow dish. Add the soy milk to another wide shallow dish. Cut tempeh into 1/2" sticks, after additional prep mentioned above, if needed. Dip the tempeh in the soy milk, roll in the dry mixture, then lay out on a baking sheet covered with parchment or a silicon mat. Bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes on each side until crispy and lightly browned.
Now, prepare your tacos. Add a stick of tempeh to a warmed tortilla and top with guacamole, pico de gallo, cabbage, and cilantro. Then squeeze a little lime on top. *chef's kiss*
- 1 lb. chickpea tempeh
- 2⁄3 cup fine cornmeal
- 2⁄3 cup almonds
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoons kelp granules (optional, but gives that hint of the sea)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dill weed
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2⁄3 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
- Olive oil, optional
- 1 cup guacamole
- 1 1/2 cups pico de gallo
- 1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 lime cut into wedges for squeezing
- 12 flour tortillas
- Preheat the oven to 400º. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
- Combine the cornmeal , almonds, paprika, kelp, salt, onion and garlic powder in a blender, and blend on high until most of the almonds have been turned into a coarse meal, with a few larger pieces of almond remaining. Pour the mixture into a wide baking dish or pie plate.
- Place the plain soy milk into a bowl and set next to the cornmeal mixture.With a sharp knife, cut the tempeh into approximately 1/2” square sticks.
- Working with one piece at a time, dip the tempeh into the soy milk, then toss in the cornmeal mixture to coat evenly. Place on the prepared baking sheet. When all the tempeh sticks are on the baking sheet, sprinkle them with olive oil, if using.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the tempeh sticks over and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until crispy.
- Serve in warmed tortillas with guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded red cabbage, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.