I love tacos. And I’m pretty confident before I die, I will have made them in every possible way. Honestly, I could eat a taco variety every day and never be tired of them. And these tacos are my new favorite. I recently discovered the versatility of oyster mushrooms and decided that they would make an excellent filling choice for my next taco venture.
The word taco comes from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word ‘tlahco,’ which means “half or in the middle,” referring to how it is formed. It is believed that the origin of the taco started in Mexican silver mines in the late 19th century. To mine the silver, Miners added gunpowder to paper which was then folded in half and inserted into rocks before detonation. Taco de minero literally translates into “miner’s tacos.” The tacos then were very different from tacos today. Typically they were made using a soft corn tortilla filled with fish or organ meat. Nowadays, there are dozens and dozens of taco varieties.
I used smoked paprika and an ancho chili powder to get a smoky cauliflower taste without pulling out the smoker. I thought the ancho chili powder would pair well with its daddy, the poblano. Made from dried poblano chilies, ancho chili powder is quite different from regular chili powder, usually, some form of a dried chili cut with cumin, oregano, and paprika. You could also obtain the same smokiness by using chipotle powder, but because it packs some heat, you need to cut the ingredient amount by half.
I have included the recipe for my blue corn tortillas. The only thing that I love more than a taco is a good tortilla. If you’ve never made them before, fear not. They couldn’t be easier to make! Only two ingredients, the key is a good masa flour, and to use only enough water to create a dough. I have a tortilla press because I generally always make my tortillas. But you don’t need a press. You only need something heavy to press them with, like a heavy baking dish. I promise once you start making your own tortillas you’ll never go back to store-bought again.
As always, tag me and let me know how you like them!
In a large mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and a generous pinch of salt. Spread the cauliflower on a lined baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes, or until crispy.
While cauliflower is roasting, warm a large skillet over medium heat and add onion, poblanos, and broth. Sauté until onions and peppers are tender and lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.
Add 1/2 cup salsa verde to mushroom/pepper mix and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove mixture from the heat and add lime juice. Adjust the seasonings as desired.
While mushrooms are cooking, warm a comal or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook each tortilla until lightly browned on each side. (To keep warm, cover cooked tortillas with a clean dishcloth)
To build each taco, add mushroom mixture, and top with roasted cauliflower to a tortilla. Garnish with cilantro, salsa verde, green onions, and vegan cojita.
I have an obsession with tacos, and my love for them is deep. Before I became a vegan, my absolute favorite taco was a simple Carne Asada taco with cilantro and white onion. A traditional Asada is made with flank steak. But alas, with those meat-eating days behind me, I’ve searched long and hard for a reasonable substitute. Enter the mighty portobello mushroom.
Mushrooms work great in this Asada because they love to soak up the flavor of a marinade. And flavor they shall have! My first version of this recipe used a whole chipotle pepper that I minced and added to the marinade. As a girl who likes her food spicy, I have to say the heat overshadows the mushrooms’ delicious umami flavor. So I cut back on the heat and kept it simple. This recipe goes down as one of my all-time favorite taco recipes using fresh cilantro leaves, freshly squeezed orange and lime juice, cumin, and chili powder.
If you don’t like cilantro, no worries, you can use epazote, another aromatic herb with notes of oregano, anise, citrus, and mint. You can find it at most Hispanic grocery stores or, of course, on Amazon! You can use a steak portobello mushrooms or I just used some sliced Cremini mushrooms that I already had. I will make these again when the weather warms up and throw some marinated portobellos on the grill! Enjoy!
Yummy Mushroom Asada tacos! I used a pineapple jalapeño salsa as a topper and it was divine!
16 oz sliced portobello mushroom caps, or cremini mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, or epazote
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Tamari, or liquid aminos
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Whisk cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, aminos, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper in a large bowl or shallow dish to combine.
Add the mushrooms and gently toss until they’re fully coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to an hour. (These can be made up to 24 hours ahead). Give the mushrooms a good toss every 10 to 15 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms and reserve 1 cup of the marinade.
Heat a cast-iron or other large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is heated, add olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, place the mushrooms in an even layer and cook, making sure not to touch them until most of the moisture has cooked out of them, about 10 minutes.
While the mushrooms are sautéing, warm the tortillas on a comal or other small non-stick skillet on the stovetop. Once tortillas are warmed and slightly browned, cover with a paper towel and place on a baking sheet in a low oven, or use the “warm hold” feature on the microwave.
When most of the moisture has evaporated, add 1/2 cup of the marinade and stir. Continue to cook and repeat with remaining marinade, stirring often for another 5 to 10 minutes. The mushrooms should be caramelized and slightly crisped around the edges.
Serve on warm tortillas and top with salsa, cilantro.
I love tacos. I could eat them every day, and in every way you could imagine—cauliflower tacos, jackfruit tacos, portobello tacos, black bean tacos, refried bean tacos…you feelin’ me? But my favorite may be these Raw Walnut Tacos. They are super easy to make and super healthy. They are also great because you probably already have everything you need to make them. If you don’t have walnuts or want to be nut-free, don’t worry. You can also use sunflower seeds. I like to use this taco meat for my Hot Tamale Pie as well!
The cashew queso is also a favorite. It’s a concentrate, so you can take 1/4 cup of the cheese sauce, add 1 cup of water, and voila! Heat it in 30-second increments, and this recipe will make a total of 4 cups of cheese sauce!