Smoky tempeh and spicy kimchi are a craveable combination and make awesome tacos! Top these kimchi tacos with avocado cubes and a quick homemade Gochujang aioli, and you have a healthy and irresistible Vegan Taco Tuesday dinner that the whole family will love!
Major tip for anyone trying to help their family move towards a more plant-focused diet: Everyone loves tacos! 😀
Tacos are a universal food: everything tastes great on a taco shell. And today’s Asian-leaning ingredients are no exception. In fact, they’re a great example of just how flexible the taco delivery system can be.
Are you a fan of kimchi? In theory, I love kimchi. In practice, I take a few bites aaaaannnd I’m done. But kimchi in stuff: now that I can get behind. A stir fry with a big helping of kimchi tossed in at the end? Noms. Kimchi in vegetable soup? Hells yeah.
And now, kimchi tacos.
On a whim, I pan-fried up some smoky tempeh that was about to go sideways in my fridge, and added that to my kimchi taco taste-testing. Happiness ensued.
You know about smoky tempeh, right? It’s tempeh that’s been marinated in seasonings meant to resemble bacon. I personally don’t think it tastes anything like bacon, lol, but the smoky flavorings are a nice touch, and combine really, really well with kimchi.
Keep it simple and top your kimchi and smoky tempeh tacos with some avocado and green onions. So easy, extra so-delish.
And don’t forget the gochujang aioli. I don’t know if this is something you can even buy prepared, but it’s so easy and economical to whip at home, it’s not even worth tracking it down. I’m super picky about spicy things — not a fan of cayenne pepper, for example, but I do like serrano chilis — and gochujang paste is something I always keep in the fridge. I use gochujang paste wherever I might otherwise add sriracha.
You don’t need any special equipment to make a batch of gochujang aioli: a bowl and a whisk will do just fine.
And, with these Kimchi Tacos, I’m happy to introduce my new series: Vegan Taco Tuesdays! On the occasional Tuesday — probably not every Tuesday, but whenever I have something really rockin’ to share — I’ll publish a new recipe featuring vegan tacos. I’ve been testing taco recipes all winter long, and I’ve got some seriously tasty taco recipes on tap. Stay tuned!
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo or homemade cashew cream
- 2 tablespoons Gochujang sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard (watch out for wine, which might not be vegan)
- 6 ounces smoky tempeh (sometimes called "fakin bacon") sliced into strips 1/4" thick by 2" long.
- 1 cup Kimchi well-drained*
- 1 avocado peeled and cubed
- 6 corn tortillas warmed**
- green onions sliced for garnish
- cilantro minced, for garnish
Whisk together the aioli ingredients until completely combined. Set aside.
Heat the smoky tempeh according to package directions (usually: pan fry over medium heat until slightly crispy).
Divide the tempeh strips among the warmed tortillas.
Spoon kimchi over the tempeh.
Top with avocado and green onions.
Drizzle the aioli on top - it's spicy so use more or less according to your preferences.
Garnish with cilantro, and serve
* drain the kimchi in a wide mesh sieve over a bowl, then return the drained juice to the jar to keep the remaining kimchi covered with liquids.
** follow the package directions to warm the tortillas. Or, stack them on a microwaveable plate separated by damp paper towels, and heat on high for 20 seconds, and wrap in foil to hold.