Once upon a time or....last summer.....my sister and I were in the kitchen talking about fish tacos. She loves them. Her husband loves them. MY husband, her brother, loves them. I, a veg for well over a decade, had never had them. While the idea of stuffing some protein packed fish-y veg option in a corn tortilla with cabbage and a tangy sauce was super appealing, I wasn't entirely sold on fish-y seasoning, bread-crumbing, and frying tofu as a stand-in. In my head these were fresh, whole ingredient-laden beauties. What better veg protein than the most complete one? Beans and rice!
We agreed that Jasmine rice and lightly seasoned black beans would be perfect. We topped them with fresh, shredded green cabbage and my homemade spicy sauce and served on warmed corn tortillas. She thought they could use something extra, a little sharp cheese. If you're a fan of a particular vegan cheese feel free to add some, but I wouldn't. I love them just as they are. Loved them all last summer. Loved them plenty of times this summer. Devoured a couple of them just now. Love.
Some people might be wondering if any old rice will do. If any old beans will suffice, if lettuce makes a fine substitute for the cabbage. My reply to those people? I have no idea. I have never tried them any other way than exactly like this, and if I don't have one of the ingredients I happily wait until I do to make them. My sister's husband is a fan. My husband is smitten. I have friends who have made them a staple in their kitchen as well. These babies are where it's at!
I cannot supply a recipe; I have never measured anything while making them or the spicy sauce that accompanies them. It's like any other taco, you have ingredients, you pile as much as you like of each into the tortillas. The sauce is something I've developed over time. It's modeled after those spicy sauces you get in sushi restaurants reserved for their star rolls. I basically just went with what I tasted and add each ingredient to taste.
Our Favorite Vegan Tacos
You will need (for tacos):
jasmine rice, cooked
1 medium sweet onion
1 can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp olive oil
garlic powder (I'm lazy. You can use a couple cloves of garlic, minced)
green cabbage, cut in thin strips or shredded (or chopped, whatever you prefer!)
You will also need (for spicy sauce):
Veganaise (I use the Original, blue labeled variety but your favorite Veg Mayo stand-in will do)
Sriracha (rooster sauce!)
Toasted Sesame Oil (yes, it has to be toasted)
Agave nectar (I''m partial to the light variety, but I'm sure any will work fine, even using vegan sugar is likely a great sub if you don't have/don't like agave)
For the tacos:
Heat oil over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add onions and a couple pinches of sea salt and saute until soft and translucent. Add garlic and saute until starting to brown. Toss in the beans and season to taste with cumin and oregano (I put a few shakes of garlic, a few of cumin, and a few of oregano. I don't want those flavors to be prominent, but have found that adding them to the beans makes the beans taste amazing). Heat thru and take off heat and cover.
Spray skillet with oil on med heat. Heat small corn tortillas on each side until just starting to barely get brown spots, flip and repeat. Remove and put on plate, covered until all tortillas are ready.
Place tortilla on plate. Top with small amount of rice, then beans, then cabbage, then squirt with sauce.
For Spicy Sauce:
I make a bowl full and keep it in a squeeze bottle for future tacos, sushi, stir fries, whatever I want to put it on. This stuff is GOOD.
Place a few large tablespoons of Veganaise into a bowl. Add Sriracha and mix until desired spiciness. I rarely taste it but have come to know the shade of orange I'm going for. I like it pretty spicy so a nice bright orange is where I'm aiming. Add a tsp or so of toasted sesame oil. I taste it here as not all toasted sesame oils are created equal and I don't want it's flavor to be overwhelming. Add a small amount of agave. Stir and taste and adjust ingredients to suit your tastes.
Sorry this is not a formal recipe. They really do come together so easily and are totally addictive! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments. I'll answer them as best I can! Hope you and yours love them as much as we do!