Food

Vegan Chipotle Seitan Tacos

Street food’s revival is in full-swing. Here’s how to bring the delicacies of the taco truck into your kitchen.

Taco trucks are not just for the West Coast anymore. Parked near subway stations in Brooklyn or Queens, you're likely to encounter a friendly neighborhood taco truck dishing out Mexican specialties to the hungry masses. It's so rewarding and fun to borrow the bold, bright flavors of this "faster" food and reinvent them in our home veg kitchens. This hodge-podge soft taco—piled high with luscious beer-marinated seitan, chewy roasted potatoes, and crunchy cabbage—makes fabulous eating for a casual sit-down weeknight dinner or hearty weekend lunch.

These yummy hand-holds can be a little messy, but that just makes licking the drippings off your fingers all the more acceptable. Stand around the kitchen counter with your friends for an authentic, albeit indoor, truck-dining experience.

Perspiring at the thought of hot peppers? Any recipe that calls for chipotle peppers has a sliding scale of heat. For those whose mouths blister at the very thought of spice, simply cut down on the number of peppers used, and still enjoy the savory, smoky flavor of adobo sauce. For those who take their heat extra-hot, pile ‘em on!

Chipotle Seitan & Roasted Potato Tacos
Savory, spicy, and topped with refreshing Lime Yogurt Crema, these tacos definitely satisfy. Be sure to keep an extra napkin at the ready!

Makes 8 large tacos

For the roasted potatoes:
1-1/2 pounds waxy potatoes, skins left on, 1/2-inch diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the marinade:
1 cup light-colored beer, preferably Mexican
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons chipotle adobo sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the seitan:
1 pound seitan, sliced into 1/8-inch strips
1/2 cup peanut oil
8 soft white-corn tortillas

For the toppings:
1 cup pico de gallo salsa
1-1/2 cups cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, sliced

What You Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large baking sheet, spread diced potatoes and toss in oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt and roast for 18 to 20 minutes, flipping potatoes once during roasting. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together beer, garlic, chipotles, adobo sauce, oregano, cumin, lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Add seitan strips, and marinate for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat peanut oil. Add a quarter of the marinated seitan at a time. Fry seitan 3 to 4 minutes per side, flipping once, until brown and crispy. Pile seitan onto large plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Reserve leftover marinade.
  4. To the same skillet, add half of the roasted potatoes and half of the reserved marinade. Fry potatoes, stirring, for about 3 minutes, then place on plate with seitan. Repeat with remaining potatoes and marinade. Carefully wipe down skillet with a paper towel, and place one tortilla in skillet. Heat tortilla about 20 to 30 seconds, until softened. Flip once and heat other side, then repeat with other tortillas.
  5. To assemble the tacos, onto a serving plate, place heated tortilla and arrange equal parts seitan and potatoes down the center. Top with pico de gallo, shredded cabbage, cilantro, onions, and jalapeños. Drizzle with Lime Yogurt Crema, and top with radish slices.

Photo courtesy of Photomato.

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