Korean tacos are what my guy ordered when we went out to eat at our favorite joint last month. I stole a bite and thought they were… meh. I knew I could do better.
Here is how I make mine. First I warm good quality corn tortillas, then layer on a generous smear of edamame-avocado spread, next comes yielding sweet potato, scallions, and morsels of slightly charred seitan in a sweet and spicy Korean bbq sauce. To top it all off, literally, for sparkle and crunch, a hearty dollop of kimchi.
You know that climactic deli scene in When Harry met Sally? Well this Korean Taco is what she was having.
“Mom, at some point do you just stop caring?” asked my, then teenage, daughter as we walked up our hill at a good pace on our way to eat lunch together.
There she strode next to me, dewy skin glowing in the afternoon light with a huge purse that contained everything a girl might need in a fashion emergency. And there I strode next to her, crow’s feet spreading across my cheeks, dewy skin but a memory, a credit card in my back pocket and no purse.
I understood the unspoken spaces between her words. “Yes I comforted her, yes, one day you will not care as much about how you look. One day you will leave the house and halfway to the market realize you haven’t even brushed your hair that day. ”
Man’s desire for the approval of his fellows is so strong, his dread of their censure so violent, that he himself has brought his enemy within his gates; and it keeps watch over him, vigilant always in the interests of its master to crush any half-formed desire to break away from the herd.
-W. Sumerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence
I don’t believe I exhaled once in public in my 20s. I worried when my husband would lovingly brush my hair back to kiss my forehead, sure that my carefully arranged hair was now a mess. I can’t tell you the times that getting ready for a party Hanaan would find me sitting on the floor with discarded outfits strewn like casualties across the battlefield of my confidence.
“I can’t go” I would wail, “I’m too, ___(insert negative adjective).
Stepping into a party was like facing a panel of Eastern European judges.
These days all I need is 15 minutes to get ready for a party: 5 minutes to make coffee, 5 minutes to change my clothes and brush my teeth and 5 to sip my coffee.
I would rather live in an ugly house and look at a beautiful one across the street every day than live in a beautiful house and look at an ugly one.
A festive take on everyday soft tacos. Smokey Bbq seitan, spicy, crunchy kimchi, smooth edamame hummus, and sweet potato spears come together in soft corn tortillas to make the perfect summer meal. Feel free to save time and use your favorite store bought seitan.
- 1 cup cooked edamame peeled
- 1/2- 1 whole ripe avocado
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- juice of one lemon
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- salt to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 1/2 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup julienned or minced ginger root
- 2 tbsp Gochujang, Korean bbq paste
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 cup orange juice, fresh to other
- 2 drops liquid smoke
- vegan kimchi
- 1-2 sweet potatoes cut into spears and steamed
- 2-3 scallion, sliced
- corn tortillas, warmed
Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a blender place tomato paste, tahini, soy sauce, liquid smoke, nutritional yeast and broth. Blend until smooth.
In a large bowl place the vital wheat gluten, smoked paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. Stir to combine.
Pour in the liquid from the blender to the dry ingredients and stir until a loose dough forms. It will seem terribly mushy, fear not.
Roll up your sleeves and knead the dough with your hands for 3-4minutes to activate the gluten.
Form the dough into a ball and press and shape the dough into a rectangle about 8"x"6 and 1 1/2 inches tall.
Lightly grease a baking pan and place the rolled out seitan rectangle in it. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes and remove from oven.
Once cool enough to touch cup it into the sized chunks you wish for your tacos.
Place all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Place all of your sauce ingredients into a sauce pan and simmer on low, stirring occasionally. At some point in the next 20-30 minute you will see that the frenetic little bubbles have turned to slow and lazy bubbles. You are close. Once the sauce coats the back of a spoon turn off the heat.
Turn the broiler (oven grill) to high.
Place your cut up seitan into an oven safe pan. Pour the bbq sauce over and the seitan and stir to coat. Place your pan of seitan under the grill on the top rack of your oven and broil on high until the seitan has gone all caramelized and a bit charred around the edges.
Now you assemble your tacos, a smear of edamame hummus, some seitan, a few spears of sweet potato, a sprinkle of scallions and a dollop of kimchi.