Rewind a couple of weeks and Charlie and I are stood on the side of a road in Mexico City, feasting away on vegan tacos, as the city bustled around us in all of its crazy, colourful glory. The most incredible thing we ate on our trip were these tacos from a little vegan street food vendor, where our entire meal cost about £3 between the two of us. It wasn’t fancy in any way, but the food was out of this world! We’ve been dreaming about those tacos ever since and have been longing to eat them again.
So as promised, to you, and ourselves, we’ve created a taco recipe inspired by this trip. We tried many different tacos from across the country in three different regions of Mexico, and none of them was anything like the tacos we’d eaten before. Who knew that tacos could be so diverse?! The ones we tried in Oaxaca in the south of Mexico came with a crispy tortilla that was rolled up like a cigar. The ones we had in Mexico City were completely different, using soft tortillas which were loaded up like little pizzas, then folded to be able to fit in your mouth in one big bite! These are the type of tacos we loved the most and the ones we’ve recreated for this recipe.
One taco filling that seemed to be on every menu, vegan or not, was the Al Pastor. This is traditionally made with pork, pineapple and a variety of dried chillis such as ancho chillis. We’ve swapped out the pork in this recipe for Vivera Veggie Kebab, but you could also use some chicken-style strips. If you’re not into meat substitutes then some tofu or large meaty like mushrooms would also be delicious! We’ve also simplified the recipe for the marinade using only fresh chilli and chilli powder as these ingredients you can all find very easily in your local supermarket. If you do have some dried chillis feel free to experiment with these for a more authentic ancho chilli flavour.
These tacos are filled with delicious Mexican flavours. You’ve got acidity from the lime, salt and spice from the salsa and veggie meat, sweetness from the pineapple and a cooling creaminess from the avocado. When all these little components are added together, you’ll have an explosion of flavours that’ll transport you to a Mexican fiesta! We think these would be perfect as a quick lunch at home (they only take 30 minutes to make!) or as part of a Mexican feast to be shared with friends. You can either make each individual taco up in advance or have people assemble their own at the table as part of a relaxed sharing style dinner.
In an ideal world, we think all tacos should be made with real corn tortillas. However, life ain’t always ideal! From our experience, we’ve found it pretty hard to find corn tortillas in most UK supermarkets. Most of the ‘tortillas’ for sale are wraps made from wheat flour, which are completely different from the traditional corn ones eaten in Mexico. For this recipe, we made our own using corn flour and mixing it with water. We then made the dough into little balls, then squished them into round flat tortillas using our DIY tortilla press (two wooden chopping boards). If you don’t have the time to make your own, we have found real corn tortillas in the Wahaca tortilla kits that can be found in the Mexican food section, usually in the World Food aisle, from your local supermarket. We don’t tend to use these that often though as they’re a little pricy and already come with a pre-made salsa and marinade; we’d rather make our own!
If you love bold Mexican flavours, then this is the recipe for you! However, we have toned down the heat in this recipe as not everyone loves it as much as we do! If you are a fan of chilli, go wild and add in a few more teaspoons of chilli powder! These tacos really did take us back to the streets of Mexico City, so we hope you feel a little bit of Mexico with you too when you tuck into our new favourite dish!
If you like the sound of these Vegan ‘Al Pastor’ Style Tacos, you might like our other posts: Vegan Travel Guide: Mexico City or Vegan Breakfast Quesadillas.
Vegan ‘Al Pastor’ Style Tacos
- 1 box Vivera veggie shawarma kebab, you could use any other meat replacement or tofu
- juice of a lime
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 fresh chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, we use rice bran oil
- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 large red tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 1/4 white onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 a fresh chilli with seeds, roughly chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 small handful of coriander with stalks
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp water
- 1/2 pineapple, cut into small cubes
- bunch of coriander
- 1/4 white onion, diced
- 4 radishes, sliced into discs
- 8 small corn tortillas
- Place the ingredients for the marinade (lime, garlic, fresh chilli, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, brown sugar, cumin, oregano, chilli powder, cinnamon & salt) into a bowl and stir well. Add in the veggie shawarma kebab and stir, making sure the marinade has covered everything, then set to one side.
- Now make the salsa. Add to a blender the tomatoes, white onion, chilli, garlic, vegetable oil, salt, coriander and water then blend until everything is smooth. This may take a few minutes depending on the power of your blender. Heat a little bit of oil in a pan on a medium heat, then add the salsa from the blender and cook on a low heat for about 15 minutes.
- Now make the avocado sauce. You’ll need to wash your blender out as we’ll be using it for this next step. Add the avocado, lime juice, salt and water to the blender and blend until smooth. Then set aside.
- Using a griddle pan, cook the pineapple cubes for a few minutes on each side. After about 5 minutes you should see charred lines on the pineapple which means they are done. Set to one side. Your salsa should also be done now.
- Heat a frying pan on a medium heat with a little oil, then once it’s hot, add in the veggie shawarma kebab that has been marinading, along with all the juice remaining in the bowl. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. All the components for the tacos should now ready, all you need to do is assemble them together and enjoy.
If you gave this a go, we’d love to know how you got on! Write a comment, like, or share this recipe with your friends.