Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tempeh "Fish" Tacos with Cherry Salsa

Fish tacos seem to be all the rage. Being that I don't eat meat, I have never experienced a fish taco. I will admit that I always like how fresh the tacos look with vibrant purple cabbage, tomatoes and greens.

I have wanted to attempt to replicate a fish taco. I have tried with tofu, and that wasn't bad, but I wasn't totally sold. I decided to give it another shot and try using tempeh, mostly because I didn't have any tofu pressed and ready to go.

I have seen blog posts over the years for recipes using dulse and kelp powder or flakes as a way to impart more of seafood-ish type of flavoring. Dulse and kelp are types of seaweeds and are known to be rich in nutrients and minerals as well as being flavorful.

So I decided to just play around with some flavors and see what happened. As you'll see in the recipe, I don't have specific measurements. It was mostly done by taste and the liquid amounts were measure visually just making sure I had enough marinade for the tempeh essentially.



Tempeh "Fish" Strips 
Ingredients: 
Bragg's Amino Acids (or low-sodium soy sauce)
Rice wine vinegar
Lime juice and zest from 1 large lime or 2 small limes
2 tsp (approximately) maple syrup (could use honey or agave nectar)
Dulse flakes - to desired flavor
Kelp powder - to desired flavor
1 package tempeh
Directions: 
Mix together all ingredients minus the tempeh using the amount of liquid ingredients necessary to make the amount of marinade you would like. I used more of the Bragg's then enough rice wine vinegar to mellow out the amino acids and to give me enough marinade to cover the tempeh. 
Cut the tempeh into 1/2 inch thick strips. Place in container or plastic baggy and cover with the marinade. Allow to marinate for several hours or overnight.
Heat up a skillet with small amount of olive oil and place the tempeh strips in the pan. Allow them to brown on one side, flip and brown the other side.

While the tempeh was marinating, I made a Cherry Salsa because I had a bag of cherries on hand that were needing to be used up quickly. I love a fruit salsa for the sweet and spicy contrasts. I also thought that sweet and spicy contrast would pair really well with the saltier flavors from the Tempeh "Fish" Strips.

Cherry Salsa 
Ingredients: 
30-40 cherries, pitted and chopped
1/8 red onion, minced
1-2 jalapenos, minced
apple cider vinegar
zest 1 lemon
juice 1 lemon
Salt, cumin, cilantro to taste 
Directions: 
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and allow to refrigerate several hours or overnight so that the flavors can meld.

To serve as tacos, lightly brown corn tortillas in a non-stick skillet. Fill with the Tempeh "Fish"Strips, lettuce or cabbage and top with the Cherry Salsa.

This might have been my best tempeh dish to date. It was full of flavor and not the slightest bit dried out, which can happen with tempeh. In fact, it's on the menu plan again this week.

Are you a fan of fish tacos? What about a fruit salsa?