It’s confession time.
I have this slight, shall we say, addiction. To beer-battered fish tacos topped with spicy, creamy chipotle aïoli and crunchy red cabbage slaw. This enslavement rears its ugly head at the most inopportune of times, often settling for a chain Tex-Mex joint down the street, where, I don’t care what you say, they make some damn good fish tacos. The waiters know us, and I’m just really bordering on that creepy customer.
But O and I eat mostly vegan at home, save a couple anchovies or crumbles of goat cheese here and there. So what’s a girl to do?
Veganize it! This dish might just be the answer to all my problems (the solution even to that hideous shade of baby blue on the walls in the bathroom that I just can’t motivate myself to change)–the batter is crisp and flavorful, a bit heady from the hoppy, spiced batter. The slaw is simple but vibrant, tart from the lime juice, and perfectly crunchy. The sauce is oh-my-stars amazing–smoky and creamy and bright, all in one, and made from rich, superfood avocados! The tofu is tender and the perfect balance to the creamy sauce and the crunchy slaw.
These beer-battered tofu tacos are perfect for a vegetarian or meatless Monday summer dinner, or even dinner party, alongside some homemade refried black beans and cilantro-lime brown rice! Even meat-eaters love these bad boys, because, I mean really, what isn’t delicious when it’s beer battered and fried and topped with chipotle aïoli?
Mmmmm. Make these.
Beer Battered Tofu Tacos with Chipotle Aïoli
- 1- pound block extra firm tofu
- 2 cups flour
- 12 ounces beer (preferably Mexican)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt , to taste
- Optional brine:
- Chipotle aïoli:
- 1 avocado
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons adobo sauce (depending on how spicy and smoky you like it)
- 2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (I just Just Mayo and adore it)
- Juice of 1/2 - 1 lime
- 1 - 2 small cloves garlic
- Almond milk (or other unsweetened and unflavored alt-milk)
- Salt , to taste
- Small head red cabbage
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt , to taste
- Chopped cilantro , to garnish
- About 8-10 fresh corn tortillas
Drain the tofu and slice the block into about 8-12 slabs. Brine, if desired (recommended), or continue ahead to next steps.
Brine the tofu (optional):
Salt some water (it should taste salty) and bring to a boil. Stir until the salt dissolves, then pour over tofu slabs. Let sit about 15 minutes, then drain and continue on with recipe.
Make your slaw. Using a mandolin, slice the red cabbage thin, until it is "shredded" so to speak. Place in a medium mixing bowl. Squeeze juice of one lime and sprinkle big pinch of salt over and toss to combine. Set aside.
Make your aïoli. In a blender, process avocado, chipotle, 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, garlic clove(s), mayonnaise, and juice of 1/2 a lime until very smooth. Taste and add more adobo sauce, lime juice, and salt, if desired. Process again. Add milk to thin to desired consistency. Set aside.
Meanwhile, make the beer batter. Whisk together all dry ingredients then slowly pour in beer, whisking until smooth. In a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet, heat about 1/4-1/2" oil over medium-high heat.
If you did not brine the tofu, sprinkle salt over the pieces now (be generous - this is the only flavoring for the tofu!). Dip tofu pieces in beer batter then place in skillet, being careful so as not to splash any hot oil! Fry until golden-brown on each side, about 3-5 minutes per side. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towel-lined plate.
Wrap corn tortillas in a few moist paper towels and microwave in 30-second bursts (should only take about 30 seconds) or until warm and soft. Arrange with a couple pieces of tofu per tortilla, top with slaw, a drizzle of chipotle aioli, and chopped fresh cilantro.