The Taco Off: Gordo’s Vegetarian Al Pastor Tacos
Monday, April 30, 2018
Welcome back, my fellow taco-obesessed reader! Chef Gordo here, thrilled to be sharing the third – and final – entry into the 2018 Gordo’s TACO OFF. This week, we’re mixing it up and including a vegetarian taco recipe that features seitan as the central protein. (If you’d like to make this recipe fully vegan, use corn tortillas, skip Gordo’s White Mexican Cheese Dip and just use Gordo’s Mexican Salsa.)
Seitan is vegan meat replacement made from cooked wheat gluten. Before you let that description throw you off, let Chef Gordo ease your fears: I’ve eaten it and it is better than the description sounds! I love a good vegetarian meal every so often and seitan is a great replacement for meat.
So with that, back to the TACO OFF! We’ll be making our seitan tacos with an al pastor marinade and serve it with the traditional pineapples.
How to Marinate Seitan
So, before we dive into the al pastor marinade, a quick word on using seitan as your protein. Marinades make food amazing by being absorbed into them. Any food that can absorb liquid can benefit from a marinade. Different foods have different absorption abilities. Tofu, for example, is full of water. When using a marinade on tofu, you should remove as much water as possible first by pressing it. It’ll still be fairly watery, though, so you’ll marinate for a much shorter time, maybe 15 minutes max, than you would with something like meat.
Seitan isn’t a particularly water-logged protein and can even be marinated overnight. But you’ll get better results if you slice your seitan and then marinate it for no more than a couple of hours. And less time may get you even better results. Experiment with this al pastor recipe! Try some seitan on a 15 minute marinade, then go longer, until you find the right amount of time for your tastes.
Gordo’s Vegetarian Al Pastor Taco Recipe … With Seitan!
To serve 6 to 8 people, use:
- 5 pounds of seitan, sliced thinly
- 2 cups pineapple slices for grilling
For the marinade:
- 1/2 large white onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups pineapple chunks (if using canned, get pineapple in pineapple juice)
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 4 crushed cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup guajillo chile powder or 4 boiled, seeded and cleaned guajillo chiles
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
Place all marinade ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour over sliced seitan; let marinate for between 15 minutes and 2 hours.
While the seitan marinates, prep the tacos! Chop cilantro, finely chop the other half of your large white onion, slice some limes so you have wedges to squeeze over your tacos before you eat them. Open up some Gordo’s Salsa.
Also during this time? Grill the sliced pineapple on a hot grill!
When the seitan is done marinating, it’s time to grill. Using a grill basket or a grill screen, grill the seitan, turning about every two minutes. Your seitan is done when the outside is browned and crisp, between six and ten minutes.
Once the seitan is cooked, serve over tacos with lime, cilantro, diced white onion and a helping of Gordo’s Salsa!
So, which taco tickles your fancy? Which taco in the TACO OFF is your personal favorite? WHICH ONE REIGNS SUPREME? Got a strong stance? Come on over to Gordo’s Facebook page, share photos of your TACO OFF tacos and let us know which taco deserves to win the 2018 Gordo’s TACO OFF!!