Satisfying, savoury, tangy and fresh; these vegan carne asada tacos are so delicious and simple to put together! PLUS they’re naturally gluten-free!
We’re back with another poorly photographed recipe because I have a baby haha. I’ve been prioritizing good food and recipes over well photographed food because all my equipment is harder to put together. So phone photos it is! You might have seen my street taco phase from my Instagram stories.
I’m not sure what it was about the beginning of April, but I went HEAVY on a street taco phase. I was playing around with a regular ground “beef” one, a carne asada version, and fish tacos. I veganized a more authentic version with curtido since I always loved peach salsa on top of fish tacos before. The pickled cabbage slaw is addictive and one of my favourite ways to eat cabbage now!
I hadn’t ever had carne asada tacos before so I was really curious about what the flavour would be like. Although I had expected the flavour to be a lot more savoury and heavy, but I was delighted to find that carne asada is savoury but really tangy and refreshing. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, because in my experience, Mexican food tends to be savoury, satisfying, and balanced with acidity.
And not to be confused with Tex-Mex, which I find can be a lot heavier and not quite as balanced in terms of flavour and freshness. This is also probably because of the generous amounts of yellow cheese.
I’ve been eating a ridiculous amount of homemade street tacos lately! So these vegan carne asada tacos have been in regular rotation! It’s really simple to put together.
What you’ll need for vegan carne asada
- corn tortillas
- soy curls
- tamari or soy sauce
- orange juice
- lime juice
- white onion
The spices and chipotles in adobo are optional, but those are the main components of the marinade! When I see traditional recipes by Mexican creators for carne asada like this one, I often don’t even see all the different spices and garlic.
You can try making this with seitan, fried tofu, or vegan chicken, but we always have soy curls in our freezer. Full of protein, freshness, and a bit of fibre (although more wouldn’t hurt haha).
I’ve been feeling FOMO about missing Vegan Street Fair a few years now since COVID put a pin in our travel plans. But making these vegan carne asada tacos at home have hit the spot. If I can’t travel IRL, then I’ll travel with my taste buds :)
Vegan Carne Asada Tacos
- 150 g soy curls (slightly over half a bag)
- Hot water to rehydrate
- 1 tsp mushroom broth powder
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 3 tbsp oil (I used canola)
- 1/2 cup cilantro stems, roughly chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Optional: 1 tbsp adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
- 1/2 cup cilantro tops, chopped (leaf and stem)
- 1/4 white onion (~1/2 cup), diced
- 1 wedge lime, juiced (about 1-2 tbsp)
- Pinch of salt
- 8-10 corn tortillas (I liked white or yellow)
Soy Curl Carne Asada
- Prepare the soy curls by rehydrating with hot water (I use boiling water and then cool slightly with cold tap water) and mushroom broth powder. Let rehydrate, then drain and squeeze out excess water.
- In a large bowl, prepare marinade by combining lime juice, orange juice, tamari, vegetable oil, cilantro stems (I use the stems of the cilantro leaves for the relish), garlic, chili powder, cumin, and adobo sauce (if using).
- Add the rehydrated soy curls and mix well into the marinade to absorb. Let sit while you prepare the relish.
- For the relish, combine cilantro tops, white onion, lime juice, and salt. Mix lightly to combine, and put in fridge.
- To cook the soy curls, preheat a pan to medium heat, and then add the soy curls and marinade. You can reserve some of the marinade liquid (~2-3 tbsp) to add to the end to maintain some moisture, but this is optional. Cook the soy curls as desired, we like them to have a bit of browning, but you need to cook out a lot of the moisture before this happens (which is why I retain some of the marinade). Once the soy curls have browned, I add the remaining marinade, stir to heat through, and then turn off the heat.
- On a griddle or large pan, heat the corn tortillas until heated through and they begin to brown slightly on each side. Remove from heat, and immediately fill with the carne asada soy curls and top with relish.
- Enjoy immediately! This recipe makes about 8 well stuffed tacos, or 10 more conservatively-filled tacos.
One of the best recipes I’ve ever tried in my entire life! I cannot even explain how delicious it was!! Made it a couple of weeks ago and have been craving it ever since! Great job, Lisa!
Lisa Le says
Ah that makes me so happy to hear!!
This was incredible!! I have never tried any of your recipes but the ingredients looked promising so I gave it a go. I’m addicted to these soy curls. We can’t stop eating them. Soooo flavorful!!! And simple!! Definitely making this again!!
Lisa Le says
I’m so glad to hear that!
Amazing flavor and super quick recipe! Will definitely be adding this to our recipe book! Thank you so much for sharing.
What soy curls do you use? I’ve never found the right one.
Lisa Le says
Butler soy curls! I’m pretty sure they’re the only manufacturer of soy curls
Hi! What kind of mushroom broth powder do you use?
Lisa Le says
Hi! Its one I get from the Asian market, there are various brands but any should work. I have a photo of the one I use in my FAQ Highlights on Instagram if that helps!
Delicious! Made this recipe for a taco dinner party and it was a hit among guests. Recommend doing the frying in a non-stick pan to get the right browning/crispiness desired. Reheating the leftovers in a frying pan also gave it a “meatier” texture the second day, since more of the moisture was gone from the soy curls.