Late last week a couple jars of the most delicious beets I have ever tasted magically showed up on my doorstep. As I opened the door I caught a gust of wind from the cold, damp, and rainy Seattle weather and quickly scooped up the jars and brought them into my warm kitchen.
As the fireplace crackled in the family room I sat on the bar stool of the kitchen island and popped open a jar, quickly grabbing a fork and proceeding to pull out the most exquisite pickled beets I had ever set my eyes on. One taste and the subtle flavors of the garlic, dill, mustard seed, and celery danced on my tongue. Thanks to Seattle Pickle Co. these earthy, crispy, perfectly pickled beets immediately brought a warm smile to my face…. now, the question was, what to make with these delicious beauties?
What I love about these beets and all the amazing things happening on the farms in this region is that through harvesting, eating and cooking local, we develop a sense of place through what has been grown in our region. While I lick my lips I am reminded of the fact that healthy, local, organic food reconnects us to the land, to the soil, to the earth, to our community, and thereby ultimately to ourselves.
Oxbow Farm and Seattle Pickle Co. partnered on an amazing product, unlike anything I have tasted before, and now it was my turn to take this incredible ingredient and create a beautiful recipe…
While a crisp and colorful salad immediately popped into my mind, I thought, come on, you can be more creative than that!… And then it hit me like a food truck driving though my kitchen window. How about some simple and intensely flavorful street tacos?
I’ve been reminiscing about the sexy tofu tacos I first bit into standing beside Seattle’s Marination food truck (another local favorite) about a year ago and, my friend, Chris Coburn’s pickled beets finally inspired me to take the plunge at trying to recreate them. What could taste better than the marriage of spicy Korean tacos with the deep salty, earthy flavors of combined and brined organic Oxbow Farm beets? Nothing else I could think of!
And so while I still might one day make that crisp and colorful salad that first came to mind, today is the day that you get my spicy Korean tofu, cabbage and beet tacos. One bite and once finished you will be licking the last dribble of sauce off your sleeve. I’m warning you my friends, these Spicy Korean Street Tacos topped with tangy slaw and perfectly pickled beets are JUST THAT GOOD!
Don’t let the list of ingredients in this recipe intimidate you, most of them repeat themselves in each component and it is really very simple to prepare. Your blender will do most of the work. All you have to do is throw everything in it and pan fry up a little tofu. So with just a little chop chop you are only 30 minutes away from easily one of the most delicious dinners you have ever served. If you like spicy, pickled, and hearty, this dish is calling your name!
- 14 oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and large diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1-inch piece ginger, skin removed
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ½ lime, juiced
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp Mirin
- 1½ tsp Sriracha
- ¼ cup water
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 1 tbsp gochujang (find at Whole Foods, or Asian grocery store)
- 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp mirin
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 4 cups shredded cabbage (and carrots, optional)
- 2 tsp mirin
- 2 tsp sugar
- 8 small corn tortillas
- Seattle Pickle Co. Beets
- sesame seeds (garnish, optional)
- lime wedges (to serve, optional)
- In a high speed blender, add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, mirin, Sriracha, and water. Blend until smooth. Place the tofu into a large bowl and pour the marinade over top. Let marinade for about 20 minutes.
- While the tofu is marinading, add the garlic, onions, gochujang, mayo, sugar, mirin, lime juice, soy sauce, water and canola oil to the the blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Heat a large nonstick pan on medium. Once warm, add the tofu with the marinade sauce. Stir fry for about 10 minutes, flipping every once in a while, or until the marinade evaporates and the tofu becomes nice and crispy on the outside. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl toss together the cabbage, mirin and sugar.
- Heat the corn tortillas on a griddle. Scoop a serving of tofu into the taco, top with the tangy cabbage slaw, the pickled beets, drizzle with the dressing, and sprinkle on some sesame seeds. Serve with lime wedges.
- Eat immediately as your mouth will already be watering.