The VB6 Cookbook: “Chorizo” Tacos

Chorizo tacos

For any of you who are already bored after your first week of resolving to eat vegan, no meat, or less meat, here is a recipe from my forthcoming The VB6 Cookbook that might help you out. (Or if you’re a raging carnivore who just wants a delicious taco, this will also do the trick.)

“Chorizo” Tacos

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the desired texture

Ingredients:

Eight 6-inch corn tortillas

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small red onion

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon salt

½  teaspoon pepper

1½ pounds firm tofu (1½ blocks)

1 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 limes, 1 halved, one quartered

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

¼ cup chopped scallions, for garnish

Directions: 

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Stack the tortillas on a large square of foil and wrap them loosely.

2. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Crumble the tofu into the pan with your hands. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet occasionally, and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the tofu browns and crisps as much or as little as you like it, anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

4. When the tofu is almost ready, put the tortillas in the oven.

5. Add the bell pepper to the pan if you’re using it. Sprinkle the mixture with the chili powder; stir, and cook, continuing to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan until the mixture is fragrant, less than a minute. Squeeze the juice of the halved lime over all, garnish with cilarntro and scallions, and serve with the tortillas and lime quarters.

More ideas:

• For a little more kick without being too fiery, try 1 or 2 poblano chiles instead of the bell pepper.

• Substitute 3 cups well-drained cooked or canned black or pinto beans for the tofu. (If you’re using  canned beans, rinse them before draining.)

• Use tempeh instead of tofu. It will be tangier and slightly denser, closer to the texture of ground meat.

•Small whole wheat tortillas are good here, too. Soften them the same way as described above.

 

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26 Comments

  1. Lauren Simon said...

    Staring at what’s in my fridge right now, I’ll have this for lunch. I hope you’re o.k. if this recipe with credit to you goes on my blog…Lauren’s Plate. My mission is to get back in the kitchen and cook.

  2. Ed said...

    I used the same recipe but instead of the tofu I used one pound of sockeye salmon meat. Actually it was frozen sockeye frame meat that had been scraped from the sockeye salmon frame. It was great.

  3. Ann Godin said...

    I am not adverse to the idea of using tofu to simulate chorizo, but in my opinion, the addition of smoked paprika would add a layer to taste and elevate it to a better substitute.

  4. sarah galluzzo said...

    I cannot wait to make these. Mark Bittman, you are a rock star!

  5. I love “How to Cook Everything ” and have been a vegetarian for almost a decade. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  6. Mary-Jo said...

    This recipe sounds terrific! But I wouldn’t expect it wouldn’t coming from you! Thank you. I’m going to try this!!

  7. Jo Procter said...

    Thanks. I’m beginning to think this is a cookbook that even I, who finds veganism tiresome, will like.

    Have you discussed vegan cooking with John Mackey, a found of Whole Foods? He told the Times he was a vegan except when he travels. (Right!) And when asked, his favorite vegan meal was stir-fried in water! greens mixed with mashed potatoes made with almond milk. Revolting. I think he needs your help.

  8. Charlotte said...

    Been following vb6 for about 7 months now. Really feel so much bdtter better, have lost 5 lbs. Can’t wait to get the new cookbook!!! Thank you for providing a healthy life style!

  9. Judith Clements said...

    I appreciate the simplicity of this vegan recipe. The good taste experience arises from the scallions, lime, and cilantro, and the texture of the seasoned, browned tofu. Easy.

  10. Barbara said...

    Bittman is awesome.
    Mark Bittman’s video on Kasha Varnishkes totally won my heart!
    “and you, so skinny. You need to eat some more. What is wrong with you? Eat, eat.It’s good.” LOVE IT and it makes me laugh everytime I watch it.

  11. These look and sound delicious. Even more, they’re super easy to make. I’m very excited about the VB6 cookbook!

  12. Betty Rhodes said...

    Everytime I see your name on my incoming email, I smile. You’re like an old friend. I’ve enjoyed your recipes enormously and have most of your cookbooks, but I enjoy your comments most of all. it’s like being in your kitchen, joking around and cooking some very tasty foods.
    You make me want to get out my pots and pans and experiment with flavors, etc. and that is quite an accoplishment, as I don’t especially like to cook, since I lost my husband, but I believe you when you say that we need to get back in the kitchen and cook our own meals, and stop eating junk foods.
    Anyway, thanks for always making my day.

  13. Lenore Sylvan said...

    Thank you for always adding different variations, making it easier to cook the meal from ingredients you have at the moment. Cooking is fun and an adventure again.

    PS – My husband of 65 years is enjoying his meals again!!!

  14. Debbie Smith said...

    Mr. Bittman, your VB6 ideology is a comfort to those of us with good intentions but not always disciplined enough to stay off the “meat wagon.” Delicious recipes such as this make it so much easier to embrace vegetarianism. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and creativity so that we may all enjoy good tasting food and better health.

  15. Peter Helton said...

    This could be even better with a teaspoon or two of smoked paprika which will give you that chorizo taste.
    I’ve just discovered your blog. VB6 is a brilliant concept.
    Peter

  16. Lyn said...

    I made these tonight and didn’t think my kids would eat the tofu, they did! I’m impressed, tofu has not had much success for me.

  17. Doris Jean Heroff said...

    My son claims we are in the Bittman Cult. However, since I started reading Mr. Bittman in the NY Times about 10+ years ago, I have purchased 5 of his cookbooks and almost never use other sources. My “old favorites” are now from those books. The VB6 diet begun 2 years ago has definitely improved our health and enjoyment of meals. Yet it cuts the time we devote to researching recipes and cooking. We still love to cook for ourselves, eat at home and invite guests to share our good fortune within Mark’s “cult.”

  18. Your recipes are always delicious and easy to prepare. I am looking forward to the VB6 cookbook since I am a vegetarian who paints cows …never eats cows!

  19. Made thes the other night…incredible!

  20. Lisa said...

    Hi Mark,
    This chorizo stuff was super! I really enjoyed it in soft corn tortillas with guacamole, hot sauce, and shredded cabbage. Thanks a million for this recipe.

  21. Fredda said...

    Made this tonight. Enjoyed it very much. Only had 1lb of tofu so added 8 oz of crumbled Gimme Lean sausage. Needed to use it up as I’ve started making my own. I used a jalopeño, seeds, ribs and all in place of the bell pepper. Some like it hot. Served it on whole wheat tortillas with salsa, sour cream and extra cilantro on the side. Made a perfect weeknight meal with a salad. Thanks for the recipe but please amend to include what do do with onion. I chopped it but could envision having some of it sliced thin.

  22. Amy said...

    This was so good!

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