Since moving to Arizona, during Cinco de Mayo, my husband and I usually visit our favorite Mexican restaurant. This year, however, Cinco de Mayo fell on Taco Tuesday, but Corona Virus kept us home. Instead of eating out, I made tempeh tacos at home. And, to keep with the theme I made a Baja citrus marinade for the tempeh taco recipe with a Corona Beer!
Although I never need an excuse to create a new taco recipe, Cinco de Mayo just gives me another excuse. Since I got a great deal on fresh pineapple, I decided to make a pineapple salsa to pair with the Baja citrus marinade as a topping for the tempeh tacos.
HOW TO PREPARE/GRILL TOFU FOR TEMPEH TACO RECIPE
First, you need to know my best kept little secret! Tempeh, for instance, is naturally bitter and a bit tough. As a result, tempeh does not absorb the marinade and take on a BBQ grill flavor without boiling it first.
Yes, that’s what I said. Boiling tempeh, for a short 10 minutes, takes away the bitter and then absorbs marinades like a sponge.
Next, remove the tempeh from the package, and cut it in half, making two equal-sized squares. Then, place the tempeh pieces in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes, and then remove the tempeh from the boiling water to marinate.
WHY BOIL TEMPEH FOR TEMPEH TACOS OR ANY TYPE OF MARINADE?
- Boiling removes tempeh’s naturally bitter taste
- It softens the tempeh to make it easier to eat and enjoy
- And, boiling allows for better saturation of marinate
WHAT’S IN THE BAJA CITRUS MARINADE FOR TEMPEH TACOS
I marinate my tempeh beforehand, so it absorbs the flavors of the sauce I plan to use. Regardless of the sauce, marinating is a must. This time, I chose my Baja Citrus marinade. Again, in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, I used Corona beer and other fresh ingredients.
- 6 ounces Mexican Beer (I used Corona Beer)
- 1 orange juiced and the zest of the orange
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 cup minced white onion
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Once marinated overnight, the tempeh absorbs 75% of the marinade. With the remaining marinade, I suggest placing the grilled tempeh back into the container for additional flavor after grilling.
GRILLING INSTRUCTIONS FOR PERFECTLY GRILLED TEMPEH TACOS WITH BAJA CITRUS MARINADE
Now, it’s time to grill the tempeh for tempeh tacos. For those fabulous marks, you want the grill piping hot (450 degrees) before you put the BBQ tempeh on the grill. Next, remove the tempeh from the marinade, but keep the extra marinade for after grilling.
In order to get those fabulous grill marks, I turn the tempeh 4 times every 4 minutes. So, that is a total of 16 minutes of grill time.
PREPARING HOMEMADE PINEAPPLE SALSA FOR TEMPEH TACO RECIPE
Whenever I shop, I look for seasonal produce in order to buy fresh produce, as well as save money. And, the available produce leads my menu for the week. For instance, this week, fresh pineapple was on sale for 2 pineapples for $3.00. As a result, fresh pineapple salsa tops my tempeh tacos.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE NEEDED FOR FRESH HOMEMADE PINEAPPLE SALSA
- 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded, deveined and diced
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
Not only is pineapple salsa perfect on top of Baja Citrus marinated tempeh tacos, but pineapple salsa is also great for a variety of taco recipes:
- Vegan Breakfast Tacos
- Sweet Potato Tacos
- Mushroom Chorizo Tacos
- Taco Tuesday Skinny Potato Tacos
- Roasted Vegetable Tacos
- Vegan Oil-Free Lentil Tacos
- Skinny Roasted Cauliflower Tacos with Avocado-Cilantro Cream
- Roasted Broccolini and Sweet Potato Tostados
HOW TO BUILD A SIMPLE BUT FABULOUS TEMPEH TACO
In my opinion, simple ingredients sometimes make the best and most flavorful meals. For example, tempeh tacos’ simplicity is why they taste so good.
- Tortillas of choice (corn or flour)
- Live lettuce, or lettuce of choice
- Baja Citrus Marinated Tempeh
- Pineapple salsa
- Sliced avocado