Smokey marinated tempeh tacos with zingy radish salsa
My Dad lives up in the beautiful Mahurangi, which is a little north of Auckland. The nearby settlement of Matakana has exploded with Auckland foodie spillover in the past 5 years (thanks mostly to the local gourmet farmers market). That boom has brought with it a bunch of eateries with varying degrees of success, but also a little gem which goes by the name of the Hungry Elephant.
Run by a lovely Iranian couple, this vegan restaurant and store has the most amazing array of raw treats, gluten free pizzas, and a selection of salads. But more to the point, they usually have some form of marinated tofu or tempeh.
I've had a love-hate affair with tempeh for a long time. I never really liked the texture or flavour. It was just all a bit 'off'. But I found myself making some form of this marinated tempeh three times in two weeks, I knew I'd cracked it.
Smokey, meaty, with a hint of sweetness, this is kind of like vegan bacon. If you have the time, it benefits from a long marinating time (ideally overnight). But to be honest, I cooked these ones straight away without marinating, and they were still delicious.
This recipe used liquid smoke, which I've found at Moore Wilsons in Wellington (the Hungry Elephant also stocks it!). Just check the ingredient list to make sure it's a 100% natural variety - some are packed full of artificial flavourings.
Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients here - these are actually very quick to put together. You could have them on the table in a little more than half an hour, making this an ideal weeknight meal.
Give it a go and let me know how it goes!