On our trip to North America last year, Chadwiko and I decided that the US and Canada wasn’t enough for us- we wanted to cross both US borders. High on ambition and short on time, we took the logical route of catching a bus from San Diego to Tijuana (much to the horror of several fellow travellers). The reason for our visit, according to US Customs’ records? ‘Lunch’.
I’ll be the first to admit that our brief trip to Mexico was anything but authentic. We ate at a restaurant, bar and tattoo shop rolled into one, where the owner wandered around seemingly trying to drown patrons in tequila. We bought wrestling masks and were hassled to buy Emiliano Zapata t-shirts (I kind of regret not buying one). I was yelled at and chased by a man who demanded money from me because he had painted a donkey to look like a zebra (I was suitably unimpressed). But the big thing that was missing in our short time was the street food.
Still a little bit sad about the missed opportunity, I decided to semi-rectify it with a street food recipe from the state of Baja California.
This recipe for Baja tempeh tacos with pineapple and red pepper-chipotle salsa is another winner from World Vegan Feast. The tempeh is marinated in a super delicious, coconut milk-based marinade, then coated in panko and baked. This is the perfect substitute for the fish normally found in these tacos, and it’s so good that we couldn’t stop ourselves from eating it straight from the baking tray. Perfect. This was also the first time I’d made a pineapple salsa- it’s definitely something different, but I loved it. It’s hard to mess up fresh pineapple, and this recipe does it so right. Next time I’d just give myself a bit more time to make the salsa in advance and let the sweet, spicy and smoky flavours meld- this time aronud I barely had enough time to let the main ingredients cool after roasting.
Tacos in Australia are usually nothing to write home- or to the internet- about, so this fancy take on tacos was a great change, and something I can see going on our regular dinner rotation. And just quietly, this made me fall in love with World Vegan Feast a little bit (okay, a lot) more.
I can’t wait to visit Mexico again, and give it the attention that it deserves- our brief one afternoon stand was not nearly enough. But there’s no bus from Canberra (¡qué pena!), so for now these tacos will have to tide me over.