Taco Tuesday: Shredded Maitake Tinga Tacos

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I am a firm believer that anything can be tacos (see my other taco recipes here) but in this case, Tinga tacos are a real thing! Tinga is a sauce made with smoky chipotles in adobo, onions and tomatoes. They also call for shredded stuff that I won’t eat so I sub shredded maitake mushrooms and voila! Shredded maitake Tinga tacos!

Maitake mushrooms are also known as Hen of the Woods. They are those big, flowery mushrooms that are sold in a package (at least where I shop!) I was first inspired by Wicked Healthy to press and char maitake mushrooms which gives them a cool, meaty texture. They are an awesome plant sub for a lot of dishes. Here, I shred them and add them to the Tinga sauce for a fun taco Tuesday idea.

These tacos are also topped with avocado crema, lime massaged kale, and chives from my garden, but you can top them however you want!

Notes:

  • This recipe makes three small tacos. I am the only one who eats mushrooms in my family so double, triple or quadruple the recipe as you need to.
  • I keep homemade pureed chipotles in adobo in my freezer and just break off pieces when I need them for a recipe. If you have a can, one chipotle works and maybe some sauce, depending on how spicy and smoky you like it.
  • To drizzle the avocado crema, I put some into a small baggie and press it all to one corner. Then I cut off the little corner piece to make a piping bag. You an easily just spoon it on!

Tinga Tacos
1 maitake mushroom
1/2 small onion
1 teaspoon chipotles in adobo
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup water
Sprinkle of oregano
Salt, to taste
3 corn tortillas
Avocado crema
Kale
Fresh lime juice
Chives (or onions or scallions)

Slice the onion into semi circles. Water or oil sauté the onion until it is translucent. Add the chipotles in adobo, tomato and oregano and stir around. Add the water and mix around breaking up the chipotles and paste. Cook on medium heat and let the sauce develop. Add more water if it is looking too thick.

In the meantime, add the maitakes to a big nonstick skillet, cast iron if you have one. Turn the heat to medium. Place another heavy skillet or pot on top of maitakes to press it down. Put something in the pot to keep it steady and even.

The maitakes will start to cook down, release their juices and flatten out. Listen for the sizzle and check them in a few minutes. At some point, the bottoms will be blackened. Use tongs to flip them over and char the other side. This is what they will look like when they are done!

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pressed and charred maitakes

Slice maitakes into long strips and add them to the sauce. Toss around to cover and let the maitakes stew in the sauce for a few minutes and keep warm.

Make the avocado crema (see below). Chop a piece of kale and massage with a few drops of fresh lime juice. Slice the chives.

To serve, char the tortillas on an open flame. Drizzle with cashew crema, top with massaged kale and chives. Sprinkle with extra lime juice, to taste. Enjoy!

Avocado Crema
1/2 avocado
1/2 cup cashew sour cream (see below)

Combine the avocado and the sour cream in the blender or Vitamix.

Cashew Sour Cream
1 cup cashews *
1 cup water
The juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch salt

*Soak if you don’t have a Vitamix. Drain water and use new water.

Place all ingredients into the blender and let it go until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust lemon if you want it more tart and salt.

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