Every summer I get completely hooked on peaches. They’re one of my favorite fruits, if not my absolute favorite. This means I’m super psyched when they start showing up in stores and farmers’ markets in late spring, but also really bummed out when they disappear in the fall. In past years I’ve found myself scouring the produce bins at my local supermarket, rooting through those last few sad looking fall peaches for one that might be marginally edible. I love peaches that much.
So of course I have to make the most of peach season while it lasts, and fortunately we’ve still got some nice juicy peaches in my neck of the woods. This means not just noshing on peaches à la carte, but also incorporating them into as many dishes as possible, both sweet and savory.
These tempeh tacos are not just savory, but also spicy and smoky, thanks to the chipotle pepper marinade that the tempeh gets soaked in. All of these flavors are awesome with the mildly tart sweetness of the peach salsa.
Tempeh makes a great taco filling, and most of the time you’ll see it crumbled to mimic ground meat. This time around I opted to do things a little differently, cubing, marinating and pan-frying the tempeh. Marinating lets the flavors really soak in, while pan-frying gives you just a bit of caramelization on the outer surface of your tempeh cubes.
Make the most of juicy summer peaches while they're still available, by mixing them up into a flavor-packed salsa and using it to top these smoky chipotle tempeh tacos!
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 (8-ounce) package tempeh, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or another neutral flavored vegetable oil)
- 1 ripe peach, finely diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 to 6 hard taco shells or corn tortillas
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
- Stir the lime juice, maple syrup, soy sauce, chipotle chili powder, cumin and garlic together in a shallow dish. Add the tempeh cubes and gently stir to coat. Allow to marinate while you prepare the peach salsa, occasioally flipping to distribute the marinade.
- Coat a large skillet with the grapeseed oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tempeh cubes in a single layer, reserving any excess marinade. Cook 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, until browned on several sides. If you had any excecss marinade, pour it into the skillet over the tempeh cubes and cook another 30 seconds or so, just until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat.
- Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Divide the lettuce and tempeh among taco shells or tortillas and top with salsa.
I prefer corn tortillas over hard shells for this recipe, and I like to warm them for 3-4 minutes in an oven set to 400°F before stuffing.