In this recipe, Chef Bryant Terry fries rolled yuba, or thin sheets of tofu skin, in avocado oil until crispy, yielding a hearty vegan taco filling. Diaspora Co.'s single-origin turmeric lends its zesty, deeply floral flavor to the summery corn relish that tops these tacos. Diaspora Co. is one in a rising tide of small spice companies delivering better-tasting spices while supporting small, independent farmers. A spoonful of "green cream"—sautéed spinach stirred together with mashed avocado—holds all of the delicious components in place.

By Bryant Terry
July 2021

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Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Heather Claire Spollen

Recipe Summary test

active:
30 mins
other-time:
plus 24 hours refrigeration
total:
1 hr 30 mins
Servings:
6
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Ingredients

Sweet Corn Relish  
Green Cream 
Fried Yuba Tacos 

Directions

Make the sweet corn relish
  • Fill a large bowl with ice water; set aside. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high, and add corn. Return to a boil, and cook corn 1 minute; drain. Using tongs, transfer corn to ice water, and let stand 5 minutes. Drain corn, and slice kernels from cobs; discard cobs. Evenly divide corn kernels, tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic cloves between 2 clean 1-pint canning jars; set aside.  

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  • Combine vinegar, 1/2 cup water, sugar, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, kosher salt, peppercorns, and turmeric in the same saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-high, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Divide vinegar mixture evenly between jars, and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Seal jars, and refrigerate relish 24 hours to develop the flavor. 

Make the green cream
  • Combine oil and minced garlic in a large skillet, and cook over medium, stirring often, until garlic smells fragrant and just starts to turn golden, 1 minute and 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Add spinach to skillet, and cook, stirring often, until spinach is just wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and transfer spinach to a cutting board. Finely chop spinach. Combine avocados and vinegar in a medium bowl. Using a fork, mash avocado mixture until almost smooth; stir in chopped spinach, and season with kosher salt. 

Make the fried yuba tacos
  • If yuba sheets are stuck together, run warm water over them while gently separating, being careful not to tear. Using scissors, cut each sheet into 6 (4-inch) squares. Pat sheets dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Stack 2 (4-inch) squares, and roll into a tight cylinder. Set aside, and repeat with remaining squares. 

  • Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Pour avocado oil to a depth of about 1 inch in a deep skillet. Heat over medium-high to 360°F to 375°F. Place 1 yuba roll on a spatula, and gently slide roll into hot oil. Cook, turning gently with spatula for even frying, until yuba is bubbling and starting to brown, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove using a spatula or skimmer, and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with fine sea salt. Repeat with remaining yuba rolls. 

  • Assemble each taco by smearing 1 heaping tablespoon green cream on a warm corn tortilla. Top with a fried yuba roll, and sprinkle with 1 heaping tablespoon sweet corn relish. Top with hot sauce, shredded cabbage, cilantro, scallions, and serrano.  

Notes

Find yuba sheets at Asian grocery stores or at Whole Foods. 

Make Ahead

Sweet corn relish can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 month.  

Suggested Pairing

Full-bodied white blend: Tenshen California White Blend.

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