Gluten-free, meatless, stir-fried, not boring: four reasons to make this dish. Wait; just thought of a fifth: The Asian pear slaw is so good, I plan to work it into other recipes. Pan-roasting the peppers and garlic, as the recipe's author says, is a quick way to mellow their bite and concentrate their flavors.
If you can't find whole shiitake mushrooms, you can substitute the sliced, packaged ones.
On Halloween, serve with a cup of pumpkin soup; Otherwise, a homemade guacamole would be nice.
Servings: 2 - 3
- For the tacos
- 2 small jalapeño peppers
- 3 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 1/2 head (cut lengthwise in half) bok choy (do not use baby bok choy)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or more as needed
- Small pinch ground cinnamon, or more as needed
- Eight to twelve 6-inch soft corn tortillas
- For the slaw
- 1 lime
- 1 Asian pear (about 4 ounces)
- Few slices of red onion
- Small handful of cilantro leaves
- Dash kosher salt
For the tacos: Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the jalapenos and garlic cloves; cook for 6 to 8 minutes until charred, turning them a few times. Transfer the peppers and garlic to a cutting board to cool.
Meanwhile, rinse the bok choy well, then dry on paper towels. Core it, then cut it crosswise into 1-inch slices. Cut the onion into small dice. Discard the mushroom stems and brush the mushrooms so they are free of grit. Cut the caps into quarters.
The jalapenos and garlic should be cool enough to handle by this time; discard the peppers' stems and seeds, then cut the peppers crosswise into thin slices. Peel the garlic, then coarsely chop.
Carefully pour the oil into the same skillet (still over medium-high heat). Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, then add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring.
Add the roasted jalapenos and garlic, the bok choy, salt, cumin and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, making sure the bok choy is still crisp-tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Remove from the heat.
For the slaw: Cut the lime in half and squeeze its juice into a medium bowl. Peel, quarter and core the Asian pear, then cut the quarters into thin matchsticks. Toss them in the lime juice quickly to keep the fruit from discoloring. Add the red onion, cilantro and salt, stirring to coat evenly.
When ready to assemble, stack the tortillas and wrap them in a clean, damp dish towel. Microwave on LOW heat just until they have warmed through.
To serve, stack sets of 2 tortillas on each plate. Divide the mushroom mixture among them, then top with equal portions of the pear slaw. Serve right away.
Adapted from "Herbivoracious," by Michael Natkin (Harvard Common Press, 2012).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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