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Wasabi Tacos

May/07/2023 / by Bindu Gopal Rao

An appetizer that combines traditional Mexican flavors with Asian-inspired ingredients

Wasabi taco
Wasabi taco. Pic courtesy Vikas Seth, chef and culinary director, Embassy Leisure

These feature a Korean gochujang spiced water chestnut mix, topped with smashed avocado and tempura flakes, and a drizzle of sharp wasabi crema. Wasabi tacos offers a unique and flavorful twist on traditional tacos that is both delicious and memorable.

Vikas Seth, chef and culinary director, Embassy Leisure, shares a recipe for the dish.

Serves: 4 portions

Prep time: 45 minutes

Assembly time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 24 mini corn tacos
  • 2 oz shredded lettuce
  • 8 ½ oz Gochujang water chestnut mix
  • 4 ¼ oz smashed avocado
  • 2 oz tempura flakes
  • 2 oz wasabi crema

METHOD

  1. Warm taco shells in preheated oven for 2 to 3minutes at 360.
  2. Arrange taco shells sideways, overlapping the edges slightly, you can use a taco stand for easy assembly, or can use mashed potatoes on the base to help in placing on the plate nicely.
  3. Fill the mini tacos with shredded lettuce, spoon warm water chestnut mix in each, top it with smashed avocado, sprinkle some crunchy tempura flakes and finish with wasabi crema drizzle.

Sub Recipes

Gochujang Water Chestnut

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ½ water chestnut, blanched, brunoise
  • 2 tbsp onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp celery, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh red chili, chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves

METHOD

  • Saute chopped garlic, onion and celery for a minute in hot oil. Add fresh red chili and stir frequently while cooking for half a minute.
  • Next stir in the Gochujang paste, add in water chestnut, sake, mirin, salt. Cook for couple of minutes, add in little water if the mixture is getting stuck to the pan.
  • Check for the seasoning and finish with chopped coriander leaves, keep aside warm in a bowl, till required.

Smashed Avocado

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 fresh avocado (approx. 4 ¼ oz of pulp required)
  • 2 tbsp scallion, chopped
  • 1 tsp green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHOD

  1. Cut avocados into half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado flesh from the peel into a mixing bowl. Discard any browned areas.
  2. Mash the avocado with a fork, but keep it chunky. Add rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Cover the smashed avocado with plastic wrap to prevent oxidation. Allow 15 minutes for the flavor to blend well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Tempura Flakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ¾ oz refined flour/tempura flour
  • 1 ¾ oz corn starch
  • Ice cold water/ice as required
  • Oil for frying

METHOD

  • Fill ¾ of the frying pan with oil and bring it to medium-high heat.
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl until mixture is smooth and runny.
  • With a food grade glove drip batter into the hot oil.
  • The batter will float to the surface and bubble with vigor.
  • Continue to do the same quickly as you need to cook the crunchies at the same time.
  • Fill the frying pan with the drops and cook.
  • Drain as the crunchies are ready and golden brown in color.
  • Transfer it to a kitchen napkin and use it as required.

Wasabi Crema

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp wasabi paste
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Salt, to taste

METHOD

  1. In a glass bowl mix all the ingredients together with a whisk.
  2. Transfer it a piping bag.
  3. Keep refrigerated till required.

If you lack mini corn tacos, you can make your own mini flour tacos with this recipe:

Mini Flour Tacos

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ½ oz refined flour
  • Salt, a pinch
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 3 tbsp warm water

METHOD

  1. Blend flour, salt, and butter until it resembles coarse meal. When well combined, slowly add warm water until soft dough forms. Add additional warm water as necessary. Knead for five minutes and then let it rest it for an hour before separating into 24 small taco dough balls.
  2. Heat a griddle or non-stick pan over medium heat.
  3. With a help of a tortilla press or rolling pin, roll the balls into tortillas two inches in diameter.
  4. Cook each side of the raw tortilla on the hot griddle for a minute or two. If it puffs up, poke a hole in it to release the steam.
  5. Cook it until it is no longer doughy. Remove from the griddle and place on a plate covered with a kitchen towel to keep them warm.
  6. To finish, place the warm mini tortillas on the taco stand. Spoon in the fillings to get a better finish.