Entrees · Gluten-free · Oil-free · plant based

Japanese Curry Tempeh Tacos

I’m. Finally. Back!

I apologize for my absence these past few months, but I’ve been very preoccupied with moving!  The process was not as extensive as I expected, although it still took me over a month to finally get everything from point A to point B.  Luckily, I’m just about settled.

Not being able to cook in my own kitchen has been tough, but I am slowly adapting to my new one.  I definitely like the layout (plus it has an island!).  I do miss having a gas range, but I actually don’t mind my new stove.  The change in temp is pretty immediate, which is all I ever need!

Since tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, I’m going to make my come back with a fusion taco recipe.  I was going to feature another dessert, but I’m not really sure I can top last year’s Tres Leches Cake!  No, I wanted to go savory and simple this year.  Tacos are indeed a Cinco de Mayo staple, but they rarely ever look like these.

I filled organic taco shells (which you can always use soft, if you prefer) with a curried tempeh filling.  The tempeh is crumbled into a stew of veggies and spices and resembles “beef” when it is fully cooked.  The vegetables are those that you may find in a basic curry, such as potatoes, carrots, peas…I added some corn in for sweetness as well.

Japanese curry, in my experience, has always been slightly sweeter and more earthy than Indian or Thai curry.  I gave the filling this flavor by adding in a bit of cinnamon and mirin to offset the savory garlic and cumin-based curry spice.  The resulting flavor is rich, but not hot.  Feel free to add chilies or red pepper flakes to increase the hotness.  I left this batch mild to accompany the slightly sweet and acidic cabbage slaw I made as a topping!

Enjoy these with any and all taco fixings, a festive drink, and maybe some guac and chips if you’re extra hungry.  😉

It’s good to be back! ❤

Japanese Curry Tempeh Tacos

Free of: Gluten, Oil (dressing only)
Yield: about 6 servings

Curried Tempeh Filling

  • 1 + 1/4 cups water or vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tb + 2 tsp curry powder
  • dash ground cinnamon
  • dash ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tb tamari
  • 1 Tb mirin/maple syrup
  • 3 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 yellow potatoes, washed and cut into large dice (peeling opt.)
  • 3 medium carrots, washed and cut into coins
  • 1 – 8 oz. package tempeh, crumbled (I used Soy Boy)
  • 1 small shallot, chopped finely
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn (preferably organic)
  • salt, to taste

Apple Slaw Ingredients

  • 1 medium firm apple (I used Gala; Fuji would be excellent), julienned
  • 2 cups green cabbage, shredded (preferably organic)
  • 2 Tb fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tb lime juice
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • salt, to taste

Garnish (optional)

  • gomashio
  • lime slices/zest
  • cilantro
  • taco shells


  1. In a large high-sided skillet or stock pot, heat the coconut oil, garlic and shallot on medium heat.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and sautee for about 4 minutes or until translucent.
  3. To the skillet/pot, add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate with the garlic and shallot.
  4. Add the spices and stir them into the solid mixture, making sure they are fully dissolved and the mixture turns from red to golden brown.
  5. Add the carrots, potato, and tempeh to the skillet/pot and stir to brown slightly, about 2 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat up to medium high and pour the liquid ingredients in: tamari and 1 cup of water/stock, mirin/maple syrup.
  7. Stir frequently and cook the contents for about 5 minutes at a simmer.
  8. Bring the temperature back down to medium-low heat, add the frozen vegetables and remaining water to the rest of the ingredients.
  9. Cover the filling with a lid and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is completely absorbed.  Taste for salt and add if needed.
  10. Let the filling sit with the lid on to keep warm while you assemble your tacos.


  1. Toss the julienned apple and shredded cabbage in a large bowl to evenly distribute the apples.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together: lime juice, salt and mirin.  Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss to coat.
  3. Garnish or mix in the chopped cilantro.
  4. Place slaw on top of taco shells filled with the curried tempeh, if that’s how you want it.  ^_^

4 thoughts on “Japanese Curry Tempeh Tacos

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