I had no idea how dinner was going to turn out last night. I knew the tofu and beans tasted good, but the topping and sauce? It wasn’t until the first bite that I realized these Jamaican jerk tofu tacos with watermelon salsa were a winner. And my husband Tejas agreed!
See, originally I was just going to make Jamaican jerk tofu with who knows what, maybe beans and yams, but Tejas thought tacos sounded good. Why not try some Jamaican style tacos? I think I’ve mentioned that I love any kind of taco and I haven’t made any weird ones in ages, but figuring out the toppings and sauce turned out to be quite a challenge for me for some reason. I started with the idea to make some kind of slaw and then a mayo with some of the Jamaican jerk marinade. I have made mayo all of twice in my life and only once worked, so I am really not sure why I decided to try mid-week with random ingredients. And of course it didn’t really work. But we were out of store bought mayo, so I ended up using the flat-half-made mayo (It just did not fluff up both the times I tried, once using a full proof immersion blender method, the other using a whisk. Maybe it was the heat? Or maybe I should have also tried the blender method? Anyways…), sour cream and the jerk marinade, and hey, it turned out quite good. Until I figure out how to make my own mayo however, I will probably rely on store bought mayo (Best Foods full fat only) in the future.
The 2nd trial was the slaw or cold toppings. I started with cabbage and bell pepper and vinegar (which is now in a bag in the fridge). I perused the internet and found lots of pineapple and other fruit salad type toppings, none with the fruit we had on hand. But we did have a watermelon! What if I made watermelon salsa? Even after making water melon salsa adapted from this recipe, I wasn’t sure about the whole dish coming together.
But it did! So here is is…
Jamaican Jerk Marinade
(Adapted from this delicious recipe for Jamaican jerk tofu on Spark Recipes – I used this as a base for the tofu, beans and sauce)
2 teaspoons oil
1 onion sliced
2 huge jalapeno peppers chopped
2 Trader Joe’s garlic cubes
2 teaspoons ginger paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons allspice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Saute oil and cook the onions and jalapenos until the onions are translucent.
- Blend everything in a food processor.
Jamaican Style Black Beans
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion diced
1/2 bell pepper (red or green) chopped
A little bit of the Jamaican jerk marinade from above
1 can black beans with some of the can juice
2 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Heat oil in a saute pan or sauce pan.
- Add onions and bell peppers and cook until soft.
- Add the Jamaican jerk marinade, black beans and a little of the juice from the can, rum, maple syrup and salt and cook for 5-10 minutes.
2 cups watermelon finely diced
1/2 huge jalapeno pepper finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
1/2 lime squeezed
1/2 small red onion finely diced
1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Mix all ingredients together.
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
Milk/Water to get it the consistency you would like
Jamaican jerk marinade to taste
- Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
Jamaican Jerk Tofu Tacos
1/2 pound tofu cut into long thick pieces
Jamaican jerk marinade
8 corn tortillas
Olive oil cooking spray
Jamaican style black beans
- Drain the tofu by wrapping in a towel and between two plates then weighing it down with something heavy (I use canned goods). Once tofu it sorta dry, marinade it for 30 minutes to an hour in the Jamaican jerk marinade. Fry in a little olive oil until browned on each side.
- Lightly spray corn tortillas with the olive oil spray and cook over the gas flame until soft and then a little crispy (they start out crumbly, then turn really soft, then they firm up again).
- Top each tortilla with a little of the beans, then a slice of tofu, then the cabbage, watermelon salsa, and creamy sauce. Voila!