As seen in La Vida Verde, Jocelyn’s plant-forward, true-to-culture cookbook

Chorizo is a spiced sausage typically made using beef or pork. It originated in Europe where chorizo is fermented, cured and smoked, making it a sliceable sausage. In Mexico, chorizo was first made with chiles and available spices. It’s slightly spicer than the European versions and is made from ground meat, making it crumbly and soft. It is as beloved in Mexico as bacon is in the United States, and most widely eaten during breakfast, although many taquerias offer tacos de chorizo any time of the day.

For this recipe, we'll be using marinated tofu, tempeh and mushrooms to create the same crumbly texture of Mexican chorizo. The recipe for the marinade remains the same as the meat version, so we'll have all the deep favors of the chiles and spices. I like to top these tacos with a little citrus-pickled onion for crunch and brightness.

Meatless Mexican Meal Ideas from Todo Verde




For the citrus-pickled onion

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

½ cup (120ml) lemon juice

¼ cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar

½ cup (120ml) white vinegar

1 lemon, thinly sliced

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp (13g) salt

Pinch of pepper

1 tsp (1g) dried oregano

2 tbsp (16g) paprika9

3 whole cloves

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground Mexican cinnamon

1 tbsp (15 ml) liquid aminos

1 tbsp (15 ml) apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ cup (120 ml) cooking oil, plus more for cooking as needed

8 oz (226 g) cremini mushrooms, minced

1 cup (166 g) crumbled tempeh

1 tsp dried mushroom powder

For the Chorizo

2 cups (500 g) extra-firm tofu, drained and squeezed dry

3 dried guajillo chiles, destemmed and deseeded

3 dried árbol chiles, destemmed and deseeded

2 dried ancho chiles, destemmed and deseeded


For Serving

Tortillas Hechas a Mano


To ​​make the citrus-pickled onion, add to a bowl the onion, lemon juice, apple cider deseeded vinegar, white vinegar, lemon slices, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, bay leaves, salt and pepper, and mix. Allow the flavors to meld together and the onion to soften for about 30 minutes.

To make the chorizo, crumble the tofu in a bowl and set aside. Preheat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the chiles to toast and slightly blacken for about 2 to 3 minutes. Use heatproof tongs to continuously flip and move the chiles to make sure they don't burn. The árbol chile should toast a lot faster than the other chiles for about 1 to 2 minutes. Once the chiles are charred, add them to a bowl of warm water. Use another bowl to push them down and submerge them into the water until they rehydrate, about 10 minutes.

In the same dry skillet, add the oregano, paprika, cloves, cumin, coriander and cinnamon to toast until the spices become aromatic for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the toasted spices to a blender with the liquid aminos, apple cider vinegar, the rehydrated chiles and ½ cup (120 ml) of the rehydrating liquid. Blend until smooth, adding more of the rehydrating liquid as needed to get a thick creamy paste consistency. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Coat the bottom of a skillet with oil and preheat over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and tempeh with a pinch of salt and the mushroom powder. Sear the mixture for 10 minutes, or until it is crispy and slightly crunchy. Add half of the chile paste to the skillet and mix until the mushrooms and tempeh are fully coated.

Let the mixture cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

Add the other half of the chile paste to the bowl of tofu and mix to incorporate. Coat the bottom of another skillet with oil and preheat over medium heat. Add the tofu mixture to the pan. Stir to cook and lightly crisp the tofu, adding more oil as needed for about 10 minutes. Add the mushroom mixture to the tofu pan, and continue cooking, adding more cooking oil to crisp the mixture. Serve on Tortillas Hechas a Mano topped with the pickled onion.

March 11, 2024