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Updated: Feb 7, 2019

Lightly cooked corn tortillas, mushrooms marinate with a hint of liquid smoke, topped with fresh black bean salsa, lime crema and crumbled cheese

Inspired by an event I went to in DC several years ago, these tacos were my first experiment beyond hard shell with refried beans. My friend was a member of 1776, a co-working space for startups on 15th Street. I stopped by there one night after work for an event that was catered by this place I've never heard of called Chaia. Tacos were on the menu and at first I was worried that I wouldn't be able to eat anything (being a sometimes vegetarian) but as I went through line I realized it was all plant based! The tacos were amazing -- I had some version of the mushroom and the sweet potato. After that I couldn't not try to recreate those incredible dishes. These aren't an exact match to the original, but they're pretty good, and if you hate mushrooms, swap them out for steak! Also, if you ever find yourself in DC and hungry for some amazing vegetarian tacos, check out Chaia:


Black Bean Salsa

  • 1 Can Organic Black Beans

  • 2 Plum Tomatoes (seeded and diced)

  • ¼ Cup Red Onion (diced)

  • 1 Avocado (diced)

  • ⅓ Cup Sweet White Corn

  • ⅓ Cup Fresh Cilantro (coarsely chopped)

  • Lime Juice from 1 Lime

  • Lime Zest

  • ½ tbsp Light Tasting Olive Oil

  • Garlic Salt (to taste)

  • Cumin (to taste)

  • Salt (to taste)

  • Freshly Ground Pepper (to taste)


  • 2-3 Portobello Mushroom Caps

    • 6 White Corn Tortillas

    • ¼ Sour Cream

    • Lime Juice from ¼ Lime

    • Cumin (dash)

    • Garlic Salt (dash)

    • ¼ cup Queso Fresco or Feta Cheese

    • 1 tbsp Light Tasting Olive Oil

    • 1 tbsp White Vinegar

    • 2 drops Liquid Smoke

    • Pepper (to taste)

    • Salt (to taste)

    • Microgreens, pea shoots or cilantro for garnish


  • Soak the red onions in ice water for 2 minutes then drain, this helps reduce their potency

    • Place all of the salsa ingredients together in a large bowl and stir to combine

    • Add sour cream, lime juice, cumin, and a dash of garlic salt to a small bowl, mix well and set aside

    • Clean and slice mushrooms about ¼ to ½ inches thick

    • Coat mushrooms with about 2 tsp olive oil, white vinegar, liquid smoke, salt, pepper and garlic salt

    • Cook mushrooms over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated; set aside

    • Heat a heavy pan or skillet over medium heat with about a ½ tsp of olive oil

    • Once heated, quickly drag one side of a tortilla through the oil, do the same to the other side and lay flat in the pan

    • Sprinkle with a very small amount of garlic salt or powder for taste

  • Cook until both sides are lightly browned

    • Repeat for the remaining tortillas

    • To prepare tacos, layer a small amount of the sour cream mix onto the bottom of the shell

    • Next, add 3-4 portobello slices

    • Add about 2 tbsp of salsa to each taco

    • Sprinkle with crumbled cheese

    • Garnish with fresh cilantro, micro greens and/or pea shoots



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