These fried puffy tacos were inspired by the flour tacos sold at Tasty Tacos in Des Moines, Iowa. However, this version is completely vegan. Seitan chorizo and beans, non-dairy cheese, crunchy green leaf lettuce, and tomatoes all come together to recreate the experience beautifully. Makes 4 tacos (with extra filling).
Toppings: Chopped tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, non-dairy cheese I used shredded Follow Your Heart cheddar. Daiya cheddar would also work.
For the flour shells
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder with a fork until evenly mixed. In a small separate bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon canola oil and 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon of water.
Pour the water mixture into the mixing bowl, and combine with a fork until a dough begins to form. Then use your hands to fully combine the dough. The dough should be dry with no additional leftover flour at the bottom. If needed, add one to two more tablespoons of water to form the dough. Remember, you don't want it to be wet and soggy, and so splash lightly.
Break the dough apart and roll into four even-sized balls and set aside while you make the taco filling.
For the taco filling
In a large skillet, bring oil to a medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic a few minutes, until soft, translucent, and fragrant.
Add seitan to the pan and sauté for a couple minutes more.
Add the beans to the skillet along with the ancho chili powder, cumin, paprika, and water. Fully combine until the spices are spread evenly throughout.
Putting it all together
In a large, deep frying pan, fill the pan with at least a half inch of oil or more. It needs to be deep enough to immerse at least half of the taco. Bring the oil to a medium-high heat.
While the oil is heating, between two sheets of parchment paper, press each dough ball one at a time in a tortilla press. (I like to press each tortilla twice - picking the tortilla up and moving it slightly between presses.) If you don't have a tortilla press, roll each tortilla with a rolling pin until it's 4 to 6 inches in diameter.
Put 2 tablespoons of taco filling in the center of each tortilla and fold it closed, as if you were making the letter D (like the shape of an empanada). Lightly pinch the edges of the taco to seal it. Once all four taco shells are filled, move onto the next step.
Test the oil to see if it's hot enough. Pinch off a little piece of dough from one of the tacos and put it into the oil. If bubbles immediately form around it, the oil is ready.
Put all four tacos into the oil and fry until toasty brown, flipping once when necessary.
Once both sides are brown, remove from the oil and onto a towel-lined plate to drain. Allow the tacos to cool for a couple of minutes.
Carefully open the closed off section of the tacos and fill with toppings. Serve immediately.
You will definitely have extra filling leftover, easily enough for 8 tacos. So you can either double the shell recipe and make 8 tacos, or save the filling to use later in the week for more tacos or nachos.