Korean Eggplant and Mushroom Tacos with cucumber slaw and kimchi cream. The most dynamite umami flavors join forces in this Asian fusion meal.These vegetarian tacos give their meat-based counterparts a serious run for their money.
They encompass everything there is to love about a succulent, meaty taco in a plant-based, Korean-inspired alternative.
The eggplant and mushroom mixture is ultra savory with spicy fermented flavors and sweet undertones. The cucumber slaw is a refreshing counter to the spice, and provides welcome crunch.
And then you have the amazing kimchi cream, which creates the ultimate taco topping. If you end up with leftovers, the sauce is fabulous with eggs, too.
These eggplant and mushroom tacos are a true weeknight dream.
How to Make Eggplant and Mushroom Tacos
The meaty texture and umami flavor of both eggplant and portobello mushrooms work beautifully in these tacos.
Use whichever type of eggplant looks most appealing at the grocery store – Japanese or small globe varieties work great. They should be firm to the touch with glossy skin.
- Eggplant: You need either 1 medium globe eggplant, or 2 Japanese eggplants, which are longer and thinner. There’s no need to peel or pre-salt the eggplant.
- Mushrooms: Portobello mushroom caps offer meaty texture and loads of umami. I like to slice the caps in half, and then thinly slice each half into strips.
- Gochujang: This popular Korean chili paste offers spicy fermented flavor with deep savory notes and a hint of sweetness. Find it in the international aisle near the soy sauce and other Asian condiments.
- Soy Sauce: If making the tacos gluten free, use lower-sodium tamari instead.
- Honey: A touch of honey helps caramelize the vegetables and balance the spice of the chili paste.
- Tortillas: Serve the filling with corn or flour tortillas, bao buns, or enjoy over rice.
- Cucumber Slaw: This refreshing slaw is made of cucumber, rice vinegar, cilantro, shallots, and a touch of sugar to balance the acidity. It adds welcome brightness and crunch to the savory vegetables.
- Kimchi Cream: A simple, yet wildly flavorful mix of kimchi, Greek yogurt, and a dash of mayo create a creamy, vibrant taco topping.
- Take my word, you’ll want to double the batch and use leftovers on everything from scrambled eggs to salads and grain bowls.
Step 1: Roast the Eggplant and Mushrooms
Place eggplant and mushrooms in a 13×9-inch baking dish. Toss with olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
Meanwhile, combine gochujang, soy sauce, and honey in a small bowl; whisk to combine.
Pour gochujang mixture into pan with roasted eggplant and mushrooms; toss to combine. Bake for 10 minutes, until soft and caramelized.
Step 2: Prepare Cucumber Slaw
While vegetables roast, prepare Cucumber Slaw by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Step 3: Blend Kimchi Cream
Prepare kimchi cream by combining kimchi, Greek yogurt, and mayonnaise in a blender or food processor; blend until mostly smooth.
Step 4: Assemble Eggplant and Mushroom Tacos
To assemble tacos, divide vegetable mixture evenly into each of 8 small toasted tortillas or bao buns. Top with cucumber slaw and kimchi cream. Or, serve all components over rice!
More Ways to Serve Mushroom Tacos
- Rice: Ditch the tortilla and serve over brown or white rice.
- Lettuce Cups: Swap the tortilla for bib lettuce leaves to create lettuce cups.
- Bao Buns: Serve in steamed bao buns instead of tortillas.
More Vegetarian Taco Recipes to Try:
To sum up, these mushroom and eggplant tacos feature:
- Meaty strips of caramelized vegetables
- Punchy kimchi cream
- Crunchy, fresh toppers
Truly, if I can’t convince you tacos are a perfect food, this recipe will!
Korean Eggplant and Mushroom Tacos with Kimchi Cream
- 13x9-inch baking dish
- Blender or food processor
- 1 medium globe eggplant (or 2 Japanese eggplants), cut into cubes
- 3 portobello mushroom caps, halved and sliced into strips
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. Gochujang (Korean chili paste)
- 2 Tbsp. lower-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 8 small corn or flour tortillas, warmed (sub bao buns, bib lettuce cups, or rice for serving)
- 1/2 English cucumber, julienned
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro or mint
- 2 Tbsp. roasted and salted peanuts or cashews, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/3 cup refrigerated kimchi undrained
- 1/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place eggplant and mushrooms in a 13x9-inch baking dish. Toss with olive oil and salt. Bake for 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through.Meanwhile, combine gochujang, soy sauce, and honey in a small bowl; whisk to combine. Pour gochujang mixture into pan with roasted eggplant and mushrooms; toss to combine. Bake for 10 more minutes, until the vegetables are soft and caramelized.
- While vegetables roast, prepare Cucumber Slaw by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Prepare Kimchi Cream by combining kimchi, Greek yogurt, and mayonnaise in a small blender or food processor (I use a Nutribullet); blend until mostly smooth.
- To assemble tacos, divide vegetable mixture evenly into each of 8 toasted tortillas, bao buns, or lettuce cups. Top with cucumber slaw and kimchi cream.
- Ditch the tortilla and serve over brown or white rice.
- Swap the tortilla for bib lettuce leaves to create lettuce cups.
- Serve in steamed bao buns instead of tortillas.