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Sweet and Spicy Asian Veggie Tacos

These Sweet and Spicy Asian Veggie Tacos are a quick and easy weeknight meal and a great choice for Meatless Mondays.

Sweet and Spicy Asian Veggie Tacos |

So this happened.

In some strange parallel universe Asian flavors met Mexican delivery system and it was all kinds of weird and wonderful.

The inspiration for these Asian Vegetarian Tacos came from Chef Harris Salat, who was recently on NPR discussing his cookbook, The Japanese Grill. In my short 5 minute car ride home, I was able to catch the details of his recipe for corn on the cob. Salat talked about how Japanese grilling focuses on balancing flavors, and his corn on the cob was just that–a perfect blend of savory and sweet.

The recipe was simple. Salat grills corn on the cob, brushing it with a blend of soy sauce (which is savory) and mirin (which is slightly sweet). By the time I left the car I was drooling. Dinner was already decided.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have any corn on the cob, but we did have a whole bunch of other fresh veggies. So I rummaged through the produce door, pulled out some zucchini, peppers, and onions and went to work whisking up a sauce.

I started with the basics of Salat’s recipe–equal parts mirin and soy, and, with the idea of balancing flavors in the back of my mind, a little Sriracha for heat.

The veggies got sauteed in sesame oil until charred on the edges then got bathed in the sweet, savory, spicy sauce. Things were getting good.

Sweet and Spicy Asian Veggie Tacos |

But something was missing. Rice was the obvious choice, but I was feeling impatient and didn’t want to wait 20 minutes for rice to cook.

I searched the pantry, then the fridge, and finally spotted it. An opened package of soft corn tortillas, leftover from taco night.


You know how the rest of this story goes.

Sweet and savory veggies got stuffed into warm grilled tacos. Sour cream and sriracha and cilantro all got thrown into the mix. There was much rejoicing and dancing in the streets (or just in the kitchen).

This is a quick and easy weeknight meal and a great choice for Meatless Mondays. If you use corn tortillas, this is also gluten free. Just be sure to use Tamari soy sauce and check your labels to ensure the mirin is gluten free. Save this one for a party–it’s one vegetarians, meat eaters, the health conscious, and the gluten free can all enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Asian Veggie Tacos

Prep Time 10 minsPrep Time
Cook Time 15 minsCook Time
Total Time 25 mins Total Time
Yields 3


  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce (I used gluten free Tamari)
  • 3 Tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, in thick julienne slices
  • 15 halved grape tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Tortillas, cilantro, green onion, sour cream, and additional sriracha, for serving


  1. In a small measuring cup, whisk together soy sauce, mirin, sriracha, and minced garlic.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Add red onion and saute for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and green peppers and saute for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini and cherry tomatoes and saute for a final 2 minutes.
  5. Pour soy sauce mixture over the veggies and stir until coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. If desired, warm your tortillas in the microwave or in a skillet. To serve, place vegetables in the tortillas, top with sour cream, cilantro, green onion, and additional sriracha to taste.


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 Recipe adapted from Japanese Grill on NPR

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Leave a Comment

  • Helene Dsouza August 15, 2013, 11:15 AM

    I wish I had tortilla waiting for me, I would go for your sweet and spicy balanced Asian style veggie tacos. Just looks irresistible! =)

  • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons August 16, 2013, 12:01 AM

    “Asian flavors met Mexican delivery system” made me laugh right out loud. I dig Asian tacos. I got hooked on them from this food truck in my area, that serves Korean short rib tacos. mmmmmm. Love your veggie version – slightly healthier than short ribs 😉

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood August 17, 2013, 11:54 AM

      Oh man that short rib version sounds AMAZING! I definitely need to see if Cbus has any Asian taco spots. I’d love to try different kinds!

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