About a year or so ago I went to a vegan restaurant down the street from my house with one of my friends who is vegetarian. (When in Rome!)
We dined on “pulled pork” (jackfruit) tacos (made with cashew cheese) that very nearly tasted not-at-all vegan, flash-fried “burnt” Brussels sprouts with a spicy-lime flavoring and beer battered avocado tacos. The tacos were served with a huge mound of cabbage on top, onion, lime and the restaurant’s house sauce.
All of the food was amazing and the thought crossed my mind that I could be vegan if I had the restaurant chef cooking for me every day. This is a big thought for a mostly-meat eater!
When Sis came to town a few weeks later I took her to the same restaurant where we again feasted on the Brussels sprouts and avocado tacos and then we had some sort of churro waffle “chaffle” with ice cream for dessert. (The nachos are not on the menu and only served on Fridays so we could not partake.)
Ever since I was introduced to avocado tacos at Seabirds Kitchen I’ve been wanting to make my own at home. But making fried avocado has always seemed like such a hassle. I hate making fried food. Love eating it; hate making it.
However, the other day I found myself with a ginormous amount of avocados leftover from Cinco de Mayo and making fried avocado seemed like the perfect remedy. Also I had forgotten that my handy-dandy countertop convection toaster oven had an air fry setting that I’d never used. It seemed like fate that I should use my avocados to test out my air fryer.
And so I did. I did a test version which turned out good but not amazing and then I honed my process using a technique I’ve learned works well for fried food (a double coating of egg/Panko bread crumbs) and voilà — a star was born.
The next step was to transform the fried avocados into tacos. This was easy to do because I had leftover tortillas from Cinco de Mayo. I also had leftover Mexican-style corn sauce, cheese, chopped cilantro and chopped onions all at the ready. So once I got the air-fryer going the rest was a piece of cake to prep.
I had 1 large avocado and planned to make 3 tacos for pictures. I was pretty hungry and the taco shells weren’t that big so I figured I could easily down 3 tacos.
The 1 large avocado made more than enough for three bursting-at-the-seams tacos. I’m not a big leftover fan so still planned to down all three in one sitting even though they were bursting at the seams. (Things a food blogger will do in the name of a post, right? Plus, I reasoned that the recipe was very healthy.)
I tried to eat all three which I thought would be easy to do because they were the most amazing tacos ever … but eating almost an entire large avocado + three tortillas + cheese + cabbage ain’t no small thing and I couldn’t finish. I hate wasting food so I stuffed in as much as possible.
These tacos are amazing for several reasons. First, the fried avocado stands alone. But when you add soft flour tortillas and crunchy cabbage you get a texture diversity that’s unbeatable. Second, the sauce that I used made the tacos. It is the most delicious sauce I’ve had recently so I would strongly encourage you to quickly make up an Elote sauce to drizzle on your tacos (recipe below). It takes less than 5 minutes to make.
This recipe serves two to four people (depending on everyone’s appetite).
- 1 batch of air-fried avocado slices
- diced white onion
- chopped fresh cilantro
- cotija cheese (omit for vegan)
- shredded red cabbage
- corn or flour tortillas (I favor flour for this recipe)
- your favorite Mexican sauce such as chipotle mayo, cilantro lime ranch, or even the mayo/sour cream mixture you use to slather on Elote–Mexican Style Corn (that’s what I used and it was delicious!)*
- While your avocados are frying, prep your garnishes. Chop your onion and cilantro, crumble some cheese and shred your cabbage if you don’t have these ingredients already on hand for some other sort of taco recipe or other dish.**
- Also get your taco shells warmed over low heat until just pliable. Place on a plate and cover with paper towel. Try to have this done at the same time or right after the avocado slices are done frying.
- When the avocado slices are done frying, remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute or two. Then build your tacos.
- Place one or two slices of avocado in the center of a warm tortilla (this will depend on the size tortillas you’re using and the size of avocado you fried up – if you need more than 2 slices of avocado, by all means, add more). Top with onion, cabbage, cottage, cilantro and sauce if using. The sauce made the dish IMO.
- Shovel these beauties into your mouth!
*To make this dish vegan omit the cotija cheese as noted and/or make a yummy Mexican inspired cashew cheese, like this one from Minimalist Baker. If you don’t have a favorite sauce on hand you can very quickly make the Elote sauce by combining 2 tablespoons vegan mayo + 2 tablespoons vegan sour cream with the juice of one lime, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce (or up to 1 tablespoon if you like spice!).
**I did not plan on using onion in this recipe but wanted to use it up. While I liked the addition of onion, I think the tacos would be perfectly lovely without.