Before I was vegan Camarones a la Diabla ( Shrimp in Spicy Sauce) was one of my signature dishes. I learned to prepare this dish, because it was one of my favorites. It became my go to dish for whenever I wanted to impress my guests with my fierce mexican cooking skills (Ha!) It even had my back when my mexican mother in law ( who was known for her cooking ) came over for dinner. You can adjust the heat level by using more or less of the arbol chiles, but keep in mind if you are not sweating, chugging down drinks, feeling slightly uncomfortable and even swearing while eating this dish…..then you are not doing it right! Tofu replaces the shrimp in this new vegan version I call Tofu Medallions a la Diabla…and it’s a keeper!
For Tofu Marinade
- 5 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp of each of the following, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 2 packages of extra firm tofu ( pressed)
For the Sauce
- 8 dried guajillo chiles
- 10 – 20 dried arbol chiles or more (depending on how spicy you like it)
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 3 tbsp vegan butter ( I used Smart Balance)
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp raw sugar
- 1 large red onion
- chopped fresh cilantro
- salt and pepper
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
Step 1 – slice your tofu into 3 wide steaks. Use the opening of a shot glass to cut out small circles or medallions of tofu, place them in a single layer on a glass dish. In a separate bowl mix the marinade ingredients and pour over the tofu medallions, set aside for 1 hour.
Step 2 – remove stems and seeds from guajillo chiles and soften them in a pot of boiling water along with the arbol chiles, about 10 min, let them sit in the hot water; heat a griddle or comal and roast the unpeeled garlic cloves until soft and charred in some spots; Drain the softened chiles and place them in a blender with the peeled roasted garlic, 2 cups of vegetable broth and 2 tsp vinegar; Blend very well until smooth, pour the blended sauce through a strainer into a bowl and set aside.
Step 3 – heat a non stick pan and add 1 tbsp vegan butter, allow it to melt; remove your tofu medallions from the marinade and sear them in the butter on the hot pan, cook for 8 – 10 minutes per side until golden and firm, sprinkle with salt, pepper and the juice from half a lime,transfer tofu to a separate dish and set aside; place 1 tbsp vegan butter in the same pan, add the sliced onion and cook until soft and caramelized, remove from pan and set aside; next add the remaining 1 tbsp vegan butter to the same pan and pour in your diabla sauce, stir in the oregano, cumin, suagar, 1 tsp salt and a pinch of pepper, simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 4 – After 10 minutes add your reserved tofu medallions and cook for an additional 10 minutes on low heat; finally taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Turn off heat, stir in chopped cilantro and top with the onions.
Serve with warm tortillas, romaine lettuce leaves, sliced avocado and plenty of limes. Enjoy!