20 April 2019

Cauli Scampi Tacos

Tacos, but not as you might know them; gone are the days of those crunchy shells stuffed with packet-seasoned mince that you grew up on - these are soft tortillas, with cauliflower 'scampi', fresh slaw and a creamy cashew tartar sauce. Tacos are beautifully versatile, suiting a whole range of ingredients and this is my take on a vegan fish taco.

Cauliflower obviously isn't a like-for-like fish replacement in taste or nutrition, but it's a delicious vegetable with a little texture and the ability to take on flavour from marinades pretty readily. I marinated mine in a mix of seaweed, vinegar and lemon juice and soaked for a few hours (leave overnight if you can). The marinated cauliflower is then tossed in panko breadcrumbs and baked until it reaches crispy, golden perfection.

The slaw is super fresh, made with carrot, red cabbage, spring onions and seasoned with a few herbs and lemon juice, it's super zingy and balances out the other elements of the tacos. The tartar sauce is made with a base of creamy cashews, with pickles, capers and plenty of dill!

Serve up a couple of tacos each with a side of your choice - sweet potato fries, corn-mango salsa or fried rice would be great options!

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Cauli Scampi Tacos | Serves: 4 | Time: 30 mins + 2 hours marinating time

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups + spoons
  • High powered blender  
  • 2x large mixing bowls
  • 2 x large baking trays + greaseproof paper
  • Large tupperware or baking dish for marinating


  • 10 kelp knots / 1/2 cup dried seaweed sheets or pieces
  • 1/4 cup boiling water - mix and let it hydrate for a few minutes
  • 1/2 cup pickled gherkin liquid
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped dill
  • Generous pinch salt
  • 1 head cauliflower 
  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 red cabbage
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 spring onions
  • Juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup, or sugar (optional)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp finely chopped dill
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parlsey
Tartar Sauce
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 tbsp pickled gherkin liquid
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped gherkins
  • 1 tbsp chopped capers
To serve:
  • Mini tortillas / soft tacos
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Add the dried seaweed to the marinating dish and cover with 1/4 cup boiling water to rehydrate. Add the liquid from the pickled gherkins along with the juice of 1 lemon, dill and a generous pinch of salt and stir to combine. Break down the cauliflower into florets and cut the larger ones in half or quarters (you want bite-sized pieces) and toss in the liquid. Ensure the cauliflower is fully coated and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge) and toss it every so often for an even coating. 
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Mix the panko with the black pepper in a large bowl. Once the cauliflower is marinated, drain the liquid and toss in the panko breadcrumbs, spread out evenly on a lined baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and crisp. Then turn the oven off and leave for a further 5 minutes to crisp up fully. 
  3. Shred the cabbage and peel, grate the carrot and thinly slice the spring onions and transfer to a large bowl. Season with the lemon juice, agave syrup, salt, dill and parsley and combine fully.
  4. To make the tartar sauce, combine the cashews, pickled gherkin liquid, lemon juice, onion powder, a pinch of salt and water in the blender and blitz until smooth, then stir through the dill, gherkins and capers. 
  5. Assemble the tacos by placing a little slaw in the centre of each, top with the cauliflower and spoon over the tartar sauce. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx