Vegan Tacos Al Pastor

By Caroline Hatchett | Briana Balducci

By

Caroline Hatchett
Briana Balducci
Chef Rick Lopez's Nabos al pastor
Chef Rick Lopez's Nabos al pastor

Tacos al pastor represents Mexican cuisine in evolution. In the 1930s, Lebanese immigrants to Mexico brought with them vertical spit cooking, and tacos al pastor were born when Middle Eastern lamb and pita morphed into locally beloved pork and tortillas. In 2017, north a bit in Austin, Chef Rick Lopez is making irresistible, vegan nabos al pastor tacos. Lopez takes lowly turnips (nabos), roasts them lightly, and picks them up in an al pastor sauce of cascabel and guajillo chiles, lime, garlic, etc. There’s also avocado at the base, plus a salsa of pineapple, onion, serrano chiles, ginger, and yuzu. “You feel like you’re eating al pastor,” says Lopez—just a progressive, vegan version tailor-made for anything goes Austin. 

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