California ‘carne asada’ tacos 

California ‘carne asada’ tacos 

what the seitan looks like after its done being cooked in broth.^

what it looks like after being sauteed for a couple minutes.

Add your toppings, guacamole, french fries, cilantro and salsa!

No one will know its vegan, hehe.

Mitchell and I ran a vegan Mexican food truck in downtown Phoenix, Arizona called “Mamacita” and these California style vegan carne asada tacos were everyone’s favorite! During the Arizona vegetarian festival we had people wait up to two hours just for the tacos. We were so slammed, ahhh it was so much fun!

At first I was scared to make seitan, nothing to do with the name, haha but it just seemed so intimidating and hard.  The first time I tried making seitan I glanced at a recipe for inspiration and went to the store determined to make it. I purchased whole wheat flour thinking it was the same as VITAL wheat gluten. Oh my gosh, I basically made really nasty bread and Mitchell being so sweet was like “it kind of taste like meat”. Finally, I look it up again and watch a couple youtube videos and realized I have the wrong ingredient. So embarrassing!

But trust me, its not hard at all! And you only use a little bit at a time so it lasts forever. I love topping the ‘carne asada’ tacos with guacamole  and french fries, California style. its so yummy. I hope everyone has an awesome weekend! Cheers!

California ‘carne asada’ tacos 


  • Broth:
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp of thyme
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • Flour:
  • 2 cups of vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt


  1. In a pot, combine the six cups of water with the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, garlic cloves, bay leaves, thyme, the onion and the liquid smoke.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. While the water heats up mix in a large bowl the flour, cumin, and garlic salt.
  4. Slowly start adding one cup of water and stir into a sponge-like dough.
  5. (this should not be excessively wet)
  6. knead for a couple minutes.
  7. Cut the dough into chunks and place into the boiling broth,
  8. Cook in broth for about an hour in medium heat.
  9. Once its cooked, cut it into even smaller pieces (resembling carne asade)
  10. in medium high heat, heat up a skillet with 2 tbsp of olive oil and saute until crispy.
  11. Serve in a corn tortilla with toppings
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27 thoughts on “California ‘carne asada’ tacos ”

  • I made these today, and was really surprised by both how good and how easy they were! The broth you cook the seitan in has such a good flavor. Mine didn’t look as nice as yours did, as mine ended up looking more like small cubes. I also threw in some fajita seasoning as I was stir frying it. Anyway, I really liked it and thank you so much for sharing your recipe. While I’m vegetarian, and not vegan, I think these are the best tacos I’ve had since giving up meat. Thanks again!

    • Hi Courtney, I’m so sorry about the confusion! I will look into it. I used 2 cups of flour. Hope you love it! Thank you so much for visiting 🙂

  • I’ve made this now twice and I really like it. BUT the dough is so sticky! The second time I used a glass bowl to mix the dough because the plastic bowl I used last time was almost a loss for how much it stuck to the bowl. I’m thinking next time to mix with my hands because it’s just too much. Any suggestions for this problem?

    • I was wondering this is well! Do you pour in the broth you’re making it doesn’t say in the recipe to use different water. It just has the six cups. I would love a little clarification! I’m so looking forward to making this!!

      • Hi Kristen! Please use seperate water for the flavored broth (6 cups) and then while thats heating up, add a seperate 1 cup of plain water to the bowl of VWG and cumin, garlic salt, and then knead it, and when you cut that dough into chunks, you place the chunks into the flavored broth to boil. Thank you so much for helping me clear this up, I will fix it right away!

    • Hi Linda! Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention, that is confusing, and I will clarify in the recipe. Use seperate water to make the dough, and then cook that dough in the flavored broth.

  • Oh my gosh, this was so good!!! I’ve made several types of seitan but this tasted so much like meat!!! I made some cashew “cheese” that I poured over the meat and added some salsa…delicious! I also used some to make vegan stroganoff!

    • Your comment made my day! Thank you so much for trying and enjoying my recipe! YUM, stroganoff! What a great idea, thanks again Victoria!

    • Yay! I hope you love them as much as my family and I do, such a treat. It wouldn’t taste the same but if your in a pinch and have a bit of molasses or even bbq sauce, it might work. Hope that helps!

    • Hi Joanna! Great question, unfortunately I’ve never tried that, I always use vital wheat gluten, but I will look into it, thank you so much!

  • I made these tonight. They were amazing. My husband could not stop talking about how good they were. He asked for a burrito of this ‘carne asada’ for work. Thank you for an amazing recipe👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

    • Lori, That is so wonderful to hear!! Thank you so much for trying my recipe and sharing! 🙂 I really appreciate the feedback!

  • Hi there! I was wondering if after this is made(before crisping up in the pan) if I can marinate the cooked seitan? I have a care asada marinade recipe that I love lol. Just didn’t know if it would make this seitan too soggy 😄

  • I just learned to make seitan over the summer, and I’ve made these about 4 times now 🙂 I made them for 2 meat-eater friends and they both loved them!

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