Acorn Squash Tempura Tacos
with Spanish Smoked Paprika & Lime Sauce
In these hearty vegetarian tacos, we dipped each squash wedge into a smoked paprika and rice flour batter before lightly tempura frying. Topped with a creamy smoked paprika and lime sauce, we hope you’ll enjoy the juxtaposition of the crunchy, crisp tempura coating with the cool avocado and queso fresco.
- 1 Avocado
- 1 Bunch Cilantro
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 1 Lime
- 1 Small Red Onion
- 1/2 Acorn Squash
- 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
- 2 Teaspoons Smoked Spanish Paprika
- 1 Cup Rice Flour
- 8 Corn Tortillas
- 2 Ounces Queso Fresco
Prepare the ingredients:
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the lime into 6 wedges. Pit, peel, and slice the avocado. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime wedge over the avocado to prevent browning. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems. Peel and mince the garlic, smashing until it resembles a paste. Peel and very thinly slice the onion. Scoop out the seeds from the acorn squash, then cut it lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick wedges.
Make the lime-paprika sauce:
In a small bowl, combine the garlic paste, mayonnaise, half the smoked paprika, and the juice of 2 lime wedges. Stir until blended and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Coat the squash:
Add ¼ cup of the rice flour to the squash slices and season with salt and pepper. Toss to thoroughly coat.
Make the rice batter:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining rice flour, the remaining paprika, and ¾ cup of water until it resembles a thin pancake batter. (As the batter stands, it may thicken. You may need to add up to ¼ cup of additional water to maintain the thin batter consistency.) Season with salt and pepper.
Cook the squash:
In a large pan, heat about ¼-inch layer of oil on medium-high until hot but not smoking. (The oil is hot enough when a small drop of batter sizzles immediately when added to the pan.) Working in batches, dip the floured squash wedges into the rice flour batter to completely coat them. Let any excess batter drip off, then very carefully add the battered squash wedges to the hot oil. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until crispy and golden brown. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and season with salt.
Warm the tortillas & plate your dish:
Warm the tortillas in a clean, dry pan on medium heat for about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until soft and pliable. To plate your dish, make 4 tacos with 2 tortillas layered together for each. Spread a layer of the lime-paprika sauce onto each taco, then divide the tempura-fried acorn squash between the tacos. Top each with avocado and red onion, then crumble the queso freso over the top. Garnish with the cilantro and remaining lime wedges. Enjoy!