The filling of this fun taco is made of glorious fried hearts of palm. Vegetarians and carnivores rejoice, this taco recipe with avocados and cilantro is a keeper.
By Erin Mahoney
I’m not one to be overly dramatic (haha…no, seriously) about food, but holy-fried-middle-of-a-palm-tree-leaf, this is a tasty, tasty taco.
Uh, yeah. The guts of this taco are totally fried palm tree leaves. Wikipedia says so. Well, if we’re being technical, they’re actually the inner core of certain types of palm tree leaves, but either way, I had no idea that they were even a thing. Especially an edible thing.
Life changing. Not. Even. Kidding. So, this taco is a pretty darn close replica of my favorite taco at a local restaurant here in Kansas City called Taco Republic. I’ve been there many times before, and in fact they’re one of my new favorite places to eat. BUT, the only location is across town and not really conducive to a weekday lunch, so I don’t get to indulge as often as like.
Last time I was there, I realized that there were only about four or five ingredients, and surely I could replicate it at home.
Brilliantly, wierdly simple.
- Canola oil, for frying (enough to fill pan 2 inches deep)
- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 1 can hearts of palm, small pieces, cubed to ½ inch pieces
- 2 medium avocados, cubed
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- 6-8 - 6-inch round white corn tortillas
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 6 Tablespoons ketchup
- juice of a small lemon
- Chop cilantro, set aside.
- Chop avocado, set aside. (sprinkle with lemon or lime juice to keep from browning, if necessary.)
- Open and drain hearts of palm.
- Chop hearts of palm into ½ inch pieces. Set aside.
- Set corn tortillas out to bring to room temperature.
- In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, ketchup and juice of a small lemon (1-2 Tablespoons of juice) until completely combined. Set aside.
- Set three large, flat bowls (or pie plates) on your work space.
- Fill one dish with flour.
- Fill one dish with Panko bread crumbs.
- In the third dish, whisk together eggs and buttermilk.
- In a large dutch oven or cast iron skillet, heat oil to 375 degrees. Use a thermometer (insta-read or candy-type) for best results.
- Several pieces at a time, place hearts of palm into flour. Toss to coat completely.
- Tap off excess flour, then move coated pieces to the egg wash. Coat completely with egg, then tap off excess egg mixture.
- Move to bread crumbs, and toss to coat completely. Place breaded pieces aside.
- Repeat for all hearts of palm pieces.
- Once all of the pieces are breaded, and the oil is at 375 degrees, carefully place hearts of palm into the hot oil. I use a spider spoon, which makes it easy and safe.
- Fry for 2-3 minutes,or until light golden brown.
- Remove and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Heat corn tortillas in microwave until just warm.
- Lay tortilla flat.
- Top with a few pieces of hearts of palm (about 6-8 per taco), a few pieces of avocado, a sprinkling of cilantro.
- Drizzle with about a Tablespoon of the salsa golf.