Breaking Bad and Heat star Danny Trejo gives us his taco recipes after opening new restaurants

Hollywood action star Danny Trejo – who featured in Heat and Breaking Bad – has swapped the big screen for tacos in his new role as a restaurateur. Here are three of his favourites.

Cauliflower tostada

Use plant-based avocado crema to transform this into a vegan dish – with an optional addition of Mexican chilli flakes giving it a fiery kick.

Serves 4. Ingredients: 4 corn tortillas; 1 medium cauliflower head; 2tbsp olive oil; Salt and pepper to taste; Pickled onions; Avocado crema; 2tbsp Arbol flakes (optional). For the garnish: 24 pickled red onions; Pinch of chopped coriander; 1 lime, quartered

Danny Trejo. Picture credit: Trejo’s Tacos/PA.Danny Trejo. Picture credit: Trejo’s Tacos/PA.
Danny Trejo. Picture credit: Trejo’s Tacos/PA.

Preheat the oven.

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Scatter the cauliflower florets on the tray and season with salt and pepper.

Roast cauliflower to your desired tenderness.

Heat up the tortilla, top the tostada with cauliflower, pickled onions and avocado crema. And serve with lime wedge.

Steak asada taco

This taco dish was acclaimed food writer Anthony Bourdain’s favourite dish, Danny Trejo says.

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Bourdain filmed an episode of his CNN show Parts Unknown in one of Trejo’s taco joints in Los Angeles back in 2017.

Trejo told The Hollywood Reporter that the chef “made me feel good that I was in the restaurant business”.

Serves 4. Ingredients. For the marinade: ½ large white onion, roughly chopped; 3 chipotle chillies from a can of chipotle chillies in adobo sauce, plus 2tbsp of the sauce; 2 medium jalapeños, roughly chopped; 6 garlic cloves; ½ cup roughly chopped fresh coriander; ¾ cup orange juice (preferably fresh); ½ cup pure olive oil; ¼ cup soy sauce; Juice of 1 lemon; 1tbsp ground cumin; 1tbsp smoked paprika. For the taco: 12 tortillas; 250g flank steak; 50ml Trejo’s marinade; Salt and pepper to taste. For the salsa verde (makes about 2 cups): 12 medium tomatillos, papery skin removed, tomatillos left whole; 1 medium jalapeño, left whole; 2 garlic cloves; ½ medium white onion; ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander; Juice of 1 lime, plus extra to taste; 1tbsp kosher salt, plus extra to taste. For the verde slaw: 200g white cabbage; 50g red cabbage; 15g grated carrot; 50ml salsa verde; 5g sea salt. For the garnish: Pinch of chopped coriander; 1 lime, quartered

For the marinade: Combine the onion, chipotles and sauce, jalapeños, garlic, coriander, orange juice, olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, cumin, and paprika in a food processor or blender and puree. Transfer the marinade to a large self-seal plastic bag or airtight container.

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For the salsa verde: Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat until it is very hot, about four minutes. Add the whole tomatillos and jalapeño. They should sizzle when they hit the dry hot pan. Cook until the vegetables are black and blistered in spots and soft on one side, five to seven minutes. Use tongs to turn the tomatillos and jalapeño over. Add the garlic cloves. Cook the tomatillos, jalapeño and garlic until the tomatillos and jalapeño are blistered and the garlic cloves are toasted but not burned, five to seven minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Transfer the tomatillos, jalapeño and garlic to a blender or food processor and add the onion, coriander, lime juice and salt. Process until the sauce is completely smooth. Taste and add more salt or lime juice if desired. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and chill before serving, or refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to five days.

Marinade flank steak in Trejo’s marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Grill steak until charred, about five minutes on each side (depending on size).

Shred the cabbage for the verde slaw, add carrot, salt and salsa verde and reserve for later.

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Heat up the tortilla, top the tortilla with steak asada, verde slaw and salsa verde.

Shrimp tostada

“A delightfully fresh and zesty dish made with a crispy tostada, sautéed shrimp, guacamole spread, garnished with pickled red onion and cilantro [coriander],” says Hollywood action star-turned restauranteur Danny Trejo.

Serves 4. Ingredients: 4 corn tortillas; 10ml olive oil; 32 shrimps; 112g butter; 20g garlic; Pinch of salt and pepper; 20g red chilli; 340g guacamole. For the garnish: 24 pickled red onions; Pinch of chopped coriander; 1 lime, quartered

Lightly brush corn tortillas with oil. Lay the tortillas flat on a baking sheet and bake at 200°C for five minutes. Then flip them over and bake them for an additional five to 10 minutes, or until the tortillas are crispy and golden.

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Sauté shrimp with butter, garlic, pinch of salt and pepper and crushed red chilli.

Spread 85 grams of guacamole evenly on each tostada.

Garnish each tostada with six pickled red onions and a pinch of chopped coriander. Serve with lime wedge.

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