Bean tacos with fried cheese and guacamole

(definitely not "taco")

A while back, me and my brother went to a lecture by Magnus Nilsson (of Fäviken fame). It was fun and strange. He was (supposed to be) promoting his book The Nordic Cookbook but began the lecture by telling us he thought it to be a really bad idea making a book about Nordic cooking. Since there is no “Nordic cooking”. However, he then figured someone else would be tasked to write it if he declined. Which would probably make the book be worse than if he wrote it. So… he wrote it. Then he talked about bread for 20 minutes. Then, it got really strange. He claimed that “taco pie” is one of the most Swedish dishes there is. Crazy, right? Buuuuut…. he just might be on to something. In Sweden, taco is a real mainstay in the weekly family menu. Or well… “taco”. Many times it’s just minced beef fried with a spice mix from Santa Maria, coupled with some creme fraiche, grated cheese, corn, some other vegetables and salsa. It’s not bad I guess. It’s… a rouse, a cheap trick, if you know what I’m saying? It’s good in the way McDonalds can be quite good. You eat it and think “hey, this is really pretty good” but then half an hour later you think “was it thou..?“.

Anyway, nowadays we Swedes put “taco” in lots of places where it doesn’t belong. In pies, on pizza, heck there’s even a taco-semla (semla is a weird-ish dessert we eat on Fat Tuesday, taco-semla is just straight up super weird… Also, the nacho-semla was actually a way bigger deal).

So maybe “taco” is actually really Swedish. We certainly are a bit obsessed with it.

I got turned on to tacos when I got treated to some of the stuff from Jonas Cramby’s cookbook of Mexican food. It was decidedly different from the “taco” I’d had before. Real beefy and spicy and smokey, with loads of coriander and lime. Just great. And as with everything when living with a vegetarian: if you find something that’s wonderful but also made from animals, you try to make a vegetarian version so you can eat it more often. After some experimentation, this recipe quite quickly rose to the top. The wonderfully rich black beans are so good with the garlic and the chili. Guacamole is a perfect match and fried cheese… fried cheese is just food cocaine. About 50% of the time I have fried cheese I think: “there is nothing better than this… there can’t be anything better than this“. If I’m drunk I’m certain of it. And really? I don’t think I’m especially off base here. Top it off with pickled red onion, a generous dash of fresh coriander (cilantro) and lots of lime and you have what for me might have become my favorite taco. Maybe it’s because I don’t make the pulled pork version, or the beef one, or the fish taco as much, but I’m not sure… There’s just something about the beans with the cheese and the…. mmmmm. So good. We have it once a week.

Should you really be any different?

Created with Sketch. Roughly 2 hours Created with Sketch. 5


  • For the bean stew
  • 1 kgblack beans including the liquid , ca 700 g without the liquid
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, maybe five if they're small
  • 1 chile ancho (dried poblano chile)
  • 1 chipotle (smoked chili)
  • 5 gSriracha
  • 40 gchili sauce
  • 35 gchipotle salsa
  • 330 g/ mlnice beer
  • 0.5 fresh chili
  • 1 lime
  • 5 gsoy
  • 13 g(1 & 2/3 tbsp) cumin
  • 1 g(1 tbsp) oregano
  • 6 g(ca 4/5-1 tsp) salt (or smoked salt!)
  • 3 g(1 tsp) paprika (or smoked paprika!)
  • 6 g(1 tbsp) coriander seeds
  • 0.5 g(1/2 tsp) white pepper
  • 5 mlvinegar
  • For the fried cheese
  • 300 ggouda cheese
  • 100 gpanko
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 gwhite flour
  • For the guacamole
  • 5 ripe avocados
  • 1 lime
  • 50 golive oil
  • Half a pot of fresh coriander
  • Some vinegar
  • Salt and white pepper


I haven’t included a recipe for the tortilla here. If you want to make it yourself (which I really think you should) I used this one for a long time. It’s good (it’s in Swedish but I think you’ll get it)!

Nowadays I mostly use a simple pizza dough (yeast, water, salt, oil, flour), take about 40 g of the dough, work it to a thin tortilla and fry it in a hot pan for 20-30 seconds on each side.

  1. Begin with the beans. Put a pot or a saucepan, with a generous splash of oil, on medium/high heat. Chop the onion (1) and put them in the pan when the oil gets hot. Turn the heat to medium.
  2. After a couple of minutes, press (or finely chop) and add the garlic (4 cloves). Chop the fresh 1/2 chili and put it into the pan.
  3. Mix the coriander (1 tbsp) seeds in a mortar. Add the oregano (1 tbsp), paprika (1 tsp), cumin (1 & 2/3 tbsp), white pepper (1/2 tsp) salt (4/5 – 1 tsp) and mix further in the mortar.
  4. Sift away the liquid from the beans (700 g excluding the liquid), rinse them a bit under water and add them to the pan, then add the spice mix.
  5. Add chili sauce (40 g), sriracha (5 g), chipotle salsa (35 g), vinegar (5 ml) and soy (5 ml). Stir.
  6. Add the beer (330 g/ml) to the pan as well as about as much water. Put the ancho (1) and the chipotle (1) in with the rest and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat to medium/high. Now you’re almost done! Reduce the mixture to a thick stew. This should take about an hour.
  7. Now for the Guacamole. Split the avocados (5), remove the seed and scoop out the avocado with a spoon. Add salt, juice from 1/2 lime, 1/2 deciliter (50 g) of olive oil, half a pot of fresh coriander, white pepper (I like to have quite a lot of pepper, but I’ll leave it up to you) and a splash of vinegar.

  8. If the avocados are perfectly ripe, all you need to do now is turn the mix over on itself with a spoon continuously for a minute or two to get a wonderful mix of creamy guacamole with large bits of avocado still intact. If the avocados are not completely ripe you’ll have to split them a couple of times with the spoon. However, I recommend to not put it in a mixer. I think it looses something when everything is smashed together completely. Taste and adjust with salt & pepper, add the other half of the lime if you like it limey, and depending on the avocados and the lime: you might want to add some sugar. Done.
  9. And so for the last (amazing) part: the cheese. Cut the cheese (ca 300 g) into sticks and flour them. Remove the superfluous flour.
  10. Gently whisk 2 eggs and about 1/2 deciliter (50 g) of water with a fork. Pour the panko in a big bowl.
  11. Cover the floured cheese sticks with the egg/water whisk and turn them in panko.

  12. When the bean stew starts getting thicker/ more reduced, add the juice from 1/2 of a lime. Taste and adjust the saltiness and add more spice, lime juice and perhaps chili sauce to your liking. When the consistency is appropriate for putting in a soft tortilla bre ad (thick but not dry, definitely not runny), take the pan/pot off the stove to rest for 5 minutes.
  13. Deep fry the panko-covered cheese sticks in 180 C oil until the crust is golden (this takes 60 seconds-ish). Now, make sure this is the very last thing you do and that everything else is prepared for serving. The fried cheese is good for maybe 10 minutes.


Put the pieces together. Make sure to add plenty of fresh coriander and a splash of lime juice on top and enjoy. And I almost forgot! Except for the cheese, this is actually vegan. Though fried cheese is just amazing a really great substitute is fried and lightly salted slices of eggplant (and honestly, just adding this to the taco without removing the cheese is also pretty great).

I’ll be back with a pork, beef and a fish taco down the line. Those are also really quite good 🙂

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