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Vegan Spicy Beef Sandwich (Torta Ahogada)


Vegan Spicy Beef Sandwich (Torta Ahogada)

The "drowned sandwich" is a Mexican favorite. It’s got just the right amount of kick, but some like it hot, so this is the perfect sandwich to go as spicy as you please. Move over French dip, here comes something spicier!

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Click here to see Healthy Recipes for Cinco de Mayo.


For the sauce

  • One 10-ounce can chopped tomatoes with diced green chiles
  • 2 Cups tomato sauce
  • 1/4 Cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 -3 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded and chopped (reserve 2 teaspoons sauce)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Cup vegan beef broth (made with vegan beef bouillon cubes)

For the sandwich

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1 Pound plain seitan, sliced thinly, or vegan "roast beef" slices, cut into strips
  • 1 medium to large avocado, peeled, pitted, and smashed
  • 4 crusty sandwich rolls, halved and toasted lightly


For the sauce

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the chopped tomatoes, chiles, tomato sauce, cilantro, chipotles, adobo sauce, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer and stir, then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the sauce from the heat and add the "beef" broth. Transfer the sauce to a blender, purée the sauce until smooth — it should be thin. (Be very careful when blending hot liquid. Doing it in batches and covering the lid with a towel while keeping your hand on it, pressing it down, is the best way to keep it from spilling out. As an alternative, you can use an immersion blender.) Keep warm until time to serve.

For the sandwich

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Cook and stir the onions until they begin to soften. Then, add the garlic and jalapeños, stirring to incorporate the ingredients well.

Cook and stir until the onions are well browned and the garlic and jalapeños have softened, about 2-3 more minutes. Add the "meat" and mix until heated and well combined, about 2 minutes. Add ¾ cup of the sauce to the roast beef mixture, tossing it to coat completely.

Spread the smashed avocado on both sides of each roll. Pile the "meat" on the bottom halves of the sandwich buns, close, and cut each sandwich in half. Arrange each sandwich on a plate with the dipping sauce on the side. Ladle the sauce into 4 bowls for dipping. Be sure the bowls are large enough so the sauce doesn't spill out when the sandwich is dipped. Dip and eat!