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- Tree fruit
Jackfruit is a great vegan alternative to pulled pork or chicken in tacos. Top these tacos with your favourite toppings, such as fresh coriander, avocado, sliced chilli peppers, etc.
3 people made this
- 2 (400g) tins jackfruit pieces in salted water - drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon water, or more as needed
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix, or to taste
- 4 taco shells
- 120g salsa, or to taste
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:3min ›Ready in:13min
- Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add jackfruit; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon water and taco seasoning; stir until well combined, about 1 minute. Add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed.
- Place a small amount of jackfruit in each taco shell; add 2 tablespoons salsa.
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Best Jackfruit Tacos
Have you had jackfruit before? It’s starting to become more popular here in the US as a plant based substitute for pulled pork. And let me tell you, Alex and I were very skeptical about this concept. A fruit standing in for meat? It wasn’t until I gave brave and tried a jackfruit tostada at a local restaurant that I was sold. Wait a minute: this isn’t meat? Could there be some mistake? Turns out this tropical fruit magically mimics pulled pork in a way we never dreamed. And one of the best ways to eat it? Jackfruit tacos: a fast and easy dinner recipe for weeknights. Vegan comfort food, at its finest!
Have you ever tried jackfruit? If not, you should really give it a try! It’s super versatile and it makes such a great vegan meat alternative.
Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world and it’s commonly found in South and South East Asia. While the ripe version is commonly used for sweet recipes, canned young unripe jackfruit is very popular among vegans and vegetarians.
Make sure to use young jackfruit in brine or water, not in syrup. It’s available in well-stored grocery stores, Asian supermarkets, or on Amazon.
I was a bit skeptical when I first tried jackfruit, but I really fell in love with it. It’s so versatile and super delicious when prepared the right way.
I’ve got some delicious vegan jackfruit recipes on the blog, but to provide you with even more recipes I’ve teamed up with some fellow food bloggers. So let’s get the yumminess started!
Vegan Jackfruit Tacos
Ariane Resnick is a special diet chef, certified nutritionist, and bestselling author who takes great joy in shattering the image of what, and how, nutritionists eat.
There is no shortage of plant-based meat substitutes available nowadays, but most are industrialized foods with a big list of ingredients. Since the rise of soy in the 1980s, no single whole food has taken the vegan world by storm like jackfruit.
When ripe, jackfruit is a sweet, chewy fruit with a taste that resembles Juicyfruit gum. When unripe, however, it is mild in taste and can be used for savory applications. Once cooked, the shreddable pieces mimic pulled pork, chicken, or beef in texture. It's this textural ability to imitate meat that makes it so popular.
For this quick recipe, we use canned unripe jackfruit, which is readily available at big box grocers, health food stores, and Asian markets. It's important to note that unlike meat analog products or soy, jackfruit has scarcely any protein at all—at 3 grams per cup, it is not a preferred protein substitute. To compensate, we add pre-cooked beans to the tacos, which brings even more depth of flavor.
Spicy Garlic Chipotle Jackfruit Tacos
Jackfruit is the thing these days and starting to appear in stores that we visit. I got a bunch of cans from the Indian store this past weekend. When I told Mom, she said, you guys will never learn the the intricacies of how to peel a real Jackfruit (kathal in hindi) from scratch, remove the seeds and so on, everything you get is always packaged. I know Mom, I try to reduce all the packaging, but then I have only so much energy to spend in the kitchen, so the packaged stuff makes it convenient some days. Also, Jackfruit can become a sticky mess!
Use other shreddable things like squash, soy curls, meat subs, or use beans of choice. See this Easy Jackfruit Curry Post for availability details.
Boil the jackfruit, then cook in spicy garlicky chipotle sauce until it picks up the flavors. Serve in tacos or sandwiches, dressed with avocado or guacamole and hot sauce.
More shredded things recipes from the blog.
Boil the jackfruit for 10 minutes. Shred and keep aside. Make the chipotle garlic black pepper sauce. When the sauce smells roasted, add shredded jackfruit, salt and water. Cook until the sauce reduces.
Tips and tricks
When making these vegan tacos, these suggestions will come in handy:
- Use broth to sauté in order to keep this recipe oil free.
- The salt will depend on how much salt your taco seasoning and salsa has. You may want to wait and add it at the end.
- Use about 40 ounces of jackfruit, but if you are using 14 ounce cans you can use 3 cans and be about the same.
- You can also sub the jackfruit with shredded mushrooms. Portobello or king oyster work best. Use 2 pounds.
- Find gluten-free tortillas if needed.
- Make the jackfruit filling ahead of time, or store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a skillet for best texture results.
Ingredients to Make Vegan Jackfruit Tacos
Let’s go through the list of the things that you will need to make these fresh, jackfruit tacos:
- Canned jackfruit: To prepare the jackfruit taco meat use canned jackfruit that is packed in a brine, not in syrup. You can also use fresh jackfruit but it will take longer to cook and prepare.
- Spices: Combination of salt, black pepper, and garlic powder to season the pulled jackfruit filling.
- Sauces: Barbecue, tomato, and Sriracha sauces to give it's filling a juicy, strong, and tangy flavor.
- Toppings: it can be a combination of any of your favorite ingredients, here we will be using avocado, tomatoes, onion, sour cream, cilantro leaves, and cabbage.
- Taco Shells: Fresh, packed taco shells to make the pulled jackfruit tacos
Vegan Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos
Carnitas means “tiny meat” in Spanish and is a dish native to the Mexican state of Michoacán. It’s typically prepared in a large cazuela where pork meat is braised and simmered for long hours in oil or lard, and is often showcased in a taco with heaps of salsa. Here, jackfruit takes on the same shredded texture as pork. This dish calls for a good amount of oil to give the jackfruit carnitas the same fatty texture and richness of pork.
Remove the hard pit from the shreddable jackfruit flesh with a knife. Remove any seed pods from the flesh and add them to the pile of cores. Shred the jackfruit flesh into a medium bowl. Finely chop the cores and seed pods until they are similar in texture to the flesh and add to the bowl, along with the oil, cumin, oregano, pepper flakes, half of the orange juice and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Mix well.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the jackfruit mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the jackfruit is evenly browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the remaining orange juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the carnitas hot with tortillas, salsa, cilantro and onion. Squeeze lemon wedges over each taco before eating.
Vegan Taco Meat
The vegan taco meat in this recipe is a Jamaican Jerk-spiced jackfruit. If you’ve never cooked with jackfruit, it’s one of my favorite plant-based meat substitutes. Its stringy, hearty texture perfectly mimics shredded meat – think pulled pork or chicken tinga. As we made this filling, Jack and I couldn’t stop talking about how meaty it looked!
Canned jackfruit is bland on its own, so Nisha spices it up with a homemade jerk seasoning blend. With ingredients like cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, and cayenne, the jerk spices are ones you likely already have in your pantry. This blend is a combination of familiar ingredients, but it’s aromatic, sweet, and spicy. Along with lime juice, tamari, and tomato paste, it makes the taco filling super flavorful, tangy, and juicy. We couldn’t get enough!
Jackfruit Street Tacos Recipe
Jackfruit is such an amazing fruit that shreds like pork. The first time I heard of Jackfruit being used as a meat, I thought it was CRAZY. But then I tried it. O.M.G. It&rsquos amazing. I recently had some Jackfruit Street Tacos at a vegan restaurant in San Antonio, Senior Veggie, and they were AMAZING. I knew I would have to try to make my own Jackfruit Street Taco Recipe at home.
Being that I have 2 young kids, I can&rsquot make my recipes too spicy, or really at all, or they won&rsquot eat it. So this recipe is not spicy at all, but feel free to add your own kick to it!
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My first experience with Jackfruit used as meat was actually with Upton&rsquos Naturals Jackfruit from Whole Foods. It&rsquos Jackfruit already seasoned and you just heat in a skillet! It&rsquos really good, comes in a few different flavors, but spicy &ndash my favorite is the Chili Lime. So my kids weren&rsquot happy about how spicy it was.
Use Canned Jackfruit!
I hesitated on making my own recipe because I didn&rsquot know that canned Jackfruit was a thing. I had seen those huge Jackfruits in the produce department at HEB and there was no way I was cracking that big expensive thing open and experimenting. Ain&rsquot nobody got time for that!
So when I discovered there was such a thing as canned Jackfruit, I knew I had to find it! I had heard that Trader Joe&rsquos had it, but I happened to be closer to a Central Market and decided to see if they had it. Success! I loaded up. You can also find cans of Jackfruit on Amazon &ndash there are many different brands.
Now make sure you select Jackfruit that is just packed in water without seasonings or sauce. It may have a little sodium or brine water, but the ones I found were low on the sodium side so that was good. You can also rinse the Jackfruit, which I did, to remove a lot of the sodium as well.
Jackfruit shreds like pork or chicken for awesome vegan street tacos
The great thing about Jackfruit is that it shreds like pork or chicken and it has a mild, sweet flavor that absorbs seasonings. Jackfruit can be used in any recipe where you might have shredded pork or chicken. I&rsquoll be making a Jackfruit Tortilla Soup soon instead of using chicken!
After you rinse and drain the Jackfruit, place on a cutting board. You can alternate between shredding the softer parts with your fingers and chopping the tough parts. It&rsquos all good so don&rsquot discard anything! Even the round pod seeds are edible.
Cooking Jackfruit is Easy
Cooking jackfruit is easy &ndash just 5-7 minutes until warm in a skillet over medium and your good.
I always like to saute my onion & garlic first to give it more flavor. Then I add the shredded jackfruit, spices, tomato paste, and water. Then cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until heated through. You can add more water if necessary or cook longer if it is too runny. Easier and faster than cooking beef or chicken tacos and no cholesterol or saturated fat!
Jackfruit is very nutritious
Jackfruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. It can also help diabetics control blood sugar levels.
It has high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Copper, Potassium, & Manganese as well as Carotenoids & Flavanones that help to lower inflammation. Check out this article about more benefits of Jackfruit.