JACKFRUIT CARNITAS TACOS
Saying jackfruit is an obsession for me is a bit of an understatement. It's quick and easy to make, versatile, super inexpensive, and FREAKIN' DELICIOUS. So what the is it? Jackfruit is a giant, spiky tropical fruit indigenous to India and Bangladesh. Ripe, it's flesh is bright yellow-orange, very fragrant, and tastes like juicy fruit gum. Seriously. It's definitely something to try if you can find it fresh (try Asian grocery stores) but that's not what we're here to talk about. Unripe or "green" jackfruit can be used in savory veg recipes as a "pulled-pork" or "chicken" substitute. Because of its mild flavor, it easily absorbs the flavor of any sauce, marinade, or spice you put on it. Ideal for curries, "pulled-pork" sandwiches, shoyu "chicken" (I'm talking to you Hawaii friends), and TACOS.
This recipe has become a weekly staple in my house. Not a fan of tacos (weirdo)? It can be easily made into bowls by substituting the tortillas for rice or nachos by using chips! I hope you decide to make these and make sure to tag @yasmeen_lee and #veganyasmeen on Instagram if you do so my pregnant ass can drool over my phone! Enjoy
gluten-free. vegan. nut-free. soy-free.
JACKFRUIT CARNITAS | makes 4-5 tacos
1 20oz can of green jackfruit in brine
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
sprinkle of cayenne
salt to taste (approx 1/2 tsp)
1 tbsp + 2 tsp coconut oil
Open your can of jackfruit and use a strainer to drain the brine. Use your hands to squeeze the water out of and then shred or pull-apart the jackfruit. Pay extra attention to the tougher triangular pieces and shred them into smaller pieces. You can omit these completely but I recommend using two cans of jackfruit if you do.
Place all of your shredded jackfruit into a large enough container along with your spices. Mix the jackfruit and spices until well incorporated. Adjust to taste.
Heat a large skillet with 1 tbsp of coconut oil; reserve the other 2 tsp for later. After the coconut oil is heated (you can check this by hovering the back of your hand over the pan), dump your shredded and seasoned jackfruit into the pan and spread it out. Let it sit and brown on one side for a minute or so. Stir the jackfruit with a wooden spatula (or whatever you have) so the rest of it gets coated in the coconut oil and let it brown for another minute. Continue to stir it until it starts to develop some color. Once it's browned to your liking (I like some crispy/charred bits), add in the last 2 tsp of coconut oil, turn the heat off, and mix until well incorporated. This step is optional but I think it adds a nice fattiness to the recipe.
PICO DE GALLO
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes; diced
1/4 cup red onion; diced
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1-2 tbsp chopped cilantro (depending on your taste)
1 tbsp jalapeño; finely diced
Mix all of the ingredients until well incorporated. Cover and let sit in the fridge while you prepare everything else and allow the flavors get to know each other.
TOFU SOUR CREAM
1/2 package of firm silken tofu (approx 1/2 cup)
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt to taste
Blend tofu, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar until creamy. Add salt to taste.
Corn Tortillas (my favorite brand)
Pico De Gallo
Tofu Sour Cream
Warm corn tortillas on the stove at a low temperature until soft and hot to the touch. Top with beans, jackfruit, pico de gallo, and avocado. Garnish with dollops of tofu sour cream and extra cilantro (optional). Enjoy! xx