Pulled jackfruit tacos
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by Tam West
Jackfruit is the new darling of the food blogs and for good reason — it has a great texture that people describe as “vegan pulled pork” and it takes on other flavours easily. I recently tried a delicious version at a wholefood vegan cafe in Sydney and it inspired me to create my own take on it. Jackfruit itself is a remarkable fruit, the biggest in the world at up to 35kg each!
When it’s ripe it is full of fleshy yellow pods that are sweet and succulent. When I visited my cousin in Cambodia we bought bags of the pods at the market and ate them from the freezer as an icy cold treat.
They are available in New Zealand, tinned in syrup. But what I’m using in this recipe is green jackfruit — the unripe version — which is the whole interior of the fruit, not just the fleshy seed pods. You can find this in most Asian grocers in New Zealand, and it will be clearly marked as “in brine” to distinguish it from the ripe fruit in syrup. Make sure you get the right one.
I wanted this to have a nice chewy texture, so once all the flavours have been absorbed into the jackfruit I baked it in the oven for about an hour, letting the moisture evaporate and the flavours concentrate. It goes well on soft tacos and makes a great burger filling.
For the tacos
|1||Large onion, thinly sliced into strips|
|4 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|6||Button mushrooms, chopped into strips|
|1 tsp||Tamari, or soy sauce|
|2 cans||Green jackfruit in brine, about 565g each|
|8||Garlic cloves, roughly chopped|
|1 tsp||Cumin seeds, ground|
|1 tsp||Garlic powder|
|2 tsp||Smoked paprika|
|½ tsp||Chilli powder, I used kashmiri chilli|
|1 tsp||Ground black pepper|
|2 tsp||Coconut sugar, optional|
|1 cup||Vegetable stock|
- Cook onion in olive oil on low heat for 10 minutes until softened and sweet.
- While it cooks, toss the mushrooms into a hot pan and cook for a few minutes to soften. Add tamari and cook another few minutes until any liquid is absorbed.
- Drain the jackfruit and tip into a large bowl, then mash until broken up into strips and chunks. Add to onions with cooked mushrooms and remaining ingredients. Cook on high heat for around 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed, then spread on to an oven tray and bake at 200C for 45-60 minutes, re-spreading occasionally. Bake until lightly browned and pleasingly chewy.
- Serve on soft tortillas with sliced avocado, red pepper, red onion, a sprinkle of chilli powder and coriander.