Jackfruit is popping up all over restaurants (and yes, Instagram) as a meaty alternative in vegan cooking; from tacos to “pulled pork” sliders, this fruit is competing with meat lovers’ classic dishes. I am not going to lie; it kind of tastes just like chicken and picture that taste mixed with artichoke hearts (sounds weird I know)..
This exotic, chewy fruit, originally from Southeast and South Asian cuisine and a member of the fig and mulberry tree family, has a subtly sweet flavor and meaty texture, hence what makes it such a great alternative in vegan and vegetarian cooking. You will find it mostly as the unripened version (less sweet and more meaty) sold in canned form, but the fruit itself when ripe is known to be juicy and more flavorful with similarities to bananas and mangoes. The “gooier” ripened version is popular in custard and ice cream recipes
This fruit does not have as much protein as other meaty alternatives, such as tofu or tempeh, with only up to 3g per 1 cup serving, but it packs in lots of potassium, vit C, fiber, and B6.
These tacos were adapted from a delicious recipe I found while reading one of my favorite magazines, Food and Nutrition by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The recipe included a few parts after the prep. First, you make the sauce in a food processor (or blender could work just as well) and only takes a few minutes. Second, the jackfruit is sauteed with the spices in the pan; I could not get over how much the jackfruit looked like chicken! Lastly, the tortillas need to be heated and this could be done in the oven, or as we did, wrapping the pile of tortillas in a damp paper towel and zapped in the microwave for a minute. Please see attached for the recipe:
With help from my friend, Jordan, who is very talented at cooking I was able to use his spacious kitchen (I’ve been eating out of an unpacked and disorganized kitchen for the past two weeks since I moved from Boston to beautiful Boulder). We were able to duplicate this recipe with almost all of the ingredients; being out of coriander, we instead replaced it with Adobe seasoning. The cilantro-avocado sauce needed a little bit more garlic and lime juice, so I would suggest adding more of these items if you find it bland at first.
The tacos were a winner for both vegetarians and meat eaters at our table! Hope you enjoy!