(Can’t Believe It’s Not) Pork in My Taco

Munch on some of these.

OK, so I know not everyone was a fan of pork to begin with, but you gotta love tacos. Whether you’re eating out or settling in for a night at home, they’re a messy handful of fun. I usually double up on the tortillas to make an inner and outer layer that helps keep the juices from leaking out all over the place!

Young jackfruit mimics the texture of chicken breast or pulled pork, and takes on the flavors of its sauce or marinade. This recipe provides a homemade barbecue sauce that will turn your jackfruit into tasty “carnitas” you can top with your choice of toppings (my suggestions are other recipes from this blog).

Serves 2-3, depending on how much filling you like and whether you make 2 or 3 tacos per person. If you double up on the tortillas, you may need more than 12 for 3 people.

Ingredients

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 14-oz. can green jackfruit, drained and rinsed clean of brine in a colander
  • 1/2 T smoked grapeseed oil (can use olive oil but it won’t be as smoky)
  • 1/2 a medium yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 T. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp chili pepper (use more for more spiciness)
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Sado-mango salsa for topping
  • Cream your Cashews lime crema for topping
  • Cilantro sprigs for garnish

Cut the half onion in half again, and chop that quarter in chunks to place in the blender or food processor. The remaining quarter onion can be chopped in smaller bits for the frying pan. Add everything listed from the garlic through the water to the blender, and puree into a smooth sauce.

Mash and pull apart the jackfruit in a bowl with a fork, or you can really get into it and do it by hand. Jackfruit flesh is stringy, and comes apart like pulled pork. You’ll want to pull that “pork” well and thoroughly so the sauce will get everywhere!

Heat the oil on medium in a medium-sized frying pan with the remaining onion, adding a tablespoon or two of water to keep the onions from sticking. Stir steadily to cook and brown. When the onions are translucent and slightly browned, add the puree and the jackfruit along with another 1/2 cup of water. Stir and combine well to saturate the jackfruit and get the sauce in all of its nooks and crannies, mashing it up some more if necessary. When the sauce is hot and bubbly, reduce the heat to simmer and let the liquid cook down for about 15-20 minutes. You could use this time to make the salsa and/or heat the tortillas.

One way to heat tortillas is to use a large frying pan heated on low-medium, and place the tortillas like so:

It’s easy to keep an eye on them this way. You want them hot and slightly drier, releasing their corn masa aroma but not browning or crisping. You can also place them on cookie sheets, 6 per sheet, and heat them in a 325-degree oven for about 5 minutes. Keep them warm if need be by wrapping the stack in foil and putting them back in the oven with the heat turned to low.

Assemble the tacos with a few spoonfuls of “meat” per taco. Mango salsa with lime crema are my favorite toppings, but pickled onions and/or cabbage slaw are other savory choices.

Garnish with cilantro, and go to town!

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