Pulled Jackfruit Tacos
Pulled Jackfruit Tacos (by Aaron Brunet)
Okay, get your adventure boots on for an interesting excursion into the newly charted regions of plant-based cuisine. Jackfruit is the new darling of the food blogs and for good reason - it’s got a great texture that people describe as “vegan pulled pork” and it takes on other flavours easily. I tried a delicious version in Sydney recently at a wholefood vegan cafe 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, succulent, and delectable. 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. These are available in NZ, tinned in syrup. 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 shops in NZ, 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 also makes a great burger filling.
Cook onions in olive oil on low heat for 10 minutes till softened and sweet.
While they cook, toss the mushrooms into a hot pan and cook for a few minutes to soften. Add tamari and cook another few minutes till any liquid is absorbed.
Drain the jackfruit and tip into a large bowl, then mash till broken up into strips and chunks. Add to onions with cooked mushrooms and all remaining ingredients.
Cook on high heat for around 5 minutes till liquid is absorbed, then spread onto an oven tray and bake at 200c for between 45 and 60 minutes, re-spreading occasionally. Bake until lightly browned and pleasingly chewy.
Serve on soft tacos with a few slices of avocado, red pepper and red onion plus a sprinkle of chilli powder.
1 large brown onion, thinly sliced into strips
4 Tablespoons olive oil
6 button mushrooms, chopped into strips
1 teaspoon tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tins (565g) green Jackfruit in brine
8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seed, ground
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (I use kashmiri chili)
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons coconut sugar (optional)
1 cup vege stock
Soft tortillas to serve
Red onion, sliced
Red pepper, thinly sliced
Coriander to serve