Holy Smokes! If there were ever a meal that had your guests asking,
"Is this vegan?", these smoky vegan jackfruit tacos are it! Super saucy, BBQ pulled jackfruit piled high with delicious creamy slaw on top. It's finger licking good!
If you love jackfruit like we do, don't miss out on these succulent jackfruit tacos with a slightly sweet and tangy tropical slaw.
Honestly, jackfruit is a game changer in vegan cooking. It's a super versatile, low carb vegan meat replacement. The texture is incredible. It takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with. It's easy to find in the grocery aisle with other canned goods, has a long shelf life, and is quick to prepare.
These smoky vegan jackfruit tacos are a quick plant-based version of a saucy bbq pulled pork or chicken taco with creamy, dairy-free slaw on top. They have a big bold flavor profile and are very satisfying and toothsome to eat. Even the meat eaters in your life are going to line up for seconds. Count on it!
And if you like jackfruit recipes, you'll want to try these Sweet Spicy Jackfruit Sliders too!
What is Jackfruit and how to 'pull' it.
Fresh jackfruit has an incredibly interesting, bumpy, bright green - brownish skin, can weigh up to 100 pounds, is packed with protein and nutrients, and has a very chewy, meat-like texture. When the fruit is cut open, you will see it is filled with sections or kernels that can be eaten raw or cooked.
My smoky vegan jackfruit tacos use canned young, green jackfruit in brine (not syrup). So it's ready to use; just rinse, drain, and squeeze out any excess water in a clean kitchen towel. Then pull the jackfruit meat from the core on each piece. The cores don't shred, but chop them into strips and throw them in with the 'pulled' pieces. Jackfruit is a chewy, stringy, savoury fruit that has an amazingly similar texture to pulled pork when cooked.
How to Develop Flavou in Vegan Recipes
PRO TIP: With all cooking, but vegan and vegetarian cooking in particular, it's important to coax as much flavour out of your ingredients as possible. In this recipe, the flavour of the onions will deepen the longer it cooks and caramelizes so if you have time, don't rush that step. The fresh garlic will impart A LOT of pungent, sweet flavour as it cooks. As well, give the jackfruit time to caramelize and develop its flavour to the fullest.
The spicy (sriracha), smoky bbq sauce starts out loose (watery) and abundant, but gradually soaks into the jackfruit and becomes more flavourful and intense as it reduces. Slow cooking brings out the smoky, sweet, vinegary, citrus, notes of the BBQ sauce and the peppery heat from the sriracha. The jackfruit has a little char and stays chewy as it simmers in the thick, tangy saucy. Yikes! Drooling over here! It's incredibly yummy.
What are the Best Wraps for Tacos
The saucy jackfruit is heavy and the sloppy slaw is well, sloppy. So be sure to choose a thick tortilla or pita and warm it until toasty (but still pliable). Or double it up for extra assurance. A crunchy traditional corn taco shell works well with these flavours too if that's your preference. Just toss them in a warm oven for a few minutes right before serving. Whichever you choose, the shell is just a delicious vehicle to get all that tasty, smoky, tangy goodness to your mouth.
Taco Tuesday - Vegan Taco Recipes
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Smoky Vegan Jackfruit Tacos with Sloppy Slaw
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- 2, 20 oz tins green jackfruit in brine, shredded
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp oil (or broth if oil free)
- 1 cup bbq sauce, homemade or store-bought
- ¼ - ½ cup sriracha sauce
- 1 - 1 ½ cups veggie broth
- sloppy slaw recipe (below)
- 6 hard or soft tacos
- cilantro for garnish
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 1 lime cut in wedges (optional)
Preparing the Jackfruit
- To prepare the jackfruit, rinse and drain it.
- Place the jackfruit in a clean kitchen towel and gently squeeze any excess water from the pieces.
- Pull the fruit from the core. Chop the hard core and place in a bowl.
- Sprinkle the jackfruit with a pinch or two of garlic powder, smoky paprika, and salt.
Cooking the Jackfruit
- Warm 1 tbsp oil in a cast iron skillet over medium to high heat. Add chopped onions, saute until soft and caramelized (~10 minutes).
- Add the pulled jackfruit and cook (stirring occasionally) for another ~ 10 minutes.
- Add the crushed garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
- PRO TIPS: The length of time you will need to cook the onions and jackfruit will depend on your skillet (a cast iron skillet holds its heat really well so can run hot), your stove (I have electric which does not have the power of gas) so adjust times and temperatures accordingly. Keep your eyes on the cooking process. As well, your nose will play an important role to let you know how the food is developing.
- Add BBQ sauce (I use a smoky, bold store-bought sauce), 1 cup of vegetable broth (I use this one), and sriracha* to the jackfruit in the skillet. Adjust the sriracha to suit your personal heat index!
- Let it simmer over medium-low heat and reduce until thick and saucy but not dry (about 8-10 minutes).
- Add the additional veggie broth as needed (if the sauce is reducing too quickly).
Sloppy Slaw Recipe
- Use your favourite slaw mix from the grocery store or slice ½ cabbage (white, purple or combo) thin with a sharp knife or a mandoline to make 2-3 cups.
- Whisk slaw sauce ingredients together, taste for flavour - adjust as necessary. PRO TIP: I use pickle juice or pickled hot pepper juice instead of vinegar - but of course, any vinegar will work perfectly fine.
- Pour sauce over cabbage mixture, toss, and set aside.
Assembling the Tacos
- Warm the tortillas (in a dry skillet over medium to high heat until just golden on both sides) or hard taco shells (in an oven for a few minutes at 200º F).
- Add a generous serving of pulled jackfruit to a warmed shell then top with creamy slaw, a handful of chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime if desired.
This recipe is from simplyceecee.co food blog. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images or republish this recipe without prior permission. Thank you.