I first became aware of jackfruit after ordering vegan “carnitas” tacos at one of my favorite vegan restaurants in California – Hip Vegan Cafe in Ojai. What amazed me is how a fruit had a shredded meat texture to it which makes it really useful as a substitute to meat without being the typical “fake meat” in vegetarian cooking.
So what is jackfruit? It is a rather large tree grown fruit that is part of the mulberry and fig family. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh! Thank you Wikipedia.
It’s a fibrous, starchy fruit that doesn’t have that much flavor by itself. The stringy texture gives it the meaty texture that works great for vegetarian cooking. It is a really odd fruit and one you won’t typically find at a grocery store.
I found some at Whole Foods from a company that sells packaged jackfruit with various marinades.
The Jackfruit Company sells a Tex-Mex version I decided to try out for my first at-home jackfruit dish. There are curry, teriyaki and BBQ options too.
The packets contain enough for two. You would have to be pretty skimpy to get enough for 3 or 4 people out of one pouch of The Jackfruit Company’s product. The company says each pouch serves 2.5 per container which is what I pretty much found.
1 package of The Jackfruit Company Tex-Mex jackfuit
1/2 yellow pepper, thin sliced sticks
1/2 red onion, thin half moons
4 large corn tortillas
Oil for tortillas
Heat the jackfruit packet in a saute pan for about 2 minutes and then add the pepper and onions. Mix and heat on medium heat for 5 minutes.
While jackfruit is cooking, in a separate saute pan heat a thin layer of oil on high heat. When hot, add a tortilla and then flip in a 10 seconds. Cook the other side for 5 seconds then transfer to a plate with paper towels. Remove oil from tortilla by drying off with paper towel. Repeat 3 more times.
Serve by adding jackfruit mixture to tortillas. If you want, you can add cotija crumbled cheese and some fresh chopped cilantro if you want. Some guacamole or sliced avocado would be good too.