Shredded Jerk Jackfruit Tacos with Creamy Coconut Slaw

shredded jerk jackfruit tacos

I was so close to naming this Shredded Jerk ‘Chicken’ Tacos but I’m not trying to draw people in with a fake meat substitute. I want you all to embrace jackfruit for what it is – an awesome fruit that doesn’t seem like a fruit which I’m in love with right now.

I’m not the first person to use jackfruit as a shredded meat substitute. A lot of people are doing it. The first time I’d heard of jackfruit being used for a meat alternative was on season two of The Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network. A vegan food truck – Seabirds – were rushing to find jackfruit to make tacos. (I wish Seabirds truck would have won. Even so, if I ever make it down to Orange County, California I am totally hitting up that truck. They have a lot of items for those avoiding gluten too!)

I did a bunch of research about it and found this to be a common staple for many vegan bloggers. I had to try it! Next grocery shopping trip I set out to find some jackfruit.

Young_Jackfruit

image source

Finding fresh jackfruit in the Canadian prairies is basically impossible. Even at any of our Asian markets. Luckily for me, canned young green jackfruit is readily available at most Asian markets and in the specialty imported foods aisle of Superstore. I’ve never had fresh jackfruit so I really can’t comment on how the canned variety compares. I also have no idea how ripe jackfruit tastes – either fresh or canned so there’s not much I can say about that either.

A word to the wise: You see the picture above of what jackfruit looks like whole. It sort of looks like durian. Do not be fooled. It tastes (and smells!) nothing like jackfruit. Why we are able to find durian all times of the year at Superstore and not jackfruit baffles me. (I’m sure there’s actually a good reason for this. Yet, I still find myself wondering who actually buys those smelly durians anyway? Can anyone share any good recipes for durian? I’m honestly intrigued by it.)

Canned young green jackfruit can be a bit salty. When you open the can and drain the liquid, I suggest giving it a quick rinse too. It might not look like there’s going to be much ‘meat’ in just one can. But by the time you shred everything it really does provide a lot. Canned jackfruit comes in triangular chunks. These chunks have a tough part which you can cut away and mince up and use. The outer edges of the triangles will pull apart by hand and you’ll understand why vegans have been using this as a replacement for pulled pork and shredded chicken. You might find seed-like bits in the shredded part of the jackfruit. You can chop those up or toss them. It’s up to you.

shredded young green jackfruit

Now, a quick note about the slaw. It’s kind of an essential piece of this recipe. That’s why it’s included here and not all on it’s own. The slaw has the right amount of creaminess to help cut through any of the heat from the jerk marinade. The crunch from the slaw gives you a necessary texture difference so that each bite of your taco is a perfectly balanced one. That being said, you don’t have to make this specific slaw – though I’m sure you’ll love it. If a creamy coconut slaw doesn’t seem like your idea of a good topper for your taco, then choose another slaw recipe you’re a fan of. The key is to make sure it’s a creamy slaw with lots of crunch.

Oh! I have a super important discovery that I need to share with you guys too. I made the dressing for this slaw three times over and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t turning out like it usually does for me. Then it dawned on me – I was using So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk from a tetra pak and not a can of coconut milk. The moment any amount of lime juice hit the So Delicious coconut milk it curdled instantly. Not so with the canned coconut milk. It was annoying to have to open a can of coconut milk for less than a cup worth but I am sure you can find other uses for the coconut milk as I did.

You can use homemade corn tortillas for this recipe or you can buy some from the store.

I garnished my plate with a whole habanero pepper from the jerk marinade I made earlier. Do I need to tell you not to eat that particular part of the garnish in this case? Maybe I do. Safety first, and all that. So yeah, don’t eat the habanero. You’ll probably hate me if you do.

shredded jerk jackfruit tacos

shredded jerk jackfruit tacos

 

Shredded Jerk Jackfruit Tacos with Creamy Coconut Slaw
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • Shredded Jerk Jackfruit Tacos::
  • 1 14 oz. can young green jackfruit, drained and prepared as outlined above
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons prepared jerk marinade or paste (not powdered seasoning)
  • 10 corn tortillas, warmed
  • Creamy Coconut Slaw::
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage or coleslaw salad mix
  • ½ red or orange pepper, seeded and sliced very thinly
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, minced
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon Bragg’s liquid soy seasoning (or gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Cilantro for garnish
Instructions
  1. Shredded Jerk Jackfruit Tacos::
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add minced and shredded jackfruit. Stir to heat through, then add the jerk marinade. Stir well to combine. Let cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often, until the jackfruit has heated through and begins to get slightly browned.
  4. Creamy Coconut Slaw::
  5. In a medium bowl, toss shredded cabbage, sweet pepper, green onion and cilantro.
  6. In a small bowl combine coconut milk, maple syrup, dill, Bragg’s and lime juice. Whisk and pour over shredded cabbage mixture. Toss well and let sit for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.
  7. Preparing The Tacos:;
  8. Divide the shredded jackfruit mixture among 10 warmed corn tortillas.
  9. Top with coleslaw. Garnish with cilantro. Squeeze lime and enjoy!

 

tasty jackfruit tacos

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Responses to “Shredded Jerk Jackfruit Tacos with Creamy Coconut Slaw”

  1. February 20, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    Wow this looks so good! I wonder if I can find a jackfruit anywhere round here. The creamy coconut slaw sounds amazing too, will definitely be attempting this :)

  2. Andy
    February 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    You’re right, green jackfruit is a very good meat substitute! The seeds are the best part – don’t toss them.

    Ripe jackfruit tastes very different. It does have a durian-like flavour but without the objectionable sewer smell (which leads to the question – why doesn’t everyone eat jackfruit instead? Beats me). It’s very sweet and juicy if harvested at the right stage, but a PITA to peel and clean, so that’s why I prefer it frozen and ready to eat. The Eastern Market sometimes carries frozen jackfruit.

    Canned fresh jackfruit is OK but lacks the intense flavour of fresh or frozen jackfruit.

    As an aside, the seeds of ripe jackfruit are also edible after cooking. They have a unique taste and texture that is a cross of potato, chestnut and taro.

  3. February 22, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Those look good! I still haven’t tried jackfruit but this might be the perfect simple recipe to experiment with. Thanks. :)

  4. Rica
    October 15, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    I never heard of Jackfruit, let alone a vegan meat substitute! I am totally blown away! I’m going to look for it tomorrow shopping, and see what I can find and then making this recipe for my DH from PR. Where does it grow?

    • October 15, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

      It grows in a lot of tropical places like Thailand and stuff I think. I find it easily in the Asian section of my grocery store or at a local Asian market. Just make sure you’re buying green jackfruit in brine, not ripe jackfruit in syrup. I don’t know if it’s similar to hearts of palm – perhaps the harder parts could be similar – but you won’t get the shredded meaty quality that jackfruit has if you use hearts of palm.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Vegetarian, Gluten-Free Roundup: Spicy - February 22, 2013

    [...] The Gluten-Free Vegan shared Shredded Jerk Jackfruit Tacos with Creamy Coconut Slaw [...]

  2. What’s Cooking? 3/25/13 | Start Gluten Free - March 25, 2013

    [...] Shredded Jerk Jackfruit Tacos with homemade [...]

  3. BBQ Pulled Jackfruit & Kale Tacos | The Gluten Free Vegan - June 18, 2013

    [...] Using jackfruit in place of pork for a BBQ pulled “pork” is not an original idea. Vegans all over the internets have been doing it for a while now. I’ve used jackfruit in tacos already but with a Caribbean vibe with my Shredded Jerk Jackfruit Tacos. [...]

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe: