Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Tacos / by lee tilghman

Okay, you know it's happening #Tacos. Ever since I posted this photo on my instagram containing a photo of my homemade pulled BBQ jackfruit, I have received many questions and interest in the recipe. I think there is a lot of "mystique" around jackfruit.

One reason I think it's mysterious is because jackfruit is a fruit, so in general, people are quite hesitant about mixing it together with savory flavors. Jackfruit has such a unique, layered flavor to it. It's extremely fruity, fragrant, and poignant. It's very pleasing to the senses, it's big, bright, yellow, and smells delicious. Never tried it? Well, if you've ever chewed a piece of Juicy Fruit gum, then you've tasted that jackfruit flavor! That gum was made to mimic the unique flavor of jackfruit, although it's definitely not made with natural flavors. However, when you add jackfruit with savory sauces, such as bbq, hoison, or even nut cheese, it kind of absorbs the flavor of whatever you cook it in, very similar to tofu. So it's kind of like a "chameleon".

Another reason people may be turned off by jackfruit is because, well, the entire process of dealing with it can be a bit of a challenge. First of all, it's massive. It can be scary, but fret not. I find jackfruit at my local asian grocer's, usually already cut up into a small section, that way I don't have to buy the entire 9 pound fruit. Also, the whole process of "processing" a jackfruit (yes, it's called processing, because it is indeed a process) is quite jarring. You have to cut into each piece and remove the pit. However, I tend to love it, since I love mindfully meditating during this kind of process. I think it's fun (you can call me a freak if you want). I was taught how to do it by a farming family, but if you want good instructions, I found this video here:

 You can also buy organic jackfruit already cut up and canned from Amazon from Native Forest, which is probably the easiest option. 

I am SUPER excited to share this recipe with you guys because:

  1. it is so simple to make
  2. you can make it in small batches
  3. and you'll WOW your tastebuds and your friend's tastebuds, too. 

The homemade barbecue sauce is from Eating Squirrel Food. Here it is!

pulled Bbq Jackfruit

ingredients

  • 2 cans jackfruit (I use Native Forest)
  • ½ teaspoon olive or coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, chopped small
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1½ Tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • dash of cinnamon

instructions

  1. Add oil to a medium sized saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir the mixture frequently and watch the garlic because it can burn easily.
  2. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, maple syrup, molasses, apple cider vinegar, tamari and mustard into the pan. Stir to combine.
  3. Add in seasonings and spices: salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, ground pepper and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  4. Allow mixture to come to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for about 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently. Just be careful because if the heat is too high, the mixture will start to boil and splatter.
  5. Rinse and drain your jackfruit and place both cans into the vat of bbq sauce. Bring back to a simmer, cover, and let it hang out in there for about 15-20 minutes, or until the jackfruit has absorbed some of the bbq sauce.

tacos

  • Gluten free corn tortillas (I like to think 2 tacos/person
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, chopped finely
  • radishes, thinly sliced
  • cherry tomatoes, broiled with salt, pepper and olive oil until soft
  • avocado (get as liberal as you want with this one)
  • green onions or scallions, minced
  • andddd your pulled bbq jackfruit. 

Assembly

  • Lay out your corn tortillas. 
  • Lay a few spoonfuls of your pulled bbq jackfruit onto the tortillas.
  • Top with cabbage, broiled tomatoes, avocado, microgreens, scallions, and whatever else your heart desires.
  • Garnish with cashew cream if you're a G-Unit like me. (cashew cream is 1/4 cup cashews, 2 tbsp water, and 3 tbsp lemon juice. salt and pepper to taste. whiz it in a blender and you're golden!)