In its young green form, jackfruit makes for the perfect plant-based “pulled pork”! Thanks to its mild taste and ability to take on other flavours, shredded jackfruit simmered in a sticky sauce turns into the perfect filling for everything from burritos to sandwiches to bao buns. Once topped with pickled red onions and tangy cabbage slaw, you would never know that these tacos are meatless.
Related: The Wonderful World of Jackfruit
Quick Pickled Red Onions
Make the quick pickled red onions: Combine vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat for a minute until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Add the sliced red onion to a large, clean mason jar. Pour the warm vinegar mixture over the onions. Allow to cool to room temperature and then place the sealed jar in the fridge to chill. Pickled onions will last for 2 weeks in the fridge.
For the pulled jackfruit, rinse and thoroughly drain both cans of jackfruit. Cut off any firm parts of the jackfruit core and set aside the rest of the flesh. Using your hands or two forks, shred the remaining fruit until it resembles pulled pork, removing any large seeds as you go.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onion, garlic, salt and spices (cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, ground coriander and black pepper). Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes until softened. Then add in the shredded jackfruit and cook for another 5 minutes until the jackfruit is slightly caramelized. Reduce heat to low.
In a medium bowl, whisk together tomato paste, maple syrup, vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce (if using) and water until smooth. Stir this barbeque sauce into the jackfruit mixture. Cover the pan and allow jackfruit to simmer for 20-30 minutes, adding a splash of water if the mixture starts to look dry.
While the jackfruit cooks, prepare the slaw by adding shredded cabbage and salt to a medium bowl. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage and then allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze the cabbage to remove any excess liquid and add it to a medium bowl. Add olive oil, lime juice, cilantro and garlic and mix thoroughly. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Cover bowl and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Right before serving, turn the heat up on the jackfruit to medium-high and cook for another 1-2 minutes until bubbling.
Heat tortillas in a pan over medium heat until soft. Wrap tortillas in a clean tea towel to keep them warm.
Top the warm tortillas with pulled jackfruit. Serve immediately with sliced avocado, crumbled cotija cheese, pickled onions, chopped cilantro and sliced jalapenos (optional).