Meaty Spiced Jackfruit Burritos
What is jackfruit? Jackfruit is a fruit that is often grown in tropical climates. It’s the national fruit of Bangladesh and is also popular in South India and South East Asia. When it’s ripe, it is sweet like any other fruit but when it’s unripe, it is green, fibrous and not sweet. Unripe jackfruit in recent years has been used to replicate the texture of pulled pork or braised chicken.
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There are some key steps in preparing and cooking of jackfruit that can take the texture and the flavor to another level. Here are four tips to make your jackfruit more “meaty:”
1. Squeeze out excess liquid – Make sure to squeeze out excess liquid from the jackfruit. Canned jackfruit comes submerged in brine (salt water). If you cook with watery jackfruit, this will to dilute the taste of the finished product and will also prevent the jackfruit from caramelizing, which adds extra flavor and texture.
2. Don’t be shy with oil! – Pulled pork and braised chicken have a lot of fat.. and fat enhances flavor. So if we don’t fry the jackfruit with enough oil before we add our sauce or condiments, it’s not going to have that rich flavor that meat has. It may still taste nice, but it will likely not impress meat eaters.
3. Caramelizing the jackfruit – This step is related to the previous step: When you are cooking the jackfruit in oil, you want to caramelize it. This means cooking it at a relatively high temperature to get it brown and crispy.
4. “SPICE SPICE BABY” – Spices add depth of flavor, especially when they are well caramelized. Mastering the art of using spices makes plant-based foods that much more delicious.
This recipe comes to us from Mike Davies of Umami Plant Based.
- 250g prepped jackfruit (hard core removed, ripped into smaller chunks and excess water squeezed out)
- 1/8 cup (25g) tomato paste
- 1 cup (125g) water
- 2 tsp (5g) cornstarch
- 1 tbsp (15g) tamari
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp pink himalayan salt
- 3 tsp raw sugar or brown sugar
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1. Heat a frying pan on medium to high heat, adding 3 tbsp of oil. Once the oil is ho,t add the jackfruit and cook until it is slightly crispy and lightly browned (around 4 minutes).
2. Bring down the heat to medium, add the paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt, pepper and garlic powder and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously to prevent the spices from burning. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil now.
3. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl with a whisk or in a blender and then add to the frying pan (lowering the heat to medium/low). It will be watery at first, but within 3-4 minutes, the liquid will reduce and thicken into a sticky sauce.
Now you have a pan of sticky, smoky, sweet jackfruit ready to use in sandwiches, burritos, tacos, on pizza or anywhere you’d like.