I cannot even begin to tell you how good these jicama tacos were. I want to throw out that term “life changing” but it’s sooo overused (in the blogging and food world) and I don’t want you to think these are overhyped because they are not. I was talking about them for days after I ate them and even my boyfriend, Sam, told me I had to blog this recipe. He is always brutally honest when it comes to recipes and so if you are a little weary of how these taste, don’t be! Trust in the process friends and just make these jicama tacos in some form because they are legit PERFECT for spring and summer.
This was the first time I made jackfruit myself. I have had it out at restaurants and absolutely loved the taste and texture, but hadn’t yet taken the plunge and made them in my kitchen. I am so happy I did because not only are they tasty, they are beyond easy to throw together too. Much easier than making pulled pork or chicken in my opinion and if you are wondering how it will hold up compared to the original meat option, just know they HOLD UP SO WELL! In fact, if I didn’t blab to Sam that these contained no meat, he wouldn’t have known at all. So if you want to freak people out, don’t tell them until after and then just whisper to them “that wasn’t meat…” and watch the panic set in. Ok, that’s kinda mean, but also funny and I think you should try that and let me know how it goes. Of course, after that you can share that the secret ingredient is jackfruit, but keep the suspense going for just a few moments.
What is Jackfruit?
So what exactly is jackfruit? It’s a magical thing to be honest and if you are vegetarian, this substitute might just be my personal favourite meat alternative, in terms of taste. Jackfruit is a species of tree native to Southwest India. As such it is commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines, both the ripe and unripe fruit is used as are the seeds. For this recipe, we are using unripe jackfruit as this is the one that would typically be used in a meat type dish. The ripe version is much sweeter and is traditionally used in breakfast type dishes.
What about Protein?
The only potential downside of jackfruit is that it doesn’t contain much protein. But the thing is because unlike most of the population, I am not obsessed with this macro (or any macro) in particular. Obviously, protein is important, but if you are combining this with other sources of protein or you had protein in another meal that day, I am not too worried. It does contain other vitamins (such as vitamin C), minerals (especially high in magnesium) and a decent amount of fibre. When you combine this with jicama as I do in these jicama tacos, HELLO FIBRE! The seeds from jackfruit are actually where you will find most of the fibre, so don’t discard those.
Jicama Tacos: Full of Prebiotics!
Jicama in particular is full of prebiotic fibre and is mainly water, which means it is great for increasing hydration and for your skin. Although jicama is a root veggie, it is very low in dietary starch, sugar and carbs. Because it contains that prebiotic fibre, it is amazing at helping to feed the probiotics in our body, you can read more about prebiotics here. This also means that it helps with stabilizing your blood sugar as well. I loved using raw jicama as the base for these jicama tacos in this recipe. I had it similar to this when I was on vacation in December in the Caribbean and it was a game changer. Who ever thought to make jicama as the taco shell is a freakin’ GENIUS. If you want them super thin (which is ideal), slice very thinly or use a mandolin. I don’t have a mandolin (slightly terrified of them tbh) but I did try and slice very thin and it seemed to work just fine for me. Some piece were a little thicker than others, but whatever, it still worked, they just didn’t fold as nicely.
You can find jicama at a well-stocked grocery store, like Whole Foods or other South American grocers (as these are popular in Mexico).
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- 2 cans jackfruit
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup bbq sauce
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- a pinch of ground cinnamon
- a pinch of cloves
- a pinch of chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 tbsp. tamari (optional)
- 1 medium jicama
- Lime juice, fresh
- Drain both cans of jackfruit. Cut the firm pointy ends off each triangular piece. Shred with your hands the pieces of jackfruit, you can shred them more with a fork once you start cooking as well.
- Heat avocado or coconut oil on a pan, add the onion and cook over medium, until softened. Add the garlic in the last 20 seconds or so, stir together and add all the spices (paprika, cumin, cloves, cinnamon and chili flakes).
- Now add in the jackfruit and stir, add in the tamari and bbq sauce. Mix everything really well and just squash the pieces of jackfruit and use two forks to pull apart the pieces.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- While this is simmering, slice your jicama as thinly as possible using a sharp knife or mandolin.
- Serve the jicama with jackfruit on top, avocado, radish and cilantro.
Let me know, have you used jackfruit or jicama before? Are you going to try jicama tacos now?