Author: Jocelyn Ramirez

Vegan Tacos de Yaca Al Pastor (Jackfruit Al Pastor Tacos)

From The Cookbook “La Vida Verde” by Jocelyn Ramirez

Al pastor is a beloved taco filling eaten throughout Mexico and Los Angeles. Although the origin for
this taco flavor comes from Mexico, the style of cooking pork meat on a trompo or long spit is actually
a Lebanese style of cooking lamb shawarma. is cooking method evolved in Mexico using ingredients that were readily available like pork, achiote, citrus and other chiles. For this recipe, we won’t need to use a trompo to bring out the deliciously familiar flavors of fragrant al pastor. We’ll be using marinated and seared jackfruit to make tacos just as craveable as you might remember.

Tacos de Yaca Al Pastor (Jackfruit Al Pastor Tacos)

Yield: 4–6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 1⁄2 tbsp (52 ml) achiote paste
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) orange juice
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) pineapple juice
  • 3 (20-oz [565-g]) cans green jackfruit, drained, rinsed, squeezed dry and coarsely chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) cooking oil, plus more for cooking as needed
  • 2 tbsp (17 g) ground cumin
  • 1⁄2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1⁄4 pineapple, diced
  • Tortillas (Hechas a Mano)
  • 1–2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • Salsa de Aguacate

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add the achiote paste, orange juice and pineapple juice to a blender. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  2. Remove the non-shreddable core from the shreddable part of the jackfruit with
a knife. Remove any seedpods from the shreddable parts and add them to the
pile of cores. Add the shreddable jackfruit to a medium bowl. Mince the cores
and seedpods with a chef ’s knife until they are a similar texture to the shreddable jackfruit. Shred the jackfruit in the bowl, and add the minced jackfruit. Add the achiote mixture, oil, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the bowl of jackfruit and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add the jackfruit mixture. Cook for
20 to 30 minutes, or until it is seared and brown on all sides. You may need to add more oil as the jackfruit cooks. The skillet should have enough oil to help sear and brown the jackfruit. Add the diced pineapple to the dish to sear during the last few minutes of cooking. Serve this dish with Tortillas Hechas a Mano, lemon wedges and Salsa de Aguacate.

Chef’s Notes:

  1. Achiote or annatto is an orange-red seed used to season and add color to food.
  2. Young green jackfruit can typically be purchased in cans or preserved in brine in jars at Asian markets or health food stores.
Reprinted with permission from La Vida Verde by Jocelyn Ramirez, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Zohra Banon.

Follow along with Jocelyn Ramirez as she transforms the traditional dishes she grew up making alongside her Abuelita into wonderfully flavorful plant-based meals everyone will love. With only a few simple and affordable substitutions, you can capture all the spicy, earthy, savory deliciousness of authentic Mexican cooking, and help friends, family and even the die-hard meat-eaters enjoy a new side of Latin cuisine.

Amaze your taste buds with healthier versions of kitchen staples like Queso Fresco (Fresh Cheese), Chile de Árbol y Tomatillo (Árbol Chiles with Tomatillo) and Tortillas Hechas a Mano (Handmade Tortillas). Then make hearty, filling mains that carnivores and vegans alike will come back to again and again, such as Tacos de Yaca Carnitas (Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos), Sopa de Tortilla con Crema (Tortilla Soup with Cream) and Mole Verde con Champiñones (Mushrooms in Green Mole). With these 60 recipes you’ll be cooking the foods you love with better-for-you ingredients.

MEET JOCELYN

Todo Verde founder, Jocelyn Ramirez, is a plant-based chef, college professor, yoga instructor, and advocate for healthy food access in her community. After Jocelyn’s father was diagnosed with cancer for the second time, she created a plant-based superfood smoothie diet that made him dramatically stronger and helped with a quick recovery. As she drove across the city in search of healthy food options, she was astounded by the lack of access to good food in her neighborhood.

Click here to order your copy of La Vida Verde.

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