During my earlier trips to Mexico – prior to going vegan that it is – my favorite dish was Tacos Al Pastor. If you’ve never had it, it’s the Mexican equivalent of Hawaiian pizza, taco style. Now if you’re one of those people who think pineapple has no place on your dinner plate this dish may not be for you. However, if you happen to enjoy the blend of sweet and savory, then carry on fellow taco lover. Because it’s always a good time for vegan tacos.
These tacos were inspired by the Jackfruit BBQ Sandwiches I shared a few weeks back. The “meat” base is the same blend of canned jackfruit and shredded tofu but cooked in a flavorful tomato and pineapple sauce.
Fresh pineapple goes a long way in this recipe, adding sweetness and flour to the sauce. The remaining pineapple is sliced thick and charred over a grill (or grill pan) and used to top the finished tacos. You can omit the charring if you wish, but it does add a smoky flavor to the pineapple as well as some additional sweetness in the event that you’ve sliced into your pineapple and found that it isn’t as ripe as you would have liked.
The sauce makes enough for two batches, as do most of my sauce recipes. That way you can freeze the second half and have it on hand when cravings strike. Because if you’re anything like me, the taco craving strikes pretty often.
As far as toppings and fillings go, the sky’s the limit. Personally, I like the creaminess of vegan sour cream or coleslaw, along with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.
- 1 cup crushed or diced pineapple
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Chili powder
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ to 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 20 ounce can jackfruit in brine, rinsed, drained, and shredded
- 1 16 ounce block extra firm tofu, shredded
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Corn tortillas for serving
- Grilled pineapple chunks
- Vegan Sour Cream or Coleslaw for topping (optional)
- Fresh Cilantro (optional)
- To make the sauce: combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. I use a wide mouth mason jar and immersion blender to allow for easy storing in the fridge or freezer.
- To make the filling: rinse and drain a can of jackfruit into a colander. Using your hands break apart the jackfruit into shreds, discarding any tough bits. Give it another rinse and allow to drain, patting it dry with a paper towel or clean dishcloth if you’re short on time.
- Using the largest side of a box grater, shred the tofu. Add to the jackfruit and set aside.
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt the coconut oil until just beginning to ripple. Add the jackfruit mixture and allow to cook until the edges begin to sear and turn golden brown. Don’t stir too frequently or you’ll prevent it from browning.
- Once the mixture has golden flecks throughout, add half of the sauce, along with ⅓ cup of water to the pan. Stir until combined and allow the mixture to come up to a simmer.
- Simmer until the liquid has evaporated and the jackfruit mixture is beginning to caramelize and brown.
- Once browned, remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.
- While the jackfruit in cooking slice the remaining pineapple into the thick slices and place over a grill or grill pan to char, about 3-4 minutes per side. Once charred, chop the slices into chunks and set aside until you’re ready to serve. Or omit this step and serve the pineapple fresh.
- To assemble: heat a large cast iron pan over medium heat. Once hot, add 2-3 corn tortillas and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until hot and flexible but not toasted. Keep the tortillas warm by wrapping them in a clean dish towel until ready to serve.
- To serve:, add 2-3 tablespoons of the jackfruit mixture to a tortilla and top with pineapple chunks as well as the toppings of your choice.