Monday, June 4, 2012

Food Network Monthly Cookalong: My Tribute to Seabirds Food Truck

Just this past Saturday, the Seabirds Truck posted a picture of some delicious looking Jackfruit Taquitos on their Facebook page. I swooned and wished I was a California Girl so that I could be enjoying the sun and the taquitos. Then I got to thinking...I could make a tribute to the Seabird's taquitos for this month's Food Network Cookalong seeing that the theme fit perfectly! I made a quick trip to the local Asian market, picked up two cans of jackfruit and got to thinking. There wasn't much description of what they tasted like so I had to go with what I thought it would taste like and I think I nailed it! They were crispy and crunchy on the outside and stuffed full of carnita flavoured jackfruit on the the inside. I served mine with a drizzle of Chipotle Avocado Cream from Dreena Burton's newest cookbook Let Them Eat Vegan (with added cumin and extra lime juice) with salsa and guacamole on the side. They would be great with a little vegan sour cream or crema too (Terry Hope Romero's in Viva Vegan is awesome!). I also used the same Chipotle Avocado Cream as a dressing on some thinly sliced red cabbage and carrot and it made an excellent crunchy side dish!

Here's what the finished product looked like...

And here's how to make them!

Jackfruit Carnita Taquitos

2 cans of jackfruit (young green in brine), rinsed
4 cups water
1 large white onion, halved and sliced into half moons
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tbsp veggie broth powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ancho chile powder

Package of corn tortillas
Oil for frying

1. Combine the rinsed jackfruit, water, onion, juices and seasonings in a large stock pot. I use a heavy enameled cast iron one. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to keep it at a simmer with the lid on. Simmer for 2-3 hours then remove from the heat, leave the lid on and let sit for another 2-3 hours. You could even let it cool, refrigerate and leave the rest til the next day at this point.

2. Reserving the cooking liquid, remove the jackfruit and onion slices and roughly chop them. Put the pot with the reserved cooking liquid over high heat and simmer until it has reduced down to 1/4 of the original volume. While this is reducing, heat a frying pan with a tablespoon of vegetable oil (I used grapeseed) and pan fry the jackfruit/onion mixture until it is caramelized and brown on the outside. I had to do this in two batches, you might have to too and if you do, add another bit of oil when you put the second batch in to brown. Once all the jackfruit has been browned, place it all back in the frying pan over high heat. Pour the reduced cooking liquid over the jackfruit. It will bubble up and continue to reduce as it coats the jackfruit. Turn off the heat and let cool. If you don't have the time, you can fill them while it's hot, just watch your hands.

3. Start by heating about an 1 1/2 inches of oil (again I used grapeseed) in a cast iron frying pan (mine's 10"). Again I have no clue what temperature unfortunately. I put it over med-high heat until it shimmers and bubbles when you add something to it. While that is heating you will need to warm the tortillas so they don't just crack when you try to roll them. I used the microwave to do this by wrapping them in paper towel (and separating each one with another piece) and microwaving in 30 second intervals until they feel warm and pliable. You can keep them warm in a tortilla warmer if you have one. Take one tortilla in your hand and place a few heaping spoonfuls of the jackfruit on it near the edge. Roll it completely around the jackfruit and place seam side down in the hot oil. Keep an eye on them and turn after a minute or two, checking to see how it is browning underneath, frying on the other side until golden brown all over.

4. Remove and place on a paper towel lined cooling rack to remove some of the excess oil and serve with your favourite salsa, guacamole and crema!


  1. Wow, Kelly! Looks fantastic!

  2. Whoa, nice job! I still have no idea what I’m going to do, it’s really hard to focus when my mind is overflowing with things.

  3. Excellent job. Looks great.