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Say hello to these 20-minute, easy, healthy, naturally vegan Jackfruit Fajitas! They’re perfect for busy weeknights, especially if you’re looking to cut down on meat, or if you’re curious about cooking with jackfruit because you’ve never done it before.
Things are a bit up in the air at the moment. Alongside working on recipes to post here and over on my newsletter ingredient, and waiting to start two big recipe development projects, I don’t have an oven at the moment. So, while waiting for it to be replaced I’ve been going through the cupboards and sussing out meals with things that have been sitting there for ages because I’ve either seen them and thought oooh! shiny! or because I’ve been sent them: enter stage left all the cans of unsweetened jackfruit I’ve got kicking about.
What is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a type of fruit that grows on trees in Asia, Africa and South America. It has quite a firm flesh and it tends to absorb the flavours it is cooked with and cooking sauces like a sponge, not dissimilar to aubergine. Typically here in the UK it comes either sweetened in cans or in brine, which is what we’re using here, though fresh it is said to have a tropical fruit flavour reminiscent of mango, pineapple and bananas.
Thus far, the only time I’d had jackfruit was when I tried some pre-cooked ‘pulled jackfruit’ which was supposed to imitate pulled pork, which was terrible. But I know in some parts of a world it is a beloved staple, and I’m always seeing such delicious looking jackfruit recipes on Charla’s brilliant Caribbean food blog. So I decided to give it a go. ‘Jackfruit Fajitas’ has long been scribbled down in my notes app as something to play around with, as I make fajitas with chicken (and I use that recipe for prawns and steak too), halloumi and roasted cubes of sweet potato, I thought why the hell not?
It turns out they’re delicious, and a great alternative to keep in the cupboard for when you’re running low on other proteins, or if you’re looking to try a few more plant-based dishes as a move way from relying too much on meat on busy weeknights. While I’m not massive on the flavour of jackfruit on it’s own I love how like aubergine it takes up all the delicious spices from the homemade fajita mix and becomes slightly charred around the edges, providing juicy, slightly herbal chunks alongside the golden peppers and onions.
Serve with your choice of all the usual fajitas accoutrements, including any mix of salsa (homemade or store bought, I’m not fussy!), cubed avocado or guacamole, fresh lime wedges, green salad leaves, refried beans, shredded cheese, and soured cream or a light, creamy vegan alternative (I like coconut yogurt for things like this!) and just lay everything out on the table for people to help themselves.
These easy, naturally vegan, 20-minute Jackfruit Fajitas are a great weeknight pantry alternative to chicken fajitas, made with a delicious homemade fajitas spice mix and all your favourite add-ins like fresh salsa and cubed avocado.
1 tbsp light oil
1 red pepper
1 yellow or orange pepper
1 red onion
1 x 400g () can jackfruit in brine, drained well
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp flaky sea salt
tortilla wraps and other fajita add-ins, for serving
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or shallow casserole dish set over a high heat. De-seed the peppers and cut them into thin slices, and peel and cut the onion into wedges. Fry for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until they’re just starting to soften and char.
Stir in the jackfruit, roughly chopped if the chunks are a little bit too big to be manageable. Stir in the lemon juice, followed by the spices, dried oregano and salt.
Cook for a final 5 minutes, still stirring often, until the jackfruit is warmed through and has just started to char also. Serve immediately.
I tested this recipe with both Plant Pioneers Canned Jackfruit and Tropical Sun Young Green Jackfruit In Brine. I preferred the former but the latter is easier to get hold of; you’ll need to chop or tear it into more manageable chunks as they tend to be quite big in the can!
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