Okay, yeah, today’s Thursday but whatever – there’s enough alliteration here to satisfy me.
Have you guys ever had fried cod or tilapia tacos? Okay, me neither. But I have had a vegan version of cod tacos from this bomb taco spot in Orlando, Florida by the name of Tako Cheena. They serve up the meanest Hispanic/Asian fusion food I’ve ever had, and their cod tacos are also – incidentally – the inspiration for this dish.
What makes their cod tacos so special is their bright flavors, sweet sauce, and their soft-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside fried tofu (or cod). It’s an exhilarating relief from the savory rice, beans, guacamole, and salsa tacos that you find at most taco joints.
You know what… forget words today. I’m gonna let pictures do the talking.
Ryan & Kim
Refreshing Citrus Fried Jackfruit Tacos
Jackfruit is beer battered & fried in coconut oil until golden crisp. Served on soft cassava tortillas with lime-infused beet slaw and zesty sweet & sour sauce. Sweet, bright, fresh, & satisfying in every way.
- 7 oz unseasoned jackfruit pieces
- 1/2 c (64 g) cassava flour
- 2 tbsp tapioca or arrowroot starch
- 4 – 4.5 oz gluten-free beer or sparkling water (medium to dark beers work best)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
- 14 fl oz refined coconut oil
Lime-Infused Beet Slaw
- 2 oz matchstick-cut beets (about 1/2 a small beet)
- 2 oz thinly shredded green cabbage (about 1/8 a small head)
- 1 tbsp unrefined sesame oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
- zest of one lime, finely grated*
- 1 tbsp erythritol
- 1/4 tsp salt
Orange Sweet & Sour Sauce
- 2 oz (1/4 c) water
- 2 oz (1/4 c) ketchup (use homemade for sugar-free version)*
- 1 oz (2 tbsp) erythritol
- 1 oz (2 tbsp) rice vinegar
- 0.5 oz (1 tbsp) tamari
- 5 g (1/2 tbsp) tapioca or arrowroot starch
- 1 tbsp orange zest, finely grated*
- 4 – 6 cassava tortillas (without additional seaweed if using homemade)
- fresh cilantro
- lime wedges
- thinly sliced avocado
- Slaw: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together lime juice sesame oil, lime zest, salt, and erythritol. Then toss the shredded cabbage and matchstick cut (thin strips) with the dressing until thoroughly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes up until ready to use.
- Sweet & Sour Sauce: In a personal sized blender or mason jar w/ a fitted lid, combine all of the sweet & sour sauce ingredients. Blend or vigorously shake to combine.
- Transfer to a small sauce pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat & set aside for later use. (Reheat over low heat before serving.)
- Jackfruit: Place jackfruit pieces in a bowl. To a separate bowl, add in tapioca starch. In a third, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cassava flour, salt, baking soda, and cayenne pepper.
- To the third bowl, whisk in 4 oz of beer or sparkling water. The batter should be thick enough to stick to the jackfruit, but thin enough that it moves around the bowl freely; if needed, add in the additional 0.5 oz (1 tbsp) beer or sparkling water.
- Place all of your refined coconut oil into a medium sized pot (the heavier, the better for temperature control) over medium heat. Heat until the temperature reaches 350° F or until a wooden spoon inserted into the oil upside down forms bubbles around its edges (as visualized in this post by Life Hacker).
- While the oil heats up, set up an oil draining rig by inverting a cookie sheet onto a counter. Line the cookie sheet with a layer of paper towels, then invert a cooling rack on top of that (reference photo in post).
- Roll a piece of jackfruit around in tapioca starch, shake off the excess, then dip into the beer batter. Gently place into the oil, letting part of the jackfruit fry before you fully insert it into the oil – this will prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Fry – one or two pieces at a time – until the nuggets are golden brown & crispy, stirring them around as you go; about 45 seconds per nugget.
- Repeat steps 8 & 9 until all of the jackfruit is battered & fried. To keep it warm and crispy, remove the paper towels from your draining rig, place the baking sheet right side up, then place the cooling rack back on top of that. Set in a 250° F oven for up to 45 minutes.
- You can assemble your tacos any way you’d like with whatever additional toppings you’d like, but this is how we layered ours: 1. Tortilla 2. Slaw 3. Jackfruit 4. Avocado 5. Cilantro 6. Sweet & Sour Sauce 7. Squeeze of lime.
- Enjoy these tacos while fresh! Fried food is never good when reincarnated.
*When grating your lime & orange, be sure to only grate off the pigmented layer of the fruit. You don’t want any of the pith (a.k.a. the white stuff) that’s just under the zest, as that part’s bitter.
*While ketchup is made from tomatoes – a.k.a. the nightshade family – it does not contain lectins, as it’s only made from the flesh of the fruit – not the skin or seeds, which are the parts containing lectins. Use the linked recipe for sugar-free ketchup.