One of my favorite vegan-friendly items in Isla Vista has to be the potato taquitos from Super Cucas. Located near the cash register is their not-so-secret vegan menu with seven options for plant-based eaters including the taquitos, soy chorizo burritos and more. The crispy taquitos are filled with potatoes and served on a bed of lettuce with guacamole and pico de gallo. I’ve stumbled into Super Cucas on many occasions, and these taquitos always hit the spot.
I’ve always wanted to put my own spin on the Super Cucas taquitos and play around with different fillings. Lately I’ve been intrigued with jackfruit as a meat substitute. Jackfruit is known for its stringy texture that mimics pulled pork. Jackfruit has a very mild flavor on its own but, when seasoned correctly, can easily be mistaken for shredded meat. These jackfruit taquitos make the perfect appetizer and will definitely be a crowd pleaser.
Ingredients (makes 8 taquitos):
- 1 can of cut jackfruit
- 8 small flour or corn tortillas, depending on your preference
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 1 can 15 ounces of tomato sauce
- ¼ cup of water
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 lime
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Chop the onion into ¼-inch pieces.
- Add cooking oil of choice to a pan and add in the onion. Sauté for 4 minutes before adding the cumin, garlic powder and paprika. Adjust the heat to low.
- Drain the can of jackfruit and pat the jackfruit dry with a paper towel. Pull apart the jackfruit chunks into smaller pieces with your hands or a fork.
- Add the pulled jackfruit to the pan with the onion and stir gently. Pour in the tomato sauce and water and let the mixture cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
- Once the liquid has been absorbed into the jackfruit mixture, it’s time to start forming the taquitos!
- Place some of the jackfruit mixture in the center of each tortilla and tightly wrap it up. Place the taquitos into a rectangular baking dish with the seam side down, packing them tightly so they stay intact while cooking. I sprayed some cooking oil on top so they could crisp up in the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges of the taquitos are brown and crispy.
- Serve the taquitos with a squeeze of lime juice, shredded cabbage or lettuce, cilantro and other toppings of your choice. I added a drizzle of Bitchin’ Chipotle Sauce and Cholula.
I love that this recipe relies on a single fruit as the star ingredient rather than a plant-based meat substitute with unpronounceable ingredients. The jackfruit mixture featured in the recipe is also quite versatile and can be used for tacos and even sandwiches. With summer approaching, these taquitos will definitely be your go-to item to bring to a barbecue.
A version of this article appeared on p. 10 of the April 28, 2022 edition of the Daily Nexus