Does Latin and Vegan sound like an oxymoron? It isn’t with Jackfruit Tamales!

by ashley

My beloved jackfruit, for which I drove 50 miles south of my home to buy and three hours of my time to cut, also became a wonderfully fresh, Latin meal when combined with simple ingredients. (Read more about the jackfruit itself here)

Tamales are traditionally made with either corn or yucca flour, stuffed with beef or pork, and wrapped in a plantain leaf or corn husk. My version is the quick-fix method, when you don’t have much time. Making tamales the traditional way is a time consuming and painstaking process, however does indeed yield much tastier results. I have used brand names in my ingredients list as it makes a difference in flavor if using other brands.

To make the jackfruit filling:

 

2 cups peeled green jackfruit, fresh

1 small onion, diced

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 pkg Goya achiote seasoning

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 tbsp Goya recaito (cilantro cooking base)

Oil spray for coating pan

 

Mix ingredients well in a medium bowl, cover and let marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. Heat a large skillet to medium heat and spray with oil spray to prevent sticking. Sauté marinated jackfruit and onion over medium heat until translucent and browned. Cover and set aside.

 

To make the tamales:

 

2 cups pre-cooked Harina PAN Masarepa (yellow cornmeal)

2 ½ cups hot water (almost boiling)

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp Earth Balance Original

4 plantain leaves or 6 corn husks, soaked in warm water so they are pliable

Kitchen string

 

In a large bowl, add the almost-boiling water, salt and Earth Balance. Slowly add the cornmeal, stirring constantly until a soft dough is formed. Carefully knead the dough to evenly distribute water, salt and Earth Balance. Assemble the tamales by adding a tablespoon or two of dough onto a plantain leaf or corn husk. Flatten the mixture, add a little of the jackfruit and cover with another tablespoon of dough. Wrap the tamal like a package in the leaf or husk, carefully tying with kitchen string. Continue until you have made the desired amount of tamales or you run out of ingredients (will be about 4-6 tamales).

 

Boil water in a large pot. Add the tamales and boil until they float, or about 15 minutes. Serve fresh.

 

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