When it comes to meat alternatives, there are a variety of options. Although some can be inaccessible because of their cost, allergens or even the difficulty of the recipe itself, there are few allergen free veggie meats that can be used for tacos. The most versatile and sustainable is jamaica, or hibiscus flower.
Jamaica is used as a component in its namesake agua fresca (flavored water). Although its origins and history aren’t as easily stated as the history of chilaquiles, it is an unquestioned component of Mexican cuisine.
Jamaica is a flower that can simmer until it has much of its essence boiled out into the water, but it is still sour upon consuming it without any seasoning or preparation. What makes it a good meat replacement is its texture and likeness to pulled pork.
To prepare the main ingredient of this recipe, it first has to be boiled for roughly 15-20 minutes. The preparation is similar to boiling tea. Once the water is a deep crimson, the flowers should be removed from the water. After, use a clean cloth, such as a cheesecloth, to make sure the flowers are dry.
The other ingredients for preparation and seasoning are:
2 cups of Hibiscus flower
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1/3 cup of yellow onions or white onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of liquid sweetener (agave, maple or even monk fruit) or 1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of olive oil (to saute)
(optional) 1 bag of fajita mix veggies and cilantro
- Mix the jamaica with all the spices and soy sauce.
2. Dice the onion and garlic cloves to desired size. Once the veggies are diced then set the stove to a low heat and add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Allow for it to simmer for about five minutes.
3. Once the garlic and onions look caramelized, add the jamaica into the pan and make sure the marinade also falls into the pan.
4. Allow for the flower, garlic and onions to simmer on a medium heat and occasionally stir for 5-10 minutes (depending on the moisture of the mixture and desired texture).
5. Once the mixture has the desired pulled pork-like texture, remove from heat.
The meat could be used for tacos, tamales or any pulled pork dish. It all depends on the dish and desired texture.