Spicy Vegan Mexican Pozole With Jackfruit and Chili Peppers

This spicy red Mexican pozole, which features jackfruit, is flavor-packed.

In this episode of EATKINDLY With Me, Amanda Castillo makes vegan Mexican pozole using jackfruit. 

“Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup or stew normally made with hominy and meat, which is usually pork. But it can be made with chicken and goat, as well,” Amanda explains.

Of course, the vegan pozole is meat-free. Instead, Amanda uses jackfruit to whip up this authentic Mexican dish. 

“I thought jackfruit would be perfect for this recipe because when cooked thoroughly and pulled apart, it looks really similar to pork,” she adds. “And I also feel like it absorbs flavors really well.”

There are three types of pozole: red, white, and green. “I grew up eating the red one,” Amanda says. 
She explains that the difference between the three pozoles is the sauce that goes into them. Red pozole, the type Amanda makes, has red sauce, made with a variety of chili peppers. In her recipe, she includes guajillo chilis, ancho chili, and chile de arbol (it’s spicy!).

Amanda garnishes the dish with cabbage, radishes, coarse sea salt, and lime. “Some people do add lettuce to their pozole, but my family prefers cabbage because it gives it a nicer crunch. Especially when it’s sitting in the pozole, it doesn’t get too soggy,” she explains. She says you can also add diced onion.

“The jackfruit really cooked down and it looks so much like pulled pork, it’s crazy,” Amanda says. Are your stomachs grumbling yet? Here’s how to make vegan Mexican pozole:

vegan Mexican pozole
This vegan Mexican pozole is spicy and flavor-packed. | Amanda Castillo for LIVEKINDLY

Red Jackfruit Pozole

By Amanda Castillo

30 mins to prep
1 hour to cook
Vegan

Ingredients

Broth

  • 3 cups hominy
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 3 cloves of garlic
    • ⅛ large white onion or ¼ of small white onion
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Jackfruit sauce

  • 3 guajillo chilies
  • 1 ancho chili
  • 2 chile de arbol chilies
  • ⅛ large white onion or ¼ of small white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 3 teaspoons vegetable bouillon
  • 2-3 cups water (1 cup reserved)
  • 20 ounce can green jackfruit
  • Olive oil

Toppings

  • Cabbage, thinly shredded
  • Radishes, sliced
  • Limes, quartered

Preparation

  1. 1
    Remove tops from chilies and rinse out the seeds under running water. Transfer to a saucepan with 3 cups of water (enough to cover the tops) and boil for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and cover for another 5 minutes.
  2. 2
    In a blender, add the chilies, 1 cup of the water used to boil it, ⅛ white onion, 2 garlic cloves, ½ tsp oregano, and 3 tsp bouillon. Blend and set aside.
  3. 3
    Place the jackfruit on a cutting board and remove the inner triangle portion and the seeds. Place shredded “pork-like” pieces in a strainer. Rinse well and then transfer to a saucepan with boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes to remove brine taste, then rinse under running water. Squeeze water out of jackfruit with paper towels.
  4. 4
    Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add jackfruit and cook for 5-8 minutes or until crisp around the edges. Add the prepared sauce. Stir and let cook for 2 more minutes. Set aside.
  5. 5
    Strain and rinse hominy. Transfer to a medium-sized pot over high heat with 8 cups of water. Place ⅛ of a white onion and 3 garlic cloves in a fine mesh bag, then place in the pot. Add ½ tsp oregano. Cover with a lid. Once it starts boiling, open the lid slightly, lower the heat to medium, and let boil for 30 minutes.
  6. 6
    Add the jackfruit sauce to the pozole along with 1 Tbsp vegetable bouillon. Taste and add 1 tsp of salt if necessary. Stir and let boil for 20 minutes.
  7. 7
    Top with thinly sliced cabbage, diced onion, sliced radishes, and lime wedges.

Special Instructions/Equipment:

  • A fine mesh bag (or ‘soup sock’) makes it easy when cooking onion and garlic in the broth. If you don’t have this on hand, the mesh bag that whole garlic comes in can be used as well! Rinse it thoroughly, place your onion and garlic inside, and then tie the opposite end. If you don’t have that either, go ahead and throw your onion and garlic in the broth as is—just be sure to remove them from the broth before serving.
  • Mexican oregano comes from a different plant family than the traditional oregano you see in Italian cuisine. The difference between the two is subtle, but I think Mexican oregano has flavor profiles that are a more natural fit for Mexican dishes. If you don’t have Mexican oregano on hand, you CAN use traditional oregano in this recipe, but I highly recommend using Mexican oregano if possible.

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