We have some of the greatest neighbors and friends I could have ever hoped for, from a wide array of cultures. Typically when we get together with friends from our street, food is involved. Really, really good food. Our friends Lissi and Craig love food just as much as we do, and we often share recipes back and forth. They are not vegan, but have started adding more plant based meals into their rotation, and often challenge me to veganize things I would have never considered. Lissi was born and raised in Mexico, and she is constantly teaching me about her upbringing through food. Most recently she suggested I make a vegan version of a Mexican Torta using jackfruit. I had never had a torta, let alone had any idea what went on one, until she explained it. She told me she grew up going with her godparents in Juarez, to a place called Parque Burunda just to get tortas when she was a kid. They typically have meat, beans, mayo, avocado, and some kind of lettuce, tomato, pickled jalapeño combo on them. They are normally severed on a bolillo roll that is a lot like a french baguette. If you have a Mexican market near you, you should be able to find bolillo. If not, french bread works well too. You are looking for a bread with a crusty outside and soft inside. I honestly think the refried beans are what makes this sandwich. My love for sandwiches runs deep, and this sandwich is now on my top favorites. It is so flipping good, y’all!!! The jackfruit comes together fairly quickly, and is perfectly tender, seasoned with a spicy kick. We opted for a light slaw mix instead of lettuce for an added tangy crunch, and it works so well. So if you are clueless to a Mexican Torta like I was, then I can’t urge you enough to give this delicious sandwich a try. Lissi knows what she is doing in the kitchen, and has never once steered me wrong. I could not be more thankful for she and Craig, and the rest of our amazing neighbors, and all of the great meals we share together!
4 - 6 Bolillo, or 2 sticks of french bread
2 cans jackfruit in brine
1 larger onion, sliced thinly
1 small can green chilies
2 teaspoons each, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, minced garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable better than bouillon
1/2 cup water
1 can vegan refried beans
4 - 6 teaspoons vegan mayo
Juice from 1 lime
3 cups chopped cabbage
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
juice from 1 lime
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
salt and pepper to taste,
Drain jackfruit and rinse. Shred the fruit between your fingers over a bowl, or chop with a knife. I find using your hands works more easily and quickly for shredding the jackfruit.
Heat large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add a few teaspoons of oil. Once oil is hot add the onions and the can of chilies. Let the onions cook until translucent and soft.
Add the shredded jackfruit to the pot along with the seasonings, lime juice, Better Than Bouillon, and water. Reduce the heat to low, and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes with a lid on. If all of the liquid cooks down and it begins to seem dry, add a little more water and let it continue simmering.
Prepare the slaw by mixing all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the sandwiches, spread a teaspoon of mayo on one side of bun, spread a few tablespoons of beans on the other. Top with jackfruit, slaw, and slices of avocado. You can add extra cilantro if you like, and even slices of tomato or extra jalapeños.
Serves 4 - 6.
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