These vegan birria tacos will up your Taco Tuesday game! If you haven't noticed, birria tacos are taking the internet by storm. So, obviously I wanted to create a vegan version that's true to the authentic birria taco recipe. I hope you love these juicy, crispy delights as much as I do.
If you haven't noticed from my ever growing collection of vegan Mexican recipes like jackfruit nachos, and vegan black bean enchiladas, I'm all about the sunny flavors of Mexico. So, to say that these these birria tacos are my new favorite recipe is saying something! I'm kind of obsessed with them.
They've got just the right balance between being juicy and crispy with a low key spicy/sweet and sour flavor that tickles all the right taste buds. I guarantee you'll be making homemade tacos every week once you've tried this recipe.
What Are Birria Tacos Anyhow?
Birria tacos are traditional Mexican tacos that are made by dipping corn tortillas in a rich, savory chile pepper stew. The tortillas are usually stuffed with meat and fried. In my vegan version we'll be using jackfruit, which is just the ticket as it's shredded, much like the pulled pork or beef that's traditionally used. Plus, it tastes amazing!
All About Mexican Chile Peppers
This recipe calls for three kinds of Mexican chile peppers. While you can find recipes all over the internet that substitute other ingredients, you'll be amply rewarded for finding the correct chile peppers. That's where the flavor's at!
- Guajillo Chile Peppers: Guajillo peppers are slightly fruity with notes of green tea. They have a really special and unique flavor. If you can't find them you can substitute ancho chile peppers, which are more widely available. However, I recommend hunting them down if you want a truly authentic birria taco taste. I found them in England, which is pretty far from Mexico, so it's possible! If you're in the UK, I highly recommend Mexgrocer. They have everything.
- Pasilla Chile Peppers: Pasilla peppers are part of the "holy trinity" of Mexican cooking. They have a smoky, sweet flavor. If you can't find them, you can substitute ancho chile peppers, though anchos are slightly sweeter.
- Ancho Chile Peppers: Ancho chile peppers are widely available. They have a wonderful smoky, raisin like flavor that just can't be replicated with anything else.
How To Make Perfect Vegan Birria Tacos
- The first thing we're going to do it to cut the tops off of your dried chile peppers and scrape out the seeds. Soak them in a bowl of boiled water for 20 minutes to rehydrate them.
- While your chile peppers are soaking make your vegan birria taco base by sauteing your onion for 4-5 minutes in olive oil. Add the garlic at the end, and saute for a further 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the garlic.
- Once the chiles have soaked for 20 minutes, drain them and discard the water. Put your chiles in a blender along with the sauteed onion and garlic and give it a good blitz.
- Now, add your vegetable broth, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, cumin, chopped tomatoes, oregano and salt to the blender and blend until you have a smooth sauce. Scrape down your blender as necessary.
- Drain your jackfruit and give it a good rinse. If you're not using pre-shredded jackfruit, you'll need to remove the hard pointy tip. If you're using pre-shredded jackfruit, you're good to go.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Saute the jackfruit for 5 minutes.
- Tip your chile pepper sauce into the jackfruit pot and add your bay leaves. Let the sauce simmer and thicken for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves when the birria sauce is done simmering.
- Grease a non-stick saute pan by using a paper towel with a bit of olive oil on it. Heat the pan up over low heat. Dip a tortilla into the birria sauce, letting any excess sauce drip off. Transfer it to the hot pan and immediately flip it over. Add the jackfruit mixture, and coriander to one half of the tortilla. Flip the other half over and let it heat up on both sides. We are not aiming for crispy, like you would see in a hard-shelled taco, so don't let your birria tacos sit in the pan too long. If the pan is getting too dry, wipe it out and add a bit more olive oil between tacos. Save a bit of the birria sauce for dipping. That's half the beauty of this recipe.
- Transfer your vegan birria tacos to a clean plate and garnish with limes, radishes and chopped onion.
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Frequently Asked Questions About This Recipe
A lot of people wonder if corn tortillas are gluten free, and fortunately the answer is yes! So, this birria taco recipe is gluten free. No substitutions are needed.
I doubt you'll have leftovers, but on the odd chance that you do, put them on a parchment lined baking sheet at reheat at 350 F (175 C) for 10 minutes.
If You Liked This Recipe, You Might Like These Easy Vegan Recipes
Vegan Birria Tacos With Jackfruit
- 3 dried guajillo chiles
- 2 dried ancho chiles
- 1 dried pasilla chile
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 white onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- `1 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 14 ounce cans shredded jackfruit
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup cilantro roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped onions
- 4 radishes thinly sliced
- Boil 2 cups of water in a small saucepan, remove it from the heat and set aside.
- Slice the chili pepper stems off and remove the seeds. Put them into the hot water and allow them to rehydrate for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large non stick saute pan. Saute the onion for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 more minute.
- Drain the chile peppers and discard the water. Put the rehydrated chiles into a blender along with the sauteed onion and garlic. Blend on high speed until you have a smooth chile sauce.
- Add the vegetable broth, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, cumin, chopped tomatoes, oregano and salt to the blender and blend until you have a smooth sauce.
- Using a sieve, drain the jackfruit and wash it under cold water.
- In the same pan that you sauteed the onion in, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shredded jackfruit to the pan and saute for 5 minutes.
- Pour the sauce over the jackfruit, add the bay leaves, and simmer for 15 minutes to thicken the sauce and blend the flavors. Remove the bay leaves when the sauce is thickened.
- Grease a non-stick saute pan by using a paper towel with a bit of olive oil on it. Heat the pan up over low heat. Dip a tortilla into the birria sauce, letting any excess sauce drip off. Transfer it to the hot pan and immediately flip it over. Add the jackfruit mixture, and coriander to one half of the tortilla. Flip the other half of the tortilla over to form a taco, and continue flipping the taco until it's evenly seared on both sides. *see note 1
- Garnish with chopped onions, cilanto and radishes.
- Start out with a lightly greased pan. Do not add too much oil. We are not aiming for a hard-shelled taco. Between tacos, you might want to wipe out the pan and regrease. Add more olive oil as necessary.