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Tacos de Jamaica (Hibiscus Flower Tacos)

My friend recently introduced me to DC Corazón and their amazing menu of vegetarian tacos including "Jamaica Pastor" featuring sautéed hibiscus flowers. I definitely have never had hibiscus in anything but tea, and I'm now furious about it because spicy hibiscus flowers should really be on anything.

I found the following recipe which relies on boiling instead of marinating the flowers. Like with boiling anything you lose a bit of the health value of the food, which is a shame because hibiscus has a ton of health benefits.

It helps to prevent cardiovascular disease by reducing the amount of bad cholesterol in the body. It also helps to lower blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes. Additional benefits include making digestion better, aiding in weight loss, and being a wonderful anti-depressant. My kidney medication makes my cholesterol go up. Diabetes is definitely not great for kidneys, so let's avoid that. And Lord knows I need to get this darn COVID weight off.

So why still boil instead of making time to marinate? The good news about boiling: you can save the darn water and drink in all the nutrients!

Anyhow, let's focus on how tasty and unique we've made this Taco Tuesday.

Tacos de Jamaica (Hibiscus Flower Tacos)

Source: Live Eat Learn | Serves: 6 tacos | Time: 30 min


2 cups dried #hibiscus flowers aim for whole flowers, not cut, 165 g

1 medium white onion, diced and divided

½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 lime juiced

1 tbsp oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp chipotle sauce from a can of adobo peppers (I'll do 2 tbsp next time)

½ tsp each salt and pepper

6 small tortillas

My toppings of choice: jalapeno and avocado crema


Combine hibiscus and 8 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Strain out the hibiscus, saving the water for another use (like tea or popsicles!)

While the hibiscus boils, go ahead and make the relish. Combine half of the onion in a small bowl with cilantro and lime juice.

Back to your filling. Rinse the hibiscus under hot water until water runs clear. Drain well, squeezing out as much moisture as possible.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add hibiscus, remaining onion, and garlic. Cook until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chipotle sauce, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, until hibiscus is slightly charred at the edges. Remove from heat.

To serve, heat tortillas then spoon hibiscus filling into each, topping with cilantro relish and additional toppings of choice. I put my avocado crema on the tortillas first. Then added the relish and jalapeno.

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