Hibiscus flowers make for a delicious taco filling and this tacos de jamaica recipe is a great example of that. Ready to welcome a new favorite into your menu?
Tacos de jamaica are tacos made with a filling consisting of hibiscus flowers. Hibiscus flowers, known as flor de jamaica in Spanish, are used to create a meatless and flavorful taco filling, particularly popular in Mexican cuisine.
I usually make those tacos with the leftover flowers from my agua de jamaica recipe, is just a way to repurpose food deliciously and creatively!
They’re also very easy to make because you just need to sauté the soaked flowers with a few spices and veggies then you’ll have a nutritious, low-calorie, and delicious filling to tuck into warm tortillas.
- Dried hibiscus flowers: This is the main ingredient. Usually, dried hibiscus flowers are used for teas and drinks. But when they’re cooked with water, they will take on a soft, meat-like texture, so you can make tacos and other dishes with it.
- Tortillas: Corn or flour tortillas will work well for this recipe. If you can, get them nice and fresh so the flavor can be a bit more intense.
- Tomato: Tomatoes will add a lot of flavor to the hibiscus flowers and it will also make them juicier. Ripe tomatoes will make the taste richer.
- Onion: Of course, onions are a part of this recipe because they bring texture and a sweet balance to the filling.
- Chipotle en adobo: Chipotle is a jalapeno chile and the adobo is a flavorful sauce made with spices and tomato. Chipotle in adobo will make the flavors more complex and elevate the taste of this taco filling.
- Cumin: This is a great spice because the flavor profile is great. It’s kind of nutty, slightly sweet, and earthy. It’s also warming and savory.
- Salt and pepper: As always, salt and pepper to taste is a must. They always make the food more intense in flavor and add a tiny bit of heat.
How to Make Tacos de Jamaica
Give a quick rinse to the hibiscus flowers and place them into a saucepan along with 3-4 cups of water.
Bring to a boil and cook the flowers for 5 minutes or until nicely soft. Turn off the heat and allow the flowers to soak in hot water for at least 10 minutes.
Top Tip: Don’t throw away the cooking water! Use it to make cocktails or teas.
Once the hibiscus flowers are nicely soft, remove them and place them in a strainer pressing down with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add tomatoes, chipotle en adobo peppers, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Mix in hibiscus flowers and cook for 3-4 minutes or until everything is nicely flavored. Adjust seasonings to taste and turn off the heat.
Warm your tortillas in a pan or comal. Place a tortilla flat on a plate and add some hibiscus mixture in the middle.
Followed by pico de gallo, diced avocado, and finished with a sprinkle of queso fresco or your favorite cheese.
Serve your tacos de jamaica with your favorite drink. I recommend trying on one of our refreshing aguas frescas.
Tips & Notes
- Don’t skip rinsing the dried hibiscus flowers! They might have a bit of dirt or dust on them from the garden or market. A quick rinse in some water helps to clean them up, making sure you’re using the freshest, cleanest petals for this recipe.
- Make sure you don’t overcook the hibiscus flowers, as they might become too stringy.
- Season the hibiscus mixture with your preferred spices. Besides the one I suggest, you can also add oregano, minced garlic, or even a touch of chili powder to add depth and a little kick.
Hibiscus flowers have a strong tangy and tart flavor, that’s why I recommend toppings that balance that tanginess on those tacos de jamaica.
- Avocado: Diced avocado will add a bit of green, as well as creaminess and mild flavor to balance things out.
- Queso fresco: This semisoft cheese is a must for tacos and it adds a slightly tangy flavor. You can substitute this with any other cheese you like or have at hand.
- Heavy cream: Heavy cream can add even more richness to these tacos de jamaica and it brings a nice fatty flavor that will go well with the tarty hibiscus flower filling.
- Salsa: Add some spiciness to this recipe using your favorite salsa, tray classic pico de gallo, or this creamy jalapeño salsa.
More Taco Recipes
Tacos de Jamaica
- 2 cups dried hibiscus flowers
- 10 tortillas (corn or flour)
- 1 large tomato (diced)
- 1 small onion (sliced)
- pinch ground cumin
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 avocado (diced)
- queso fresco (or your favorite cheese)
- heavy cream
- Give a quick rinse to the hibiscus flowers and place them into a saucepan along with 3-4 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil and cook the flowers for 5 minutes or until nicely soft. Turn off the heat and allow the flowers to soak in hot water for at least 10 minutes.
- Once the hibiscus flowers are soft, remove them and place them in a strainer pressing down with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible.
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and chipotle en adobo peppers. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Mix in hibiscus flowers and cook for 3-4 minutes or until everything is nicely flavored. Adjust seasonings to taste and turn off the heat.
- Warm your tortillas in a pan or comal. Place a tortilla flat on a plate and add some hibiscus mixture in the middle.
- Top with pico de gallo and diced avocado. Finish with a sprinkle of queso fresco.
- Don’t throw away the cooking water! Use it to make cocktails or teas.
- Hibiscus flowers have a strong tangy and tart flavor, that’s why I recommend toppings that balance that tanginess, such as heavy cream and avocado.
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.