Vegan Jack in the Box
Let's VEGANIZE my old late night order - the Sourdough Jack, Two Tacos, and 99¢ Chicken Sandwich!
Next to Carl's Jr. and Del Taco, Jack in the Box was one of my favorite fast food places. It was cheap, they were open late and they catered to dirtbags like me. I ordered this combo all the time and devoured it with abandon.
I would sometimes switch up the order, but this was the standard for me. What's amazing is when I veganized all of these and ate them together, not only did it taste way better than I remember, but I got this rush of nostalgia too, and best of all, I didn't even have to be drunk to enjoy it! I also felt great afterwards, no meat sweats!
The Two Tacos is probably the most involved recipe, but it's totally worth it. The Sourdough Jack and Chick'n Sandwich are about the same amount of work. One thing that become clear as I was making these, it's a lot faster to make them when you've got multiple people working and an assembly line fast food system set up! So I would suggest just making one of these at a time.
That being said, you can make the bacon and the tacos ahead of time and then fry up the Chick'n patty and have all three like I did. They reheat great! I honestly am so glad I finally put them all together, each one will be a part of my regular rotation, as I hope they are for you too!
Here's a handy dandy Video!
Let's start with the Sourdough Jack. I used my RICE PAPER BACON recipe, click HERE for that! You can also use store bought vegan bacon, or any vegan bacon of your choice. For the meat, I used Impossible, but again, use whatever you like. The cheese is Daiya Provolone, I realize that the original uses Swiss but I couldn't find any vegan Swiss, so sue me!
The real trick is the bread. I've made this with real sourdough and while it was good, it didn't really remind me of Jack in the Box. The iconic sourdough bread they use isn't found in any grocery store that I have access to, and I tried making it from scratch once and that was a disaster.
Then I realized, what if I just took two heels of some regular hamburger buns, shaved off the bottom to expose the interior, butter and grill them and voila, that seemed to do it! I don't remember the original Jack in the Box bread having a strong sourdough taste, not like a real loaf of bread, so regular white buns work fine. It's really about grilling both sides of bread in vegan butter!
Makes 1 burger
2 burger bun heels (bottom buns)
4 oz plant based meat
2-4 slices Vegan Bacon
1 slice vegan cheese
Cook your bacon, slice your tomatoes and form your burger patty.
Using a serrated or bread knife, carefully shave off the bottom part of the heels, so you expose the interior of the bun.
Spread some vegan butter or mayo on your buns on both sides and toast until golden brown in a pan over medium heat (ideally let them rest on a wire rack so they don't get soggy).
Add your burger patty to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side. When you flip it, add your vegan cheese then cover to melt (you can add a little water to the pan to help steam it).
Slather on some vegan mayo and ketchup on your top bun, then assemble burger as shown.
99¢ Chick'n Sandwich
This is a simple Chick'n sandwich, but that doesn't mean it didn't have an important role in this order. I wanted something to contrast with the Sourdough Jack and the Tacos, and the Chick'n Sandwich was different enough to fill the role, plus how can you argue with the price? I make a lot of wild Chick'n sandwiches on this page, but the simplicity of this one really gets me! I might add pickles next time, and maybe a slice of tomato, but it doesn't really need it!
For this, we are gonna simply take some Gardein Scallopini, and form it in a burger press, then coat it in some flour, vegan buttermilk and panko and fry it. That's it!
If you want to use Tofu instead of the Gardein, simply freeze and thaw a block of tofu TWICE, then gently press it (it will be delicate), slice it as thick as you want your patty to be, then, using a cookie cutter about 3-4 inches, cut out a patty. You should be good to go!
And obviously, you can use any vegan chick'n you like in place of it as well! Seitan, or whatever you got handy!
Makes 2 sandwiches
2 Gardein Scallopini (thawed) or two Tofu Patties
2 Hamburger Buns
Chopped Iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. flour
Dash of MSG
Dash of Old Bay
1/3 cup plant milk (unsweetened)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Press your thawed Scallopini in a burger press to create a uniform patty.
In a bowl add the panko and a dash of MSG and Old Bay.
In a second bowl combine the cornstarch, flour, and some more dashes of MSG and Old Bay.
In a third bowl, combine the plant milk and apple cider vinegar to form a vegan butter milk.
Heat some oil (peanut, vegetable or canola) in a pot, deep fryer or skillet to 375 F.
Dredge your chick'n patty in the flour mixture, then the vegan buttermilk, and last in the panko. Ensuring that you completely cover the patty in each step and also shake off the excess.
Fry your chick'n patty until golden brown. Let it rest on a wire rack.
Toast your buns in some vegan butter or vegan mayo, then assemble the sandwich as shown!
These are similar to my Tiny Tacos recipe only bigger naturally! There was some rumors going for a while that the originals from Jack in the Box were accidentally vegan because they used TVP, but they also have beef and chicken. So I went ahead and made them just using TVP instead and they were so freaking amazing! Better than the original!
You can store these in the fridge or freezer for later too! I've reheated them in the air fryer at 380° F for about 5 minutes. Not sure about the oven, but I'm guessing 350° F for about 10 minutes should work!
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Makes 8 Tacos
8 corn tortillas
1 cup TVP
1 1/2 cups beefless broth
2 tsp cornstarch + 1 Tbsp. water (combined for cornstarch slurry)
Chopped iceberg lettuce
4 slices vegan cheese (cut in half diagonally)
Oil for frying
3/4 cups beefless broth
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 Tbsp. minced onion
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp MSG
1 Tbsp. masa harina
1/2 tsp vegan Worcestershire
1 Tbsp. chipotle in adobo
Salt & pepper to taste
2/3 cup water
2 Tbsp. chili sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp cornstarch + 1 Tbsp. water (combined for cornstarch slurry)
1 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 tsp MSG or Salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Rehydrate your TVP for 30 minutes in 1 1/2 cups of the beefless broth (or veggie broth) in the refrigerator.
To make the hot sauce, combine all the ingredients except the cornstarch slurry in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer then add cornstarch slurry.
Bring to light boil and whisk constantly for one minute. Then remove from heat and add to the refrigerator.
In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the Taco Sauce and whisk thoroughly.
In a pan over medium heat, add a bit of oil and cook the hydrated TVP, about 6-8 minutes, or until all the excess moisture has evaporated.
Add the taco sauce to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, add in the cornstarch slurry, then reduce to desired consistency. You want something close to a Sloppy Joe type of texture.
Once your taco beef is cooked to your liking, remove from the pan and refrigerate for 15- 20 minutes.
Heat up a pan with some oil and warm the tortillas so they are pliable. Don't cook them too long, you don't want them to get crispy, just heated through so they will bend without cracking.
Fill each tortilla with 2-3 heaping tablespoons of taco filling. Carefully fold and gently press so that the filling "glues" the taco closed. Place each taco on a cookie sheet, wire rack or plate to rest.
Heat up about a 1/2 inch of oil in a big skillet. Fry each taco, for about 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Let them cool on a rack.
Once tacos are cool enough to handle (but still relatively hot) gently open them up, then using your finger, squish down the meat a little. Slide in a slice of the vegan cheese, the residual heat should melt it a little. Then top with some lettuce and hot sauce.