J is for Jamaica, as in flor de jamaica, which is Spanish for hibiscus flower. Dried hibiscus flowers are used to make one of Mexico's most popular aguas frescas: Agua de Jamaica. Many people make the mistake of tossing out the rehydrated flowers once the agua fresca is made, which is a huge mistake. Rehydrated flor de jamaica is totally edible and can be used as a filling for tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, and empanadas.
The natural sweetness of the onion and the heat of the serrano chiles enhance the tartness of the hibiscus flower. If you've never tried flor de jamaica, this the perfect recipe to experience their delicious flavor. And once you've tried it, you'll find yourself making agua de jamaica just so you can make these taquitos.
This recipe was originally published in my cookbook, Taquería Tacos. If you haven't already ordered a copy, head on over to Amazon to pick up your copy today!
Taquitos de Flor de Jamaica
(Hibiscus Flower Taquitos)
- 1-1/2 cups dried hibiscus flowers
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
- 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 limes
- 3/4 cup queso fresco, crumbled
- 12 corn tortillas
- Shredded lettuce
- Mexican crema or sour cream
- Cebollas Encurtidas (pickled red onions)
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat; remove from heat. Add the dried hibiscus flowers; cover and let steep for 10 to 12 minutes. Strain into a bowl; cover and refrigerate bowl to make Agua de Jamaica.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and serrano chiles for 2 to 3 minutes until onion is transparent. Stir in the rehydrated hibiscus flowers, sugar, and juice of 2 limes; season with salt to taste. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes until the liquid has evaporated; remove from heat.
Heat the corn tortillas on a comal or griddle over medium-high heat, for about 30 seconds per side, until soft and pliable. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the hibiscus flower filling and 1 tablespoon of crumbled queso fresco down center of each tortilla. Roll the tortillas up tightly around the filling; secure tortillas with toothpicks, if necessary (to prevent taquitos from unrolling while frying).
Heat the remaining cup of vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the taquitos, 3 to 4 at a time, until golden and crisp all over. Transfer fried taquitos to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil; repeat with remaining taquitos.
Serve 2 to 3 taquitos per plate. Top with shredded lettuce. Garnish with a Mexican crema and Cebollas Encurtidas (Pickled Red Onions). Enjoy!
*Tip: To make Agua de Jamaica, dilute the4 cups of hibiscus flower concentrate in a large pitcher with 8 to 10 cups of water. Sweeten with granulated sugar, to taste. Serve over ice. Enjoy!
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