Jackfruit Carnitas or “little meats”
what is jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a giant ( up to 50 lb), tropical prickly green fruit from Southeast Asia. A sustainable cruelty-free meat alternative that once cut, cleaned and cooked resembles shredded pulled meat.
what does jackfruit taste like ?
- When picked green and canned in water or brine, jackfruit can taste like whatever you want it to taste like. The bland canvas is ideal for absorbing any kind of sauce and spices you wanna flavor it with. Like a mild artichoke heart.
- When ripe jackfruit has a beautiful yellow color on the inside with a strong scent, the flavor is very sweet and tropical and reminiscent of a cross between mango, pineapple and banana. This is why you must only use the unripe fruit in savory recipes.
How to make jackfruit carnitas:
- Braise the cleaned jackfruit pieces in orange juice with garlic, onion and Mexican seasonings until super tender.
- Shred with a fork and discard any tough pieces.
- Quickly broil the shredded jackfruit until crispy at the edges. (It’s really important to make sure that you use green unripe jackfruit packed in water or brine, not in syrup).
this basil mango sauce
Just take your pick friends! Being that it’s citrus season for us here in California I made a quick, fresh blood orange salsa instead of the usual tomato pico de gallo to spoon over the top. Not to brag or anything but: Holy Deliciousness! Definitely make the salsa 😉
you’ll love these tacos:
what else can you do with jackfruit ?
- Potato jackfruit stew
- Vegan ribs
- Drench them in BBQ sauce for tacos
- Corned jackfruit ” beef “
- This hearty vegan stew with gnocchi.
note: If desired, I suspect you could also throw everything (but the tortillas and salsa of course) in your Instantpot, Crockpot, Slow-Cooker or Pressure-Cooker then broil the carnitas when ready to eat.
As always, If you make this recipe remember to come back here to rate it, snap a photo and tag us with #VeggieSociety on Instagram.
watch how to make jackfruit carnitas tacos:
Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos
- 2 x 16 oz green jackfruit in water - drained & rinsed
- 1/2 yellow onion - diced
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 splash water + more as needed
- 1.5 tbsp Mexican seasonings - salt free
- 1.5 cups orange juice - freshly squeezed
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 pinch sea salt - to taste
- 1.5 tbsp maple syrup + more to taste
- 1 lime - quartered
- 12 mini corn tortillas - organic, non GMO
Blood Orange Salsa
- 4 blood oranges
- 1/2 lemon - juiced
- 2 scallions - chopped
- 1 chili pepper (green or red) - chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves - roughly chopped
- 1 pinch sea salt - to taste
- Heat up a heavy bottom pot over medium flame. Add a a splash of water and saute the onion with a tiny pinch of sea salt until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, Mexican seasonings and the jackfruit. Pour in the orange juice and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook on medium-low flame for 45 minutes or until the jackfruit is tender.
- Season to taste with sea salt and remove from heat.
- Using the back of a fork press down on the jackfruit. It will fall apart and shred into thin pieces.
- About 10 minutes before the jackfruit is done remember to preheat the broiler.
- Find a broiler proof dish/tray and transfer the shredded jackfruit together with all the juices to it in one layer. Drizzle all over the top with the maple syrup then broil for a few minutes until crispy at the edges to your liking.
- Remove the jackfruit carnitas from the broiler and at this point you can drizzle them with a little olive oil if you must have that rich traditional meaty carnitas flavor. Omit the oil for WFPB diet.
Prepare the Orange Salsa
- Use a sharp knife and cut the peel and pit off of the oranges. Slice and dice them into 1/2 inch cubes and transfer to a bowl with the scallions, chili pepper and cilantro leaves. Season to taste with sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Warm up the corn tortillas to your liking then pile them up with the jackfruit carnitas and orange salsa!
- Make sure to use canned green jackfruit packed in water or brine not syrup. Rinse well and discard any tough pieces.
- If desired, I suspect you could also throw everything (but the tortillas and salsa of course) in your Instantpot, Crockpot, Slow-Cooker or Pressure-Cooker then broil the carnitas when ready to eat.