Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos
Until today, jackfruit carnitas were a phenomenon I’d only encountered online. In pictures, it seemed like the stringy texture of the cooked fruit mimicked authentic carnitas as well as any faux meat could. I kept my eyes out for cans of jackfruit at every grocery store I visited for quite a while, but only saw the kind packed in sugary syrup. One day I wandered into a new independent produce market, which happened to carry unsweetened jackfruit and a ton of other imported foodstuffs. Sweet (or not sweet, rather). As usual, I put the can away in my pantry only to forget about it for six months.
After eating at the greatest vegan mexican restaurant last night, I remembered the jackfruit that I’d stashed away an immediately got to work.
I didn’t exactly follow a recipe for the carnitas/sauce; I just decided to make do with the ingredients I had on hand. Nevertheless, the ‘carnitas’ were a delicious, spicy success. Served in corn tortillas and topped with quick-pickled onions, sliced radishes, cilantro, and avocado plus a squeeze of lime these are a perfect balance of spicy, creamy, fresh, and tangy.
- 1 can young green jackfruit in water (not canned in syrup)
- 1/2 white or yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 can roasted hatch chilies (5-6 peppers)
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 tablespoon agave
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Add onion, garlic, chilies, tomato paste, agave, and stock to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth
2. Put jackfruit, spices, and sauce mixture into a pot over high heat
3. When the sauce begins to boil, turn heat to low and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
4. Break jackfruit apart using a fork, wooden spoon, or potato masher. If the mixture is very liquid-y, turn up heat until sauce thickens.