Jackfruit Carnitas tacos


Hi everyone,

First blogspot post for this new blog! Being a huge taco nerd, I thought it appropriate to try out jackfruit carnitas, as lots of people on the internet are all about it, and all the Californians I know are super into it. I was also keen to try cooking with this mysterious south-east Asian wonderfruit, which really really winds up with a meaty texture as it's cooked.

Sourcing the right kind of jackfruit might be difficult for some people. You want to ensure you are getting "young green" jackfruit, as opposed to "ripe jackfruit" - you can typically tell by what the can says it's packed in. If it's packed in brine or water, chances are good it's the savory  young green stuff we're looking for. If it's packed in syrup, chances are good it's a ripe version of the fruit which is insanely sweet, and totally not taco oriented.

So, here goes the ingredients list;

Core Ingredients

  • 2 cans of "Young Green" jackfruit, packed in brine or water (20oz cans)
  • 1tsp Better Than Bouillon (I use the vegan "chicken" one, any stock will do)
  • 1 12oz jar of your favorite salsa verde (tomatillo-based salsa, I go Trader Joe's)
  • 1 lime (the juice of one lime)
  • 1 white onion (diced)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (minced/smashed)

Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoons chille powder (I use one normal, and one chipotle chille)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (you can use smoked paprika if you like, meaty!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (this is because I like it hot, dial up and down at will)


  • 1 avocado 
  • 1 pack of corn tortillas
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • More salsa / tons of hot sauces!
OK, so nothing really out of the ordinary once you've managed to source the jackfruit. If you go to an Indian or Asian grocery store, it's pretty easy to find. I would say work with fresh jackfruit but it's going to be really really hard to find in north america, and it's a total bastard to work with. Your milage may vary. I found the canned stuff perfectly suitable.

I really am not good at teaching stuff, so I'm going to rely heavily on my visuals to get these recipes made, and again, this is all adapted from several different sources on the internet. I use a slowcooker and my broiler to get done in about 8 hours, feeds 4 very hungry people, if not a few more. Let's see what our stuff is looking like....

OK, So, first things first, lets crack open those jackfruit tins and get to work... You're going to pull out each piece one at a time, with a mixing bowl beside you, and you're going to squeeze the living shit out of the jackfruit triangle to get as much brine/water out of it as possible, and chuck it in the bowl.

Cool, now you have a bowl of smashed up, moist jackfruit. Fill that sucker up with fresh water, I use stuff from my Brita filter, and soak for 2 hours. This will pull any remaining icky brine/nasty can water out to give you a better flavor.

In the interim, whilst that is soaking it up in a lovely cold bath, let's dice our white onion, mince our garlic, and make our dry rub. For the dry rub, combine ALL the dry ingredients into a pyrex and sift up until it's all nice and mixed. You're also going to want to get the juice out of your one lime. You should be left with the following;

OK, so, time has passed, and you're now ready to assemble the crockpot contents to slow cook this sloppy stuff up. As you remove the jackfruit pieces from the cold water bath, you again, want to squeeze all the water you can out, and chuck it into your crockpot.

Now, you're going to want to chuck that awesomely aromatic dry rub on top of your semi-smashed jackfruit.

Looks cool! Smash and coat those suckers as much as you can!

Cool, smashed, evenly distributed seasoning, let's add our garlic and onion!

Smash it up again! Try and get it as even as possible and as smashed as possible.

Looks great. Now, in with the salsa verde! (and smash, duh)

Mix it up, and add the tsp of Better Than Boullion (as a note, this stuff is concentrated stock. You can adjust for real stock (dried) by making it with much less water so it's more of a slurry than a liquid....) - and again, smash and mix it up!

Last part, dump the lime juice in and give it one final whirl!

Awesome, put the lid on that badboy and set it on low for 6-8 hours. I typically let mine go until it's pretty moist still, and that's where my broiler comes in, to take it to the final delivery. This will make your home smell awesome. Try to refrain from opening and stirring, you don't want to lose what little moisture is in this mixture. 

This particular time, I deemed 7hrs15min long enough for me! Here's what it looks like;

Wrap a baking sheet in aluminum foil, and spread your carnitas into a even layer on top of it, and fire on your broiler.

Using two forks (or a potato masher, etc) smash the hell out of any chunks left. We want it to resemble pulled/stewed pork, so it should be stringy'ish, and into the broiler in 10 minute intervals, taking it out to mix it up (top will brown significantly) until you've reached your desired dryness. Some people seem to like it quite dry, I like it to be kind of mushy. Experiment!

From there, you're ready to serve! I like to heat my corn tortillas over a stovetop burner with a set of tongs, and my protip is that I wrap them in foil, and throw them in the oven above my broiler to keep them nice and warm for serving!

I like to finely chop some cilantro, cut some lime wedges for the squeezing, and I'm not a fan of presenting avocado, but I sure love eating it. I tend to suck at making it look pretty, but it's functional.

Serve that deliciousness up with your favorite hot sauces, this is not even a 1/4 of my hotsauce collection, I was in a gringo hotsauce mood.

Finished product, ala me!

Some yummy, meaty looking cross section.

There you have it! Super easy, super lazy, super delicious. I'm going to post this up on Reddit's /r/vegetarian, facebook, instagram and such - I hope you like them as much as I do! You can alternatively use the carnitas as filling for burritos, quesadillas, tortas, whatever your Mexican fancy is - I'm sure it will do just fine in your food!

See you next time,
Blind Dan Vegetarian