Vegan Carnitas

Vegan Carnitas

Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 15 min Total Time: 30 min Servings: 4

One of the most beautiful things about America is its vibrant blend of cultures from all over the globe! And we are able to celebrate this amazing blend of cultures through all the incredible cuisines that it introduces! One of our favorite examples of adopted cuisines - coming from our brothers and sisters south of the border - is Mexican street food! Specifically, we love street tacos! One of the key ingredients in many street tacos is carnitas, which is traditionally made from braised pork. Since we like to keep piggies running around in their muddy bliss, we found a way to capture the smoky, earthy flavor of traditional carnitas in this awesome plant-based version! The secret: jackfruit! We very deliberately use a few key ingredients that impart the smoky, earthy flavor without overpowering the pallet. And the texture of the shredded jackfruit is such a perfect substitute for the shredded pork. Whether you are looking for new ways to introduce more plant-based meals into your diet or you are fully vegan, this recipe is perfect for any dish that traditionally uses carnitas - whether it's tacos, taquitos, or enchiladas! 

Pairings:

Ingredients:

  • 2 (17 oz) cans of green jackfruit (in water), drained and seeds removed

  • 2 tsp liquid smoke

  • 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • Fresh-cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. After all the seeds and seed casings in the jackfruit pieces have been removed, use your hands to thoroughly shred the jackfruit until only shreds remain (rather than chunks). Place in an airtight container.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the container with the jackfruit. Fix the lid onto the container, and shake vigorously until all of the jackfruit is thoroughly coated. Tip: If you want to make ahead of time, leaving the jackfruit in the fridge to marinate is perfectly fine!

  3. After the jackfruit is well-coated, grab a large piece of foil and lightly coat one side of it with olive oil. Turn your grill on high, and place the large piece of foil onto the grates. Allow the grill to heat up for a few minutes with the lid closed. Tip: If you don't have a grill, you can sauté the jackfruit over medium-high heat with a little olive oil!

  4. When the grill is hot, use tongs to spread the jackfruit in an even layer over the foil. Flip and move around the jackfruit periodically to prevent too much sticking. When not moving the jackfruit, keep the lid of the grill closed to keep the heat contained.

  5. As the jackfruit cooks, it will develop a light caramel color, and the ends of the shreds will begin to become crispy. Once you have an even caramel color with plenty of crispy bits, transition the jackfruit to a heat-safe dish.

  6. Enjoy!

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