Jackfruit Carnitas

I saw a documentary on Michoacan-style carnitas and wanted to replicate it with a vegan version. I chose as close to authentic ingredients and methods as I could. This means boiling the jackfruit in a sweet and tangy marinade before crisping it, giving an authentic edge for a tasty taco.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
8 servings


  • 1 (19 ounce) can young green jackfruit packed in water, drained

  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle bitter orange soda

  • cup vinegar

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon grated panela

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 8 corn tortillas

  • 1 cup sliced Mexican pickled carrots and jalapenos

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges


  1. Rinse jackfruit, dry, and set aside.

  2. Whisk together soda, vinegar, 1/8 cup vegetable oil, and lime juice in a large mixing bowl. Add onion, chili powder, panela, pepper, salt, and bay leaves. Add jackfruit pieces and mix to coat. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.

  3. Pour jackfruit and marinade into a nonstick skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid has reduced by 3/4, about 20 minutes. Pour into a colander and drain; remove and discard bay leaves.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add drained jackfruit and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to tear jackfruit into small pieces. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until each piece is as crispy as possible, 10 to 15 minutes. Add remaining vegetable oil, if necessary.

  5. Meanwhile, heat the corn tortillas on a griddle. Ladle equal portions of jackfruit carnitas into each tortilla. Top with pickled jalapenos and carrots. Sprinkle with cilantro and garnish each taco with a lime wedge. Serve hot.

Cook's Note:

If you can't find bitter orange soda, use regular orange soda or fresh orange juice, but reduce the panela by half and add a few dashes of bitters.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

208 Calories
9g Fat
29g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 208
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Sodium 625mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 9mg 43%
Calcium 43mg 3%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 151mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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