Enough said and you’re sold, right? Me too. I will drive for miles for a grilled corn tortilla stuffed with just about anything…(except, did I say I was a vegetarian). I have been working on this “carnita” recipe for a while now and it has turned out to be something truly scrumptious. Swoon worthy, really. It’s light and flavorful and oh-so-easy to make. The tangy, citrus flavor of the carnitas pairs perfectly with my garlicky and slightly sweet aioli. Throw some mildly spicy, grilled poblanos and avocado slices on top, maybe a little cilantro and lime, and you have got yourself a winner–my meat and potatoes eating dad wanted me to tell you that they’re awesome.
So what on earth is jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a huge asian fruit, that when ripe is sweet with a mild flavor. You can find it canned at most asian grocery stores –ah, any excuse to visit the asian grocery– and can be found in two varieties. Ripe jackfruit, canned in syrup and young jackfruit canned in a brine.
Young, unripe jackfruit is mild, without the developed sweetness of a ripe jackfruit. When cooked, it has a remarkably similar consistency to meat. I like using jackfruit because it resembles meat in a satisfactory kind of way without being some processed soy product. As the hip young foodies say, it’s “clean”. You can also make a killer pulled pork sandwich with it. Nevertheless, make sure you use young, brined jackfruit for this recipe and not the jackfruit canned in syrup.
So here you go, my take on a traditional carnita. Let the taco eating begin.
2- 10 oz cans Young Jackfruit in brine, drained and processed (see below)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp Bragg’s seasoning (you can use soy sauce too)
1/2 c fresh orange juice
1/4 c fresh lime juice
2 t Kitchen Bouquet (found in the condiments aisle)
2 t honey
2 t ground cumin
1/4 t cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Drain and rinse your jackfruit. Cut off the solid portions in the middle and set aside. Once you’ve finished, dice the solid portions into small pieces.
1/2 c veganaise
1 clove of garlic finely diced or grated with microplane
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 t kosher salt
Mix all ingredients together. You can use regular mayonaise in this recipe but I think veganaise just tastes better.
Assemble your taco. Eat!!
Keeping Willow by Stacy Feyer-Salo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.