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Vegan Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos

Time 45 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6
Jocelyn Ramirez's Tacos de Yaca Carnitas.
(Zohra Banon)
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Carnitas means “tiny meat” in Spanish and is a dish native to the Mexican state of Michoacán. It’s typically prepared in a large cazuela where pork meat is braised and simmered for long hours in oil or lard, and is often showcased in a taco with heaps of salsa. Here, jackfruit takes on the same shredded texture as pork. This dish calls for a good amount of oil to give the jackfruit carnitas the same fatty texture and richness of pork.

1

Remove the hard pit from the shreddable jackfruit flesh with a knife. Remove any seed pods from the flesh and add them to the pile of cores. Shred the jackfruit flesh into a medium bowl. Finely chop the cores and seed pods until they are similar in texture to the flesh and add to the bowl, along with the oil, cumin, oregano, pepper flakes, half of the orange juice and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Mix well.

Young green jackfruit can typically be purchased in cans or preserved in brine in jars at Asian markets or health food stores.
2

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the jackfruit mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the jackfruit is evenly browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the remaining orange juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3

Serve the carnitas hot with tortillas, salsa, cilantro and onion. Squeeze lemon wedges over each taco before eating.

Adapted from “La Vida Verde” by Jocelyn Ramirez
Make Ahead:
The carnitas can be refrigerated in an airtight contianer for up to 5 days. Reheat before serving.