I used to visit Mexico every year when I was younger and carnita Sundays were tradition. We actually had them for brunch every Sunday morning with fresh corn tortillas, just carnitas and tortillas — that’s it!
When I went vegan I refused to let go of my favorite foods, and so far I think I’ve “veganized” all the essentials. This carnitas recipe is one of my vegan Mexican recipes that I am most proud of.
These crispy jackfruit carnitas are savory, tender, versatile and so easy to make! This is one of the easiest recipes on the blog because it only requires 7 ingredients. You’ll want to make this recipe every singe well for taco Tuesday.
Jackfruit is typically found in cans called “jackfruit in brine”. This is the easiest way to get your jackfruit because it can take an entire hour to remove seeds/cut open a fresh jackfruit.
If you’re not a fan of jackfruit, I highly recommend using shredded king oyster mushrooms instead. It is actually super meaty and amazing in this recipe! It can also be harder to find as most stores don’t usually carry it. I like to get it at an asian market in the east bay area.
This is not absolutely necessary for this recipe but it adds a hint of meat-like smokiness which is a nice touch. It’s nice to have on hand as I also use it for my vegan seitan recipe and I’ve also heard it makes great vegan bacon!
You can use any neutral oil in this recipe such as vegetable oil, canola oil (no it’s not bad for you *eye roll in dietitian*) or even olive oil. Adding the oil is important as pork/carnitas are high in fat. So if you are looking for an authentic carnitas recipe I recommend adding the oil.
- For extra crispy jackfruit I recommend using an air fryer or oven. Air fry at 375 F for 8-12 minutes depending on the desired texture.
- Make sure that you drain and rinse jackfruit well to get rid of the brine flavor. Pat dry after rinsing with a kitchen towel or a paper towel.
- For best results, marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Add jackfruit carnitas to burritos bowls, tacos, burritos, nachos or a plate of rice and beans!