Jackfruit Carnitas

Vegan Jackfruit Carnitas

Jackfruit Carnitas. The great thing about jackfruit is that, although it is technically a fruit, its texture is similar to that of pork or chicken when it’s cooked. And because it has a bland, neutral taste, ketchup, together with soy, tamari and barbecue sauces, enlivens its flavour and makes it a delicious and economical alternative to meat.



  • 2 x 400g (14 oz) tins green jackfruit in brine, drained
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 green jalapeño pepper (fresh, tinned or bottled), diced
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp demerara sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 8 small soft tortillas wraps
  • Pico de gallo or guacamole, to serve


  • Add crisp lettuce, tomato, tinned beans or sweetcorn
  • Add chilli powder, or smoked paprika
  • Add grated vegan cheese
  • Serve with vegan cashew cream


  1. Pat the jackfruit with kitchen paper (paper towels) to dry them and then cut down through the core into thin slices. Gently squeeze dry with kitchen paper. They must be as dry as possible, so they’ll crisp up when you cook them.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan (skillet) set over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes until tender and golden.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the jackfruit, ketchup and soy sauce. Cook for at least 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture seems quite dry and no longer moist.
  4. Shred the jackfruit with a fork and add the remaining oil together with the sugar, spices and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the jackfruit caramelizes and is crispy and golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the tortillas in a clean frying pan for 1-2 minutes each side, or by warming them in a low oven.
  6. Divide the crispy jackfruit mixture between the tortillas and top with some pico de gallo and/or guacamole. Roll them up and serve immediately.

Recipe from The Ketchup Lover’s Cookbook by Heather Thomas (HarperNonFiction, £9.99 Hardback). Photography by Sam Folan.