(Soya) Carnitas Tacos with Mango and Cucumber Salsa

The carnitas in these tacos are made from soya chunks, the meat-like by-product of the soy oil making process. They are both  high in fiber and protein, and they absorb flavors really well. When purchasing them online or in stores, it is important to select the best quality possible– i.e., a brand that is not made with hexane. Organic is optimal.  Use this guide for more information: http://www.soyfoods.org/product_attribute/hexane-free

At first glance, this recipe may seem time-consuming because there is an extra set of steps for working with the soya chunks. However, if you do what I do, and batch prep a whole box of them and keep them in the fridge for a few days in various recipes, you will save some time. In this recipe, I’ve given instructions for preparing one cup of soya chunks, but you can do more.


2 cups prepped soya chunks (method follows)
1 tablespoon vegan bouillion
the juice of 1 orange
1 juice of 1 lime
1 cup water
1 jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt, to taste
1 avocado, sliced
arugula leaves
water for boiling and rinsing the soya chunks


One large, ripe  diced mango
1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1/4 cup red onion, minced
1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, minced
juice of one lime
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro


Prepare the soya chunks:

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add one cup of dried soya chunks, and let them cook for four minutes.
  2. Drain them in a colander, and rinse thoroughly. Put them back into the pot, cover the soya chunks with water, and then drain using the colander. Repeat this process 5 times.
  3. Drain the soya chunks, and squeeze out all the water. Shred some of the chunks with your hands.soya drained

Make the marinade:

  1. Mix together the one cup of bouillon, one cup of water, pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander, and orange juice.
  2. Using the no oil saute method, brown the onions, garlic, and jalapeno. Use the liquid marinade to deglaze the pan in 1/4 cup increments.
  3. Cook the marinade down to thicken it.marinade cooking

Make the carnitas:

  1. Add the soya chunks, and toss to coat.
  2. Place the marinade with the soya chunks in a glass bowl, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  3. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Remove the carnitas from the refrigerator. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Squeeze out excess liquid from each soya chunk. Sprinkle with lime juice, and, if desired, salt.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until browned.soya caramelized

Make the salsa

  1. Mix together the mango, lime juice, jalapeno, and onion.
  2. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Plate the tacos:

On each tortilla, place a small amount of carnitas  (just to cover the center), 1 teaspoon salsa, 1 slice of avocado and arugula leaves.

carnitas tacos 1

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