Recipes » Main Dish » Jackfruit “Mechada” Stuffed Arepas
T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

A popular filling is a “carne mechada,” which is a type of shredded beef. Jackfruit is the perfect beef substitute in this traditional dish.


Jackfruit "Mechada"

  • 1 14-ounce can of green jackfruit, drained
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of ground annatto or turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp plant-based Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 4 Tbsp tomato sauce
  • 3 small sweet peppers (aji dulce), chopped (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 cup de Tofu Mayonnaise
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water


Jackfruit Shredded "Meat"

  • 1. In a medium saucepan, add the jackfruit and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Drain.
  • 2. Allow to cool a bit, then shred the jackfruit with your hands, removing any seeds.
  • 3. Place the shredded jackfruit in a bowl with the garlic powder, annatto or turmeric, salt, pepper, cumin, and Worcestershire sauce, and stir well. Allow to marinate for a few minutes.
  • 4. In a skillet over medium heat, add the onions, red bell and sweet peppers, and garlic, along with a few tablespoons of vegetable broth, and cook until the vegetables are softened. Then, add the marinated jackfruit.
  • 5. Sauté for about 5 minutes over medium heat, then add the remaining vegetable broth and the tomato sauce.
  • 6. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Garlic Cilantro Sauce

  • 1. Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.
  • 2. Blend well and add a teaspoon of water at a time to achieve a sauce-like texture

Stuffed Arepas

  • 1. Warm the arepas in a skillet and cut a slit lengthwise.
  • 2. Fill each arepa with the shredded jackfruit mixture and serve with the Garlic Cilantro Sauce.

Cooking Tips

  • 1. You can substitute the jackfruit with oyster mushrooms.

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