Have you ever heard of jackfruit? It’s a gigantic fruit that grows in Southeast Asia and resembles one of Khaleesi’s dragon eggs.
There are many ways to indulge in this sweet tropical fruit, but probably the most unusual way to eat it is as a vegan meat alternative.
The white, stringy part of this fruit is so mild in flavor, that it will taste like any seasoning you put on it. The texture also resembles meat, making it ideal for those of us who miss meaty dishes.
One easy way to cook it is with BBQ sauce, like a vegan pulled “pork” sandwich.
I suggest using canned jackfruit for this, because when I tried using it fresh, it came out too stringy and tough (still edible, of course). But the canned type has a much better texture for imitating cooked pork.
Make sure the canned jackfruit you buy is either in water or in brine (not syrup! The syrup kind is too sweet for this dish!)
You can get canned and fresh jackfruit at most Asian grocery stores, or online.
Serve your BBQ pulled jackfruit with some gluten-free buns and a few rings of a crunchy red onion for a bomb summertime dinner.
How to cook BBQ pulled ‘pork’ jackfruit sandwiches
- 2 cans young green jackfruit in water or brine -OR- 1/4 fresh jackfruit (the less ripe, the better)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 pepper
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- gluten-free buns
- optional: red onion as topping
- If you’re using canned jackfruit, drain and rinse the jackfruit. Remove the core and any seeds, leave just the white stringy parts.
- If you’re using fresh jackfruit, cut it in quarters, remove the core, seeds, any yellow/orange parts (those will be too sweet) and the skin. Leave just the white stingy parts. Give yourself 30 extra minutes, because this is a pretty tedious process.
- Chop the yellow onion and cook in a large pan with some oil until slightly soft.
- Add the jackfruit.
- Throw in the seasonings: salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and smoked paprika
- Cook for about 10 minutes
- Add the BBQ sauce to the pan. Feel free to add a little bit of water to thin it out.
- Let the mixture simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes, adding water if necessary to prevent burning.
- Once the jackfruit is soft enough, it’s ready to serve! Goes well with red onion and any other toppings.
I hope any of you who are meatless meat-lovers enjoy this recipe. It comes out pretty similar to the real thing, so you can get your meat fix without actually killing any piggies.