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Vegan pulled “pork” BBQ sandwiches

Monday, April 11, 2016 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

April
11
2016

A few weeks ago I saw a recipe that uses Jackfruit to create an amazing vegan representation of pulled pork BBQ. Intrigued, I did some research, and found quite a few different recipes for Jackfruit-based BBQ sandwiches. The texture of Jackfruit, when prepared a certain way, is amazingly close to pulled pork.

Last night Lisa and I decided to cook together, and try out these amazing looking sandwiches!

Lisa tackled the homemade potato chips (potatoes, salt, pepper and a little cooking spray), which came out great! She also made a wonderful vegetarian (not vegan) coleslaw with cabbage, carrots, Greek yogurt, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper.

I took pictures as I went through the somewhat lengthy process of preparing the Jackfruit BBQ, so here’s a photo tour along with the recipe.

First, here is the canned Jackfruit. Lisa found it at a local Asian market for about a $1.70 per can. It’s important to get the Jackfruit in water or brine, not syrup:

Canned Jackfruit in brine. I used two 20-ounce cans.

Canned Jackfruit in brine. I used two 20-ounce cans.

 

I drained and rinsed the Jackfruit, then soaked it in water for about 30 minutes (in the refrigerator):

Soaking the Jackfruit in water after draining and rinsing.

Soaking the Jackfruit in water after draining and rinsing.

 

Next, I cut the Jackfruit into smaller triangles, and sauteed it for about 10 minutes in a couple lugs of olive oil along with an onion and about 6 cloves of minced garlic:

Sauteing the Jackfruit with onion and garlic.

Sauteing the Jackfruit with onion and garlic.

 

While I had the veggies and Jackfruit cooking, I prepared the liquid cooking base by combining 1-2/3 cups of vegetable stock, 2 tablespoons molasses, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and lots of fresh ground pepper.

I added the liquid mixture to the veggies and Jackfruit, lowered the heat to a simmer and covered the pan. I cooked this down for a little over an hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes. I also used my stirring spoon to break apart the Jackfruit.

Here’s how everything looked once the liquid had been cooked away:

After cooking down the liquid. It's amazing how much this looks like pulled pork!

After cooking down the liquid. It’s amazing how much this looks like pulled pork!

 

Next, I put the Jackfruit onto a lightly greased baking sheet (I used cooking spray), and added some vegan BBQ sauce. I mixed that all together, spread the Jackfruit out into a thin layer, and cooked it in a 400° oven for 20 minutes. Here’s how it looked just before putting everything into the oven:

Getting close! Just before baking.

Getting close! Just before baking.

 

After about 20 minutes, I removed the baking sheet and was astonished by how much this vegan dish looked like pulled pork! Here’s a close-up:

Hard to believe this is not pulled pork!

Hard to believe this is not pulled pork!

 

I toasted some buns, put down a layer of Lisa’s delicious slaw, piled the Jackfruit BBQ high and added some extra BBQ sauce. Does this look amazing, or what?!

Vegan pulled Jackfruit BBQ sandwich with coleslaw (the slaw is vegetarian, not vegan).

Vegan pulled Jackfruit BBQ sandwich with coleslaw (the slaw is vegetarian, not vegan).

 

Lisa and I both really liked it at first, but the more we ate the less we enjoyed it. I know, I know… we were so disappointed! I think it’s something about the taste of the Jackfruit. I just don’t care for it, and neither does Lisa. In fact, by the time I finished mine (Lisa didn’t even finish hers), I was wishing I’d pushed my plate away 5 minutes earlier.

There have been so many positive reviews of the various Jackfruit BBQ recipes I’ve seen that I’m very surprised I didn’t enjoy it more. Oh well, you never know if you don’t try. Again, lots of people love this, and maybe you will too. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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