Week 7 – Pulled jackfruit (faux pulled pork)

It was only after making the switch to plant-based that I started to become aware of jackfruit and it’s mythical properties. They said it had the texture of pulled pork and could soak up the flavour you put with it. I saw instagram posts of jackfruit tacos and burritos (and for the authority on jackfruit burritos, check out @clubmexicana )

As mythical as it was, it was also incredibly hard to track down. I checked out Asian supermarkets but only found jackfruit in syrup not brine (and for savoury dishes it has to be the brined version). So when I spotted it on sale at Vegan Life Live in January, I stocked up). But on to the recipe, which is courtesy of “Bowls of Goodness” by Nina Olsson – better known as @nourish_atelier

The thing that brings this recipe together is the barbecue sauce – and if you have your own favourite recipe go with that. But here’s a quick outline of Nina’s:

2 tbsp of palm sugar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 tsp chilli sauce, few grinds black pepper, 3/4 tsp salt (although I think less would work better as it was a little salty but it’s a matter of personal taste), 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp tamarind paste (I used tamarind sauce as that’s what tesco had), 2tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp agar nectar (instead of honey), 1 tsp ground fennel seeds, 1 tsp tomato ketchup, 150ml water. The final ingredient is 2tsp of liquid smoke (thankfully ‘optional’ as it’s not something you can just walk to the cornershop to get).

Mix ingredients for the sauce together and set aside.

On to the jackfruit:

  • Saute 2 shallots (or an onion) in a little olive oil, add 400g drained canned green jackfruit, 2 cloves garlic and 100g shiitake mushrooms (I’m sure regular would be ok but might not give the same depth of flavour). Saute for 2 mins then add 300ml vegetable stock and let it simmer on medium-low heat for around 10mins, or until the texture of the jackfruit changes and becomes ‘thready’.
  • Add the bbq sauce and let it all simmer for 10-12 mins.
  • Remove from heat and swirl in some olive oil.

Probably easiest to serve it with rice, but I went for sweet potato wedges and homemade coleslaw.

So, how was it? Well I will definitely be cooking with jackfruit again as it really does take on the texture of pulled pork. Next time I might switch up the sauce and go with something more like a spicy tomato. Just not really a huge fan of bbq sauce and i went a bit heavy on the salt this time.

A cooking tip I learnt from the guys @clubmexicana is to drain the jackfruit and griddle it rather than simmer it in a sauce, to crisp it up a bit. And I’ll give that a go next time as they definitely know their stuff – really do check out their burritos, ‘tofish’ tacos and deep fried cheesy bites. Follow them on instagram to see where they’ll be popping up next.

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