I’m going to tell you about a fruit you’ve probably never heard of before called, jackfruit. No one is precisely sure where jackfruit originated, but it has little popularity in America and is mostly used in Asian cuisines. Unlike most fruits, jackfruit isn’t very sweet and is best served as savory dish. The one thing that truly makes this fruit unique, though, is that it looks and – with the right preparation – tastes identical to pork.
Right about now, you might be thinking, “Yeah right. I’ve had all those fake meats before and they’re never like the real thing.” Well, trust me on this one. I’ve served this dish to the most devout meat eaters who wouldn’t dream of eating anything “vegan” and they all have loved it. In fact, everyone I’ve let sample this recipe has absolutely loved it.
How to Do It
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So, we’re going to take ordinary jackfruit and turn it into pulled pork for pulled pork sandwiches. The best way to cook this recipe is using a crock-pot, but if you don’t have one, an ordinary pot with a little water will suffice. Also, this is not a recipe you want to rush. In fact, the longer you let it cook, the better. If you have all day, use it.
Things you will need:
- 1 20 oz can of jackfruit
- Green and red bell peppers
- Crushed red pepper
- ½ cup barbecue sauce (vegan)
- Your favorite bread
Open up the canned jackfruit, drain the liquid out of the can, and rinse the jackfruit thoroughly. Squeeze out as much of the water from the fruit as you can after you rinse it. For a number of reasons, I strongly urge you to use canned jackfruit instead of fresh. You can find canned jackfruit at just about any Asian supermarket.
Dice the onions and peppers. I use one whole onion, one red pepper and one green pepper. You can use as little or as much as you want, depending on your taste.
Add all the ingredients into your crock-pot and add about ½ cup of water. Make sure you check the ingredients on your barbecue sauce before you buy it so you know it’s definitely vegan. If you want to make your own vegan barbecue sauce, a good recipe can be found here. I like mine very spicy so I add a lot of crushed red pepper – about a tablespoon or more – but you can add as much or as little as you like. Remember, a little crushed red pepper goes a long way when you’re slow cooking like this.
Turn your crock-pot on high and let it cook until it comes to a boil. Once the liquids start bubbling, turn it to low, cover it, and let it slow-cook for several hours until the jackfruit is fork tender.
Shred the jackfruit with a fork. This is the point at which you will be astonished by how much it resembles real pulled pork.
Serve on a toasted bun or your favorite bread.
A Few Caveats
Although this stuff is virtually identical to pulled pork, don’t think of it as a source of protein; it’s not. One serving of jackfruit only has about 1 g of protein. Jackfruit and its seeds can be slightly toxic when it’s raw, and has been known to cause indigestion when eaten that way. That is one of the reasons I recommend only using the canned jackfruit, which has already been boiled. Overeating jackfruit, even when it’s well cooked, might cause diarrhea, so know that you’ve been warned! Believe me, it’s easy to overeat this stuff because it’s so delicious.