Soooo….we have a guest chef today! As I may have mentioned, when James converted to vegetarianism, he did so without a backward glance….with one exception: his beloved pulled pork sandwich–a food item about which he can wax nostalgic for hours (believe me). Indeed, if you ever have a spare half hour or so, ask him to describe his triumphant twelve-hour pulled pork barbecue (an apparently peak experience of the 1990s). He happened to mention this to Annie and Kitty on the Easter weekend, and they immediately suggested he try reproducing his beloved pulled pork with jackfruit…something neither of us had ever even heard of!
After watching countless videos of people demonstrating how to cut open a jackfruit (a rabbit hole that took up most of one afternoon), we finally ascertained that one must purchase canned young, green jackfruit in brine (as opposed to mature, sweet jackfruit in syrup) for the pulled pork experiment.
Another Google search indicated that we could purchase two cans from our friends at Amazon for a mere EIGHTEEN DOLLARS. We chose to comb the aisles of various grocery stores instead, and eventually ended up at Denny’s Farm Market on 6th and 6th in New Westminster (and what an amazing place that is! If you can’t find the hippy ingredient you want at Denny’s, nip next door to Galloways, and….oh my!! It’s hippy mecca). Anyway, a can of young jackfruit in brine goes for a buck-seventy-nine at Denny’s. SOLD! We bought four cans…as well as countless other obscure ingredients we’ll save for future weird recipes.
Anyway, since I have never tasted pulled pork (and, indeed, had never even heard of it before James’ rhapsodies on the topic), James was the chef for the evening. He used this recipe and followed it exactly, so I won’t reproduce it here. I will, however, offer a pictorial montage of the process! The manly hands in the pictures belong to James, not me (not that I’m vain about my monkey-paw hands; I just want to give credit where it’s due!).
Update: August, 2021
The blog where this recipe was originally posted (Morevegan.com) no longer exists, so I am reproducing the recipe below:
BBQ Jackfruit Pulled Pork
3-20 oz. cans jackfruit in water or brine
1 tsp. olive oil
½ onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1½ tsp. liquid smoke
1 cup vegetable broth
½ cup vegan BBQ sauce
Buns for pulled pork sandwiches
1. Preheat the over to 400 degrees.
2. Drain and rinse the jackfruit, remove the core and
cut each piece in half. As you do this, remove the
3. Saute the onion in olive oil over medium heat for
about 7 minutes or until translucent, then add the
garlic and saute a minute or so longer.
4. Add the jackfruit, sugar, spices, and liquid smoke.
Stir until the jackfruit is evenly covered.
5. Add the vegetable broth, cover, and simmer for 10-
15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
6. Use a spatula to mash and divide the jackfruit until
it looks similar in appearance to pulled pork.
7. Spread the jackfruit out on a baking sheet and cook
for 20 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and cover with bbq sauce.
9. Return the jackfruit to the oven and cook for
another 10-15 minutes or until the jackfruit is
As you can see from the pictures, the process involves both simmering the jackfruit on the stove top and then baking it. Both steps are essential to attain that pork-like texture. As you can see from the last picture, it really does look like pork.
And James declared the experiment a complete success!
I’m not really a fan of barbecue sauce and had never tasted the beloved pulled pork, so I was not expecting to like it, but I did enjoy it. Again, not a huge fan of barbecue sauce, so it’s likely not something I would ever make for myself.
My contribution to the meal was the coleslaw, which turned out very yummy.
Red Cabbage Cole Saw with Tahini Dressing
- 1/3 of a head of red cabbage, chopped
- 1.5 cups of carrots, shredded
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
Toss together in a big bowl with tahini dressing. I adapted this from an Oh She Glows recipe for Lemon-Tahini Dressing.
I replaced the olive oil (from the original recipe) with water and BTB paste because tahini is already oily enough. I also reduced the lemon, increased the garlic, and added my beloved maple syrup because the dressing seemed to be missing something sweet. The final result is really delicious, and something I’m make again for any kind of salad, or even to drizzle on a rice bowl.
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 TBS maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp BTB paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
And here it is…all plated up!!
Oh, and the leftover cole slaw is awesome on a vegan-sausage wrap–it adds just the right amount of crunchiness!