I became intrigued by jackfruit after seeing a post from Susan Voison at Fat Free Vegan awhile back. I couldn’t believe how much jackfruit looked like shredded meat and made mental note to give it a try. It was difficult to find but I finally made my way to the local Asian market and was able to get canned young green jackfruit in brine, and was ready to experiment.
Before transitioning to a whole foods plant based diet I would make BBQ pulled pork (the only way I ever liked pork) or chicken about once or twice a year. It was one of those meals that signified the changing of seasons – around Memorial Day and Labor Day there had to be a pulled meat sandwich with coleslaw and fries to welcome and bid adieu to summer. Since becoming plant based I’ve found most dishes are remarkably easy to reinvent for a meatless lifestyle, but pulled meat has a very specific texture that I had yet to try to recreate, until now. With my newly obtained cans of jackfruit I decided the best way to give it a try would be to simply use my old favorite recipe and see how it worked.
My go-to recipe is an Emeril Pulled Pork recipe that can be found here. The reinvented version starts with…well, opening the can and seeing what this stuff looks like (I feel like I’m on chopped).
Some time ago I had modified this recipe to make the dish in the crockpot by using the Wet Mop Basting Sauce as the liquid in the crockpot. The basting sauce consists of vinegar with black and crushed red pepper, it adds a nice tang and some heat to the dish. I added the jackfruit to the basting liquid and set the crockpot on low for about six hours.
Simply remove the jackfruit with tongs or a slotted spoon and discard the liquid from the crockpot. It seemed to keep its texture for the most part though some was already shredding a bit.
I found that putting pressure on the jackfruit with a fork made it shred easier than trying to shred it with two forks.
After rinsing the crockpot, I added the shredded jackfruit back to the crockpot and poured on homemade BBQ sauce (also part of the Emeril recipe) to taste.
I left the crockpot on low for another hour or so until I was ready to eat.
To accompany my pulled jackfruit sandwich I went with my latest obsession, roasted broccoli. I toss the broccoli in a bit of cooking spray, salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes at 425. I also made baked cajun french fries prepared by tossing yukon gold potatoes with homemade seasoning (see the Emeril Essence recipe; I leave the salt out and salt to taste when serving) and baking 10-12 minutes on each side at 450 on a parchment lined cookie tray. I typically make the broccoli first then turn up the oven temp and throw the potatoes in; most days the broccoli is gone before the meal starts, but there are worse things to snack on before dinner 😉 some actually made it to the plate tonight.
I also made coleslaw to top my sandwich; I did not follow the recipe that accompanies the Emeril Pulled Pork recipe as I prefer a tangy coleslaw to a creamy coleslaw and Emeril’s recipe did not have nearly enough vinegar. I searched around and wasn’t seeing any recipes that really struck me so I decided to wing it and made a dressing of apple cider vinegar, yellow mustard, celery seed and a little sugar. I ended up adding some Veganaise mayo to make it a tad bit creamy – just enough to help the dressing coat the slaw.
I think I’ve conquered BBQ with great success! The sandwich had all of the flavors and textures reminiscent of my old recipes. The jackfruit soaked up the tangy, spicy goodness wonderfully and maintained a nice texture. I think I’ll be making more trips to the Asian Market.