JULIA YOU CAN’T CALL IT PULLED PORK IF YOU’RE NOT USING PORK. WHY DON’T YOU JUST CALL IT JACKFRUIT AND BBQ SAUCE ON A BUN?! A) Because that sounds weird. B) Because not everyone knows what jackfruit is and it’s important to know you can transform it into something pulled pork-esque. C) I WILL DO WANT I WANT.
Staunch omnivores get real pissy when vegetarians make a version of their precious meat dishes. “why are you calling it soy chicken fingers?! there’s no chicken! YOU MADE YOUR CHOICE VEGETARIANS.” is what they say while knee deep in a pile of ground beef. That’s like men getting mad at lesbians who use dildos or strap-ons. “YOU’VE MADE YOUR CHOICE, LESBIAN!” As if a mans wang is the only option and how dare someone replace it with a piece of rubber. Those people need to shut up.
I’ve been seeing jackfruit on various food shows and blogs and decided to try my hand at it. I couldn’t find any canned jackfruit at my local Ralph’s but I was able to find some real nice stuff at Trader Joe’s! Apparently you can also get the JF on amazon or at a specialty grocery store. There are also recipes out there where you can buy a whole fresh jackfruit but apparently that’s a crazy amount of work and the canned jackfruit ends up tasting more meat-like anyway. FYI you want jackfruit in brine NOT syrup.
I looked up some basic tips on how to prepare jackfruit and then I just made the rest up as I went along, as I usually do. I decided to do mine in the slow cooker because I was going to be out and about during the day and wanted something that I could set and forget. That’s why I’m a big fan of the nuva ring. 😉
Julia’s Jackfruit BBQ Pulled Pork
Julia’s BBQ sauce
To be honest I just eyeballed everything and dumped it all into my slow cooker and whisked it around. I don’t expect you to guess my dump method so I’ll guess it for you!
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar or maple syrup
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp cumin powder
Whisk it all together and give it a taste! If it’s too tangy add more sugar, if it’s too sweet, more vinegar. Play around with the spice! I ended up using shitty “pancake syrup” instead of brown sugar because that’s what I had! and guess what? Delicious! You can prepare this all in the slow cooker, so no need to dirty an extra bowl!
I used 2 cans of jackfruit. Drain your jackfruit in a colander and then cut the little triangle hard tips off. You don’t necessarily have to but they’re kind of tough. You know how a pineapple has a core? So does a jackfruit. If you’re not sure which end of the triangle is the core, give it a poke. It’ll feel hard. After you’ve done that, grab handfuls of the jackfruit and squeeze out the moisture with your hands before plopping them into the slow cooker. Finely dice half a red onion (or any onion you like) and put them all in the pool together. Give it a whirl with a spoon so all the sauce, onion and jackfruit make friends. Set your slow cooker to low and cook for 4 hours.
Now, in my opinion, every pulled pork sandwich tastes better with coleslaw on top. It adds texture, crunch and freshness. Otherwise it can feel like you’re eating a soft blob. This puppy came together in under 15 minutes.
Julia’s Kinda Creamy Coleslaw
1/2 green cabbage, shredded or finely cut.
1 large carrot, shredded (I used a funky white carrot oolala!)
The green part of 1 or 2 scallions, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
squirt of dijon
1 tbsp sugar or honey
2 tsp celery salt (I used a caesar rimmer 😉
2 lil’ scoops of mayo
zip of lemon if you feel like it
I combined all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, whisked it about and then added the veg. You can make this ahead of time because so the flavours get all nice and cozy. The cabbage will stay crisp!
When the jackfruit is done, pull apart any large pieces with two forks, like you would with pork or chicken. Now you’re ready for assembly so make sure you toast them buns! I got brioche buns and I think they worked perfectly. Butter them on each side and toast on a frying pan until golden. It just helps take the sandwich to a whole new level. Dump some coleslaw and pulled jackfruit onto your buttery toasted bun and enjoy!
Here’s what I’ll say; it honestly tasted like pulled pork but the texture was a bit off. Next time I might cook it for less time in the slow cooker and finish it in a cast iron pan to get a bit more texture on the jackfruit. Or maybe I’ll try the whole thing from start to finish in a frying pan. Don’t get me wrong, this was still delicious and I would totally use this method again due to convenience, but the slow cooker tends to make things a bit mushy. Even actual meat!
I also think I was a bit heavy handed on the red wine vinegar. I modified the bbq sauce recipe to take that into account. For my sammy I added a bit more mayo to cut the tang. I loved it. I loved it so much that I had leftovers for breakfast this morning on a bun, topped with a fried, runny egg. YUM! You could also add this to a breakfast hash or make this for vegetarian taco night. Shove it in a burrito! Serve it with rice and beans! I am very pleased with jackfruit and I can’t wait to play around with it in different recipes in the future.
Oh! I almost forgot! I served these bad boys with charred shoshito peppers. They came in my farm fresh to you box and I just charred them on a high heat with some canola oil in a cast iron pan. Just for a few minutes, moving them around often until they start to char and blister. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and pinch of flaky sea salt. YUM! and don’t worry, they’re not spicy. Just delicious.
If you want to try out farmfreshtoyou.com they’re a wonderful fruit/veg delivery service in Los Angeles! Use my promo code JULI1918 and you’ll get $15 off your first box! Really beautiful, fresh, organic produce.
What are you waiting for? GET JACKED! AND SHUT UP! 😉