BBQ jackfruit ‘pulled pork’ is a decent analog for meat
Meatless Mondays are becoming a fad. Former carnivores who turned vegetarian or vegan are looking for meals having the same taste and texture of meat. Some people celebrate certain religious holidays by abstaining from meat.
There are all kinds of pseudo meat products on the market including burgers and hot dogs.
There are dishes that you can make which closely replicate meat. One of them is this BBQ jackfruit that resembles pulled pork. I saw variations of this on the internet and decided to give it a go.
Jackfruit comes from a tree in the fig and mulberry family. It is native to southern India. It is a popular food item in tropical and subtropical areas throughout Asia and other parts of the world.
Ripe jackfruit is said to have a flavor of apples, mango, pineapple, and banana. Green jackfruit is used for cooking, especially in curries.
Canned green jackfruit can be found at Asian markets, some specialty aisles in supermarkets, or online. Fresh jackfruit can be found in Asian markets. It is a rather large fruit and takes some work to get the pulp out. For this recipe canned is fine. The canned fruit comes packed in water or brine. Either works well for this recipe.
The BBQ jackfruit was close in texture to pulled pork. If you are not a meat eater or have not eaten meat in a long time, you may not notice the difference. Topped with some coleslaw for crunch and added fat, the combination of textures is quite appealing.
You can serve it on a roll or make tacos/burritos.
You can make your own BBQ sauce or use store bought. I found a bottle of roasted garlic sauce and used it along with added heat and some Bourbon.
2 20 ounce cans green jackfruit drained well. If using brined wait to season with salt during cooking.
2-3 Tbsp. chili powder
2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar, molasses, or honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
12-16 ounces BBQ sauce depending on thickness
Splash or two of Bourbon (Optional)
Cayenne pepper or favorite hot sauce to taste
Place jackfruit, chili powder, sweetener, and vinegar in a bowl or zip plastic bag. Mix well making sure all pieces are covered. Marinate in the refrigerator for about two to three hours.
Pour the contents into a large sauce pan over high heat trying to get it in a single layer. When the marinade starts to thicken add the BBQ sauce and Bourbon if using.
Lower heat to simmer and cover. Simmer for 30-45 minutes until the jackfruit is tender. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Remove from heat. Mash the jackfruit like mashing potatoes. It will look fibrous like pulled pork.
Put back on low heat or simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens.
You can do this on the grill with lump charcoal and wood, uncovered, low and slow so smoke permeates the dish. It may take longer but the result might be worth it.