Grown in tropical and subtropical climates, jackfruit is the world’s largest tree fruit. When harvested young and cooked, its fibrous interior flakes and shreds in a way that resembles the consistency of pulled pork, making it great for using in meatless tacos, sloppy joes and other sandwiches. Young jackfruit is mild-flavored and it isn’t sweet unless you add sweet ingredients to it.
You’ll find jackfruit sold in cans and refrigerated packages in Asian markets, natural foods stores and online. I’ve only used the Upton’s Naturals original version, which I like. There are also pre-seasoned preparations like barbecue and curry flavors. I’ve never had those, but they seem like a convenient option that you can just heat and eat. Other popular brands are Native Forest and The Jackfruit Company.
Jackfruit comes dried, in syrup, brine, and even chip form. But you’ll want plain jackfruit for this recipe that’s either vacuum-sealed or packed in water.
Yes, you can simply buy a green jackfruit, but with one weighing between 20 and 100 pounds, why would you?
This easy jackfruit pulled pork recipe involves quickly cooking unseasoned jackfruit with some flavorful ingredients like onion, barbecue sauce and spices. The taste will vary somewhat depending on what barbecue sauce you use. I tend to prefer a less sweet flavor so I use the Annie’s Original BBQ Sauce. It’s not overly sweet as bbq sauces go.
Keep in mind some bbq sauces aren’t vegan because they use honey or other non-vegan ingredients, but some mainstream brands such as K.C. Masterpiece Original appears to be based on the ingredients list.
Looks like meat, right? In tacos and sandwiches, jackfruit pulled “pork” is a convincing, cruelty-free alternative. It’s delicious served on a soft roll, pickles and coleslaw optional.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¼ cup yellow onion, diced
- 7 ounces diced tomatoes
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 11 ounces unseasoned jackfruit, chopped in 1-inch pieces
- 3 rolls or 6 bread slices
- In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook about 1 minute. Stir in diced tomatoes, chipotle chile, 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce, garlic and dried oregano. Cook another minute. Stir in jackfruit, cover and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from heat and transfer jackfruit to a bowl. Shred with a fork until jackfruit is a stringy consistency. Stir in one tablespoon of barbecue sauce (or more to taste). Serve piled on heated rolls or bread.