It’s national vegetarian week! I have a lot of vegetarian and vegan friends, in fact I’m half way through another meat free month myself, and one of the big nitpicks is often how a lot of meat focused restaurants hardly make an effort, using the excuse “but there isn’t anything suitable” or “you really want another veggie chilli, right?” instead of trying something a bit different. This recipe would sit nicely on the menu at any of the major BBQ places across the UK, or even at a number of Mexican ones. There are in fact a couple of places that do entirely veggie and vegan Mexican where Pulled Jackfruit is a staple.
Just like pulled pork, the dish which undoubtedly inspired this one, it’s cheap, easy, low maintenance and versatile. With a texture not unlike that of meat, and smokiness added from the sauce you use, you could likely even use it to dupe a meat-eater if you really wished. I’m even planning on making some in advance, taking it to a BBQ and heating it up in foil over a smokey grill to give it that extra charred tasting edge at some point over the summer. You can take your “you don’t win friends with salad” chant and stick it. Real veggie BBQ is a thing and it’s glorious.
BBQ season is fast approaching, or in some cases it has already started. Over the course of the summer, as well as probably chowing down on some actual meat burgers (sorry guys), I’m going to be experimenting with a few different veggie BBQ things.
Note: Make sure you buy tinned green jackfruit for this recipe. It needs to be in water and not in syrup or brine. You could do it with fresh but it would likely change key elements. I got my tins from a world foods supermarket that had a Sri Lankan section.
- 2 600g/20oz cans young green jackfruit in water
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 180ml BBQ sauce
- **To Serve**
- Smashed avocado
- Extra sauce
- Rinse and drain the jackfruit. Dry off thoroughly and remove the 'core' like you would with pineapple.
- Mix the seasoning separately and toss through the jackfruit until it's well covered.
- Heat a large pan (we used a heavy base pot) over a medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and stir in the seasoned jackfruit. Fry for 2-3 minutes, turning often.
- Add bbq sauce and enough water to thin it out (this will help it cook and stop it from catching/sticking). Stir through, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook covered for 20-35 minutes, stirring often. If you feel you need to add more sauce or water then do. You should attack with a couple of forks to pull it apart if you want it to be shredded.
- For the last 2-3 minutes, increase the heat to medium high to get a bit more colour and texture. Again, feel free to shred further with a couple of forks.
- Remove from the heat. This is best served fresh but will last a couple of days in a sealed container.
- Serve in a bun with avocado, salad leaves and fries.