I love jackfruit. It’s the best new thing on the vegan scene in a long time. It’s such a versatile food that, once cooked, looks and has the texture of pulled pork or chicken. It’s also a very mild tasting food – so even though it is a fruit, you wouldn’t know it once you’ve cooked it in spices and marinades.
In the past I have discarded the seeds and some of the core of the fruit, but honestly, there’s no need. Once you’ve cooked everything down, it’s all soft and edible – so don’t waste those bits! You can also choose to shred the fruit before cooking, or use a masher after it has cooked down a bit – up to you. I would recommend cutting up the core though, because it doesn’t shred like the stringy bits of the fruit.
I’ve used jackfruit for tacos plenty of times (you can see my recipe here), but only just started using it in sandwiches with a BBQ sauce and baked in the oven to get it a little bit crispy but still very sumptuous. I like to serve it with coleslaw which is a classic combo – sweet, sticky pulled “pork” and a tangy crispy coleslaw to go with it. Put it all on a lightly toasted bun with a slather of mayo, and you are set!
For the BBQ sauce, you can certainly make your own (there are plenty of great recipes online) or just buy your favourite pre-made sauce which makes all this much easier. Just make sure you check the ingredients, as some BBQ sauces contain honey which is not vegan!
For the jackfruit
- 2 x 565g cans jackfruit in brine
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced in half moons
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 180 ml BBQ sauce, divided in two
For the coleslaw
- 100g white cabbage, shredded
- 100g red cabbage, shredded
- 100g carrots, shredded
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 60ml vegan mayo (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp agave syrup
- Pre-heat the oven to 220c.
- Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Cut up the cores into smaller pieces.
- Heat a pan over medium heat and add the oil. Cook the onion with a pinch of salt until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Add jackfruit and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes until the jackfruit starts to soften.
- Use two forks or a potato masher to separate the jackfruit. Strain off any excess broth.
- Add the jackfruit to a bowl along with half of the BBQ sauce – mix well.
- Spread the jackfruit out on a lined or lightly oiled baking tray and bake for 15-20 min until the jackfruit starts to dry out a bit.
- Remove from the oven, add rest of the sauce and stir well. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 min.
- To make the coleslaw, add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
- Once the jackfruit is cooked, add it to a toasted bun with coleslaw and extra sauce if you like.