Thursday, 12 July 2018

Accidental Pulled Jackfruit

I'm back! 

It's been over two years, and I'm finally picking up my dear old food blog again. In my own life during those two years, I have had one major positive development. I met a very lovely person and fell in love back in the summer of 2016. My lovely significant other brought a whole new food challenge with him however, in that he is a committed vegan. I am still very much not a vegan, but due to my love of cooking and trying new things, I have absolutely loved delving into vegan cooking and baking. One recipe always eluded me however: the famous pulled pork alternative, pulled jackfruit.

I had tried other recipes for pulled jackfruit, but none had quite given the results I wanted. It was only when I threw caution to the wind that I found a recipe that worked for me. 

Looks a bit like the real thing right? Well it tastes great too and is great for all the vegans and veggies out there wondering what to make during barbecue season.

What is jackfruit?

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that is related to figs and mulberries. It's native to southern India and is used in Filipino, Indonesian, Indian, Thai and other Asian cuisines. Most notably, its seeds are used in curries and its ripe flesh used in custards.

In Western countries, jackfruit has recently gained popularity due to its versatility as a meat substitute. 

Young jackfruit (sometimes called 'green jackfruit') is white and has firm flesh, and it's important you don't use ripe jackfruit for this (yellow and soft) as the texture won't be the same. Yellow jackfruit can be eaten by itself and is very tasty! You can buy canned jackfruit online but it's a little expensive this way, so I would recommend having a hunt at your local Chinese or Asian supermarket to find cheaper cans. If you don't live in a city, sourcing jackfruit this way might be a little harder but it's worth a trip and being canned means it travels well and can be stored for longer. I use New Lamthong Young Green Jackfruit for this recipe.

  • One can of New Lamthong Young Green Jackfruit (565g)
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Henderson's Relish (a vegetarian Worcester Sauce alternative)
  • 2 tbsp Liquid Smoke (I use Stubb's Hickory Liquid Smoke, a little pricey but worth it)*
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • Medium mug of water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (can use less or omit depending on taste)
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • A few drops of tobasco** (can be omitted if you like)
  • 2 tsp garlic paste (or 2 cloves finely minced garlic)
*If you can't get Liquid Smoke, a few teaspoons of smoked paprika will work just as well.
**Chilli flakes or chilli powder work just as well.


Just throw everything into a medium pan, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes while mixing every so often. When the jackfruit is soft and the liquid has become thicker, shred the jackfruit with two forks.

The finished product should have the look and consistency of pulled pork.

If you find you need more water, then add as appropriate. If you find that the jackfruit is still hard after 20 minutes, then simmer for longer. You can season with salt and pepper if you wish, or you can experiment with any spices you like.

Pulled jackfruit is great on hotdogs (of course we had them with veggie sausages), on its own, or as a topping for fries. I've not tried them on nachos yet but that's what I'll be cooking up for the vegetarians at my next dinner party!

You can store the pulled jackfruit in a air tight container in the fridge for around 2-3 days, if you haven't eaten it all by then. It's best served hot, and can be microwaved or re-heated slowly in a pan. If you're as hungry as my boyfriend is though, you'll eat it cold as well.

So there you have it, a very simple and quick recipe for pulled jackfruit that I came up with completely by accident. Make a batch for your next barbecue and feed yourself, or the vegetarians and vegans in your life.

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