Carolina Pulled “Pork” Sandwich

Hey! Are you vegetarian/vegan/avoiding meat for some reason?

Have you heard about Jackfruit?

No?

Duuuude. I’m so about to rock your world.

There’s this restaurant in LA called Pure Luck. It happens to be owned by a friend of a friend of mine, but it’s also just an awesome vegan place with a great menu. Sadly, they are going to be closing soon. Happily, they introduced me to the magical world that is the Jackfruit. It’s this crazy Asian fruit that looks like this:

[source]

But if you prepare it properly (and don’t worry, it’s available in cans, which are much less intimidating), it can look like this:

Yeah – that’s not pork. It’s…fruit. I know, I know – I can see how it might be hard to believe that fruit could look like, much less taste like, pork. But trust me when I tell you that not only does it look like it, but it really does pass quite well for a fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth, pulled pork.

Sadly, I haven’t found a great online resource to buy it – if you google “Jackfruit in brine” you can find a couple of places that sell it, but I would recommend just looking at your local asian market (if you’re in the Los Angeles area, 99 Ranch has it) and making sure you buy the kind that comes in brine, not syrup.

If you can manage to get your hands on some, it’s really fun to experiment with. Pure Luck, the restaurant I mentioned above, uses it for pulled pork and for Mexican carnitas (I’ll definitely get around to posting a carnitas recipe sometime!) and it’s excellent in both dishes.

And now I will stop going on about it and get to the recipe already! Crack open your can of jackfruit and rinse it really well (if you get the kind that’s in brine, it will have a slight vinegary taste which you want to rinse off as much as possible), and you’ll have something that looks like this:

What? That doesn’t look exactly like pulled pork to you? Huh. Well…we’ll get there. Take each chunk and cut off the center piece, like so:

You should be left with just the stringy bits, which we’re going to coat in our nice dry rub. This is just a mixture of various spices that you can combine and then pour all over your jackfruit. Heat it all in a medium pot over medium heat until everything is nice and toasty – maybe about five minutes.

While the spices are toasting, mix together the wet part of your seasoning, which is just a blend of various standard ingredients like maple syrup, tomato paste, and spices. You can also add tamarind paste (which, if you made my baked beans from yesterday, you already have out) to make this whole thing super awesome. Pour your mix over the toasted jackfruit and let it all simmer for maybe 30 minutes, up to an hour or so. While that is simmering you can throw some chopped onion in a skillet over medium low and let it caramelize until it’s a nice dark brown. Again, this recipe goes very well with yesterday’s baked beans – you can prepare the onions for both in the same skillet and then just roughly divide them in half when you’re done.

Once your “pork” has simmered for a while, use a fork to sort of rip apart the jackfruit pieces into stringy bits and spread this mixture out on a cookie sheet and roast it at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. You don’t have to do this step, it’s delicious straight out of the pot, but it makes it a little less soft and a little more firm/chewy.

Then just load up some sandwich bread or a roll (I used ciabatta bread, but honestly that was a little too much bread – I’d recommend just regular sandwich slices. If you use gluten free bread the whole recipe is gluten free) and go to town!

As written, this recipe is fairly spicy – if you want it to have a little less of a kick, cut back on the cayenne and red chili flakes.

So how fun is that? I love how much it looks like pulled pork. The jackfruit itself has a pretty neutral flavor so as long as you season it with some nice strong spices, it just kind of picks up that flavor.

Have any of you heard of or had Jackfruit before? Any other ways to use it I should try?

Carolina Pulled “Pork” Sandwich

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Makes enough for 2 large or 4 regular sandwiches.

Vegan, Gluten free if you use GF bread, Low Fat, Refined Sugar Free, Soy Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 can jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed well with the solid center pieces removed (as shown above)
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sandwich bread or rolls
  • For the dry rub:
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • pinch garlic powder
  • pinch onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • For the wet sauce:
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp canola or other neutral oil
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 2 tsp maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add onion to a skillet over medium low and heat until it is caramelized and browned. Add garlic for the last minute or so, until fragrant.
  2. Mix together dry rub spices and toss jackfruit pieces in mixture until coated. Add to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat for about five minutes to toast spices.
  3. Mix together wet sauce ingredients and add to saucepan, along with onion and garlic. Simmer jackfruit in sauce for 15-30 minutes until well heated and softened. Using a fork, shred the jackfruit pieces into small stringy bits. Spread mixture evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes until slightly dried out and toughened.
  4. Divide evenly amongst your bread or rolls and serve!

 

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  1. [...] Pulled Pork Imposter So apparently there’s a crazy Asian fruit out there that’s having a serious identity crisis. It’s called jackfruit. And it can act (almost) like a meat replacement. It’s mysterious and magical and if you make something with it, let us know! Via Clean Green Simple [...]

  2. [...] I had passed by them in the farmer’s market, not knowing what that prickly thing was.  Never thought twice about it.  Until I saw this recipe by Jessica @ Clean Green Simple: Carolina Pulled “Pork” BBQ Sandwich. [...]

  3. [...] Jessica @ Clean Green Simple – Carolina Pulled “Pork” Sandwich [...]

  4. [...] Pulled Pork Imposter So apparently there’s a crazy Asian fruit out there that’s having a serious identity crisis. It’s called jackfruit. And it can act (almost) like a meat replacement. It’s mysterious and magical and if you make something with it, let us know! Via Clean Green Simple [...]

  5. [...] eventually settled on a recipe for Carolina BBQ-inspired pulled “pork” from [...]

  6. [...] can find the recipe I used on the blog, Clean Green Simple. She offers a ton of insight into the recipe and some awesome photographs so you know exactly what [...]

  7. [...] found this recipe on yet another food blog, Clean Green Simple, which describes how its author, Jessica, strives to live her life. I’ve found several [...]

  8. [...] http://cleangreensimple.com/2011/05/carolina-pulled-pork-sandwich/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeOne blogger likes this. This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged Food on September 6, 2012 by citizenkate420. [...]

  9. [...] can find the recipe I used on the blog, Clean Green Simple. She offers a ton of insight into the recipe and some awesome photographs so you know exactly what [...]

  10. [...] are recipes of pulled pork jackfruit sandwiches here and there but once you read through a few recipes you kind of get an idea of what ingredients you need. [...]

  11. [...] – Pulled Pork Jackfruit – cannelini beans – steamed broccoli with sesame seeds – brown rice – Veganomicon Barbeque Sauce – [...]

  12. [...] is based on the recipe here. It’s a great recipe and as with all great recipes you end up making them your own- this is [...]

  13. [...] are two recipes from Clean Green Simple, Carolina Pulled “Pork” Sandwich, and Jessica’s version of the Jackfruit [...]

  14. [...] a while I settled on this “Carolina Pulled ‘Pork’ Sandwich” recipe – I wasn’t going to make sandwiches, but tacos, but the [...]

  15. [...] found this recipe on yet another food blog, Clean Green Simple, which describes how its author, Jessica, strives to live her life. I’ve found several [...]



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