How to Create a Flavorful Vegan Jackfruit ‘Pulled Pork’ Sandwich with Slaw?

April 4, 2024

If you’re a vegan, you might have spent a considerable amount of time figuring out how to replace some of your favorite meat dishes. Thankfully, there is a tool in the vegan arsenal that can help you mimic the texture and flavor of the classic pulled pork sandwich: the jackfruit. We’re talking about a recipe that uses the versatile jackfruit to create a smoky, savory barbeque sandwich with a tangy slaw. This recipe is not only vegan but also gluten-free, making it a perfect option for those with dietary restrictions.

Discover the Magic of Jackfruit

In vegan cuisine, jackfruit is a staple ingredient, especially when it comes to replicating meaty textures. But what exactly is jackfruit? It’s a large, green, spiky fruit native to Southeast Asia. When cooked and shredded, it resembles the texture of pulled pork, making it an excellent substitute in many recipes.

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Moreover, jackfruit is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and dietary fiber, which can contribute to overall health. Plus, it’s a low-calorie option, giving you the freedom to indulge in your favorite barbeque sandwiches without the guilt.

To start making your vegan ‘pulled pork’ sandwich, you’ll need to get your hands on canned or fresh jackfruit. If you’re using canned jackfruit, make sure it’s in brine or water, not syrup.

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The BBQ Sauce: Adding the Flavor

The secret to a mouth-watering vegan pulled pork sandwich lies in the BBQ sauce. For our recipe, we recommend a homemade barbecue sauce that is both vegan and gluten-free. Start by sautéing garlic and onion in a pan until golden and fragrant. Then, add tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, and a variety of spices including smoked paprika, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Cook this mixture on low heat for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Remember, the sauce should have a balance of tanginess, sweetness, and smokiness to mimic the taste of traditional barbecue sauce.

Cooking the Jackfruit

Now that your barbecue sauce is ready, it’s time to cook the jackfruit. Start by draining and rinsing the jackfruit if using canned. Remove any seeds or hard parts, and then chop it into smaller pieces. In a large pan, add a bit of oil, the jackfruit, and a teaspoon of salt. Cook it for about 10 minutes, or until it becomes soft and starts to break down. Once the jackfruit is tender, you can shred it using a fork, mimicking the texture of pulled pork.

Then, add your homemade barbecue sauce to the pan and mix well to ensure every piece of jackfruit is covered. Let the jackfruit cook in the sauce for about 20 minutes, to absorb all the delicious flavors.

Preparing the Coleslaw

A pulled pork sandwich wouldn’t be complete without a heap of coleslaw. For a vegan, gluten-free slaw, you’ll need to shred some cabbage, carrot, and red onion. To create the dressing, mix vegan mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and a bit of sugar and salt. Combine the shredded vegetables with the dressing, and your coleslaw is ready to add a fresh, tangy crunch to the sandwich.

Assembling the Sandwich

Building the sandwich is the crowning glory of this process. Grab your favorite gluten-free buns and layer generous spoonfuls of the barbecued jackfruit on the bottom half. Pile on the coleslaw, aiming for a balance between the smoky jackfruit and the tangy slaw. If you like, you can add some extra barbecue sauce on top for added flavor. Then, simply place the top bun on the stack, and your vegan jackfruit ‘pulled pork’ sandwich is ready to be devoured.

This recipe is a testament to the versatility of vegan cooking. With the humble jackfruit, you can create a sandwich that rivals its meat-based counterpart in taste and texture. Plus, it’s a healthier alternative that doesn’t compromise on flavor. So, the next time you’re craving a hearty sandwich, remember the jackfruit and this tasty vegan recipe.

Customizing Your Vegan ‘Pulled Pork’ Sandwich

Apart from the basic ingredients and preparation steps, one of the exciting things about this vegan ‘pulled pork’ sandwich is how customizable it can be. Depending on your dietary preferences or calorie intake, there are numerous variations and additions you can experiment with to put your personal spin on this recipe.

If you enjoy a touch of spiciness, consider adding some chili flakes or jalapenos to your barbecue sauce. For more depth of flavor, you can incorporate liquid smoke into the sauce. Alternatively, if you’re someone who appreciates a bit of sweetness, incorporating a touch of maple syrup or date syrup into the barbecue sauce can make a delightful difference.

When it comes to toppings, you are not just limited to coleslaw. Avocado slices, dill pickles, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, or even vegan cheese could be added to your sandwich for an extra punch of flavor and texture. You can also experiment with different types of bread. Apart from the usual burger buns, try ciabatta, baguette, or sourdough bread – just ensure they are gluten-free if you are maintaining a gluten-free diet.

For those looking to cut down on calories, you can opt for a whole grain bun or even lettuce wraps instead of the traditional bun. Similarly, you can replace the vegan mayo in the coleslaw with Greek yogurt for a low-calorie alternative.

Remember, the key is to maintain the balance of flavors, ensuring that the smoky, savory taste of the bbq jackfruit remains the star of the show.

Conclusion: Savoring a Plant-Based Delight

The vegan jackfruit ‘pulled pork’ sandwich is not just a testament to the versatility of plant-based cooking; it’s a revolutionary dish that promises a flavor-filled dining experience. With its smoky barbecue sauce, tangy vegan coleslaw, and the unique texture of the shredded jackfruit, it is indeed a mouth-watering treat that is both satisfying and guilt-free.

This recipe is perfect for those looking to transition into a plant-based diet but still crave their favorite meat dishes. It’s also great for seasoned vegans who desire a change from the usual tofu and tempeh-based meals. Above all, it’s a fantastic option for those with dietary restrictions like gluten intolerance.

So, whether you’re hosting a summer barbecue or simply need a hearty, delicious meal, this vegan jackfruit ‘pulled pork’ sandwich is a go-to recipe. With its balance of flavors, nutritional benefits, and the flexibility to customize, it truly is a game-changer in the world of vegan cuisine.

The next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t forget to grab a can of jackfruit. Your taste buds will thank you when you whip up this plant-based delight! And remember – it’s the magic of jackfruit that turns a simple sandwich into a culinary masterpiece.