Even before going vegan, I had seen numerous bloggers raving about using jackfruit as a substitute for pulled pork, but when you’re happy eating the real thing, the idea of fruit in BBQ sauce as a substitute is a little odd to say the least. The photos on Pinterest looked convincing, but I wasn’t sold.
It was only a few weeks ago, when I spotted a can of jackfruit in one of my favourite vegan delis in Melbourne, that I decided it was time to give porkless-pulled pork a try. At only $3 a can, it was certainly cheaper than buying a whole pork shoulder too.
I wish I could sit here and give you a recipe for a killer BBQ sauce that I’d perfected myself, but I’m a traveller on a budget. I have limited access to store cupboard essentials, and honestly sometimes I just like being lazy. We grabbed a bottle of BBQ sauce (most we looked at were vegan, but watch out for honey) and simply combined the two, along with some caramelised onions because caramelised onions make everything better: fact.
We were pleasantly surprised when we opened the oven to be greeted with that familiar pulled pork smell; enticingly sweet, rich and spicy. Shredding the jackfruit is simple – grab two forks and pull apart until you have something that resembles pulled pork.
Eaten on its own, the texture is slightly softer and less chewy than pork, but it’s hard to detect a difference as part of a meal. We used the pulled jackfruit in wholewheat wraps with dairy-free ranch slaw and shredded carrot, but it would be perfect in burgers, tacos, stuffed into sweet potatoes or even to make loaded nachos – get creative.
If you’re fortunate enough to live near a vegan/health store, you can more than likely find canned jackfruit there, but if not, it’s easy to purchase online from retailers like Amazon.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 1 can of jackfruit in brine
- bottle of BBQ sauce of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 200°c.
- Over a medium high heat in a frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the thinly sliced onions. Cook for ten minutes until soft and caramelised.
- Meanwhile, drain the jackfruit and rinse thoroughly to remove the brine. Add the rinsed jackfruit to the pan with the caramelised onions, then add the BBQ sauce. Mix well to combine.
- Transfer the onions, jackfruit and sauce to an ovenproof dish and cover with foil. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Once the jackfruit is tender and the sauce is sticky and thick, use two forks to pull the jackfruit apart into shreds.
- Serve with your choice of sides/toppings and enjoy.