Monday, June 15, 2015
BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich
In addition to all the aquafaba posts, vegan blogs have been buzzing about pulled "pork" sandwiches made from canned jackfruit. The canned jackfruit, I read, had to be young green jackfruit in brine, not the dessert jackfruit in syrup. I was intrigued. While in Sri Lanka, we made a jackfruit curry, and it did have a meaty texture.
I opted to use canned jackfruit instead of buying one (they are huge, although you can buy partial jackfruits at 99 Ranch) because I read about how sticky and messy they were. If I liked the BBQ jackfruit, I reasoned, I could buy one next time.
After I drained and rinsed the jackfruit, I cut out off the core of each segment, leaving the feathery part of the jackfruit and some of the rind.
After I prepared the jackfruit, I made a BBQ sauce, which I improvised starting with the Joy of Cooking's ketchup recipe. My sauce was like ketchup with a hefty does of liquid smoke, smoked paprika, worcestershire sauce (not vegan), caramelized onions, and brown sugar. Once the sauce was done, I tossed in the jackfruit and simmered it for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I shredded the jackfruit just like I would for pulled pork, using 2 forks.
Since I didn't have hamburger buns but I did have loads of flour, I made Taste of Home's 40-minute hamburger buns recipe. Unwillingness to drive to the store is the mother of invention, in my case.
The buns turned out beautiful, although the batch I baked with the Silpat were a little too brown on the bottom, so I should have rotated the pans 1/2 way through baking. Flavor-wise, they were simplistic when compared to Acme breads or any other bread with a starter, but for 10 minutes of work, I'm not complaining.
Will I make this again? Maybe. It tasted mostly like BBQ sauce since the jackfruit absorbs flavors. The texture was much softer than pulled pork, so if I do make these again, I will bake the jackfruit shreds first to firm them up or run them in the dehydrator for a few hours so they can have some chew. The boy thought they were pretty close the real thing. It is easier to keep a couple of jackfruit cans in the pantry than to go out and buy pork if the mood strikes for BBQ sandwiches, so there's that advantage. And, since I always have homemade canned tomatoes around, making BBQ sauce isn't a huge deal.