MY ONLY PREVIOUS CONTACT WITH JACKFRUIT was having once tried a smoothie made from it in our favourite Vietnamese restaurant. After doing a bit of internet research, I now realise I’ve seen the fresh fruit for sale in Asian grocers as well. I recently read something about it being the meat-substitute-craze-that’s-sweeping-the-nation and thought I’d give it a try. After all, I am rather partial to a meat substitute.
I regularly visit one or other of the Asian supermarkets round these parts and picked myself up a couple of tins of young green jackfruit in brine. I’m particularly glad to report that one of the tins was ‘Cock Brand’.
I must confess also, that I’ve never actually tasted pulled pork. I know it’s been everywhere over the last couple of years, but there’s always been something on the menu I’ve fancied more.
I had a quick squizz at a couple of recipes online and, basically, you boil the fuck out of the jackfruit, until it becomes stringy and pulled pork-like and you serve it mixed with a barbeque sauce. Recipes vary as to whether you cook the jackfruit in the sauce or cook it separately. Mostly, I reckon, this depends on whether you’ve already got your sauce made, in which case you’d boil up your fruit separately. If, like me, you’re making this up as you go along, it makes sense and saves washing up to do it together.
So, in a pan, place the following ingredients:
Water – start with half a litre and see how that goes. You can always add more if the fruit needs more boiling.
2 tins Young Green Jackfruit in brine (drained).
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
3 tbsp Sriracha (I used more and mine was blistering-hot)
Heaped tbsp smoked paprika
Tsp ground allspice
Tbsp ground cumin
Tsp celery salt
Tsp garlic salt
Tsp onion powder
Tbsp cider vinegar
Salt, if needed.
Sugar, if needed.
All you need do then is boil until most of the water has evaporated and the jackfruit has gone stringy. I had to add more water for a second boil, but then used a wooden spoon, and then a potato masher, to break the chunks down.
I served mine with a brown rice salad (brown basmati rice, sweetcorn, finely chopped red onion, chopped yellow capsicum, chopped cucumber, grated carrot, chopped parsley, hemp seed – dressed with soya mayo cut with olive oil), which went really well, and took the edge off some of the heat from the sriracha overload.
It was delicious. Whilst it looks a lot like pulled pork, the ‘meat’ doesn’t quite have the same chewy texture. Bloody close though.