Experiments in vegetable ‘meat’ cookery #2

Jackfruit. I have heard it referred to as the ‘porcupine of the fruit world’ and I guess this is due to how it looks in it’s natural, unprocessed state.

Jackfruits grow on the branches and trunks of tall trees. You don't wait to harvest until they drop of their own accord — by that time, they'd be overrip

I suppose it was given this identifier because of the spiky outside, but I don’t get a porcupine vibe off that really. Maybe it’s the lack of foot long (in some porcupine species) quills that is throwing it for me.

At any rate, Jackfruit has been used as a meat substitute in many a vegan and vegatarian dish. It is native to parts of South & Southeast Asia, where the ripe fruit is used in desserts and candies and the young, unripe fruit used in savory preparations such as curries. What I will be experimenting with is the young, unripe variety.

Out of the can, it looks rather unassuming and unappetizing:

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But once you start working with it, it starts to resemble something you might want to put in your mouth at some point.

_________

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

1-2 rbl extra virgin olive oil

granulated garlic

hickory Bacon Salt

1 can of unripe (or green) jackfruit in brine or water

3 tbl tomato paste

2 tbl mustard (I used this kind of sweet, kind of spicy Swedish stuff I get at Ikea called Senap Mild)

1/2 tbl of brown sugar

liberal shake of smoked paprika

1-2 tbl of worcestershire sauce

Drain and rinse jackfruit really well, especially if it comes in brine. Toss with olive oil to coat and sprinkle on the garlic and bacon salt. I use the bacon salt as it’s lower in sodium, vegetarian and also adds a little smokiness to the mix. You could also used some smoked paprika in lieu of the bacon salt or in addition to the other seasonings, if you want to up that smoky factor. Transfer the seasoned jackfruit to a baking sheet and roast in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes. Allow the fruit to cool before shredding with your fingers or two forks.

In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste, mustard, brown sugar, smoked paprika and worcestershire sauce until well blended. I then popped the mixture into the microwave for a minute or so to ‘cook’ everything a bit. You could cut out this step entirely and just use bottled sauce too.

Add the bbq sauce to the shredded jackfruit and mix well to ensure all the jackfruit is coated.

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I then heated the mixture for another minute to help the sauce soak in a bit, then refrigerated to allow the flavors to marry more. To use, simply reheat and pile on your favorite delivery method, bun, bread,. rice cakes…what have you. I plan to have some of mine open-faced on white toast with a slice of american cheese melted on the top. You can take the girl out of the trailer…

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