Jackfruit “Pulled Pork” BBQ

I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time! Finally, I found cut up jackfruit at the Dekalb Farmer’s Market, so I picked up a 2-3# chunk for this! Jackfruit are usually 10# and UP, so finding them in chunks is awesome if you don’t need to make a ton of this BBQ. It’s so good, tho, that you might want to make a ton and freeze it! The “pulled pork” part of this recipe is vegan, but the sauce is not due to the butter I finished it with. You could sub margarine or just leave it off. I made this a berbere type BBQ sauce, but I think Korean style sauce would be very good as well. Use whatever you like! Just echo the flavours of your sauce with your cooking water for the fruit.

Vegan Jackfruit “Pulled Pork”
2-3# chunk of jackfruit (scale up recipe if you’re doing a whole one)
2.5 Tbl berbere
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbl salt
one dry guajillo (optional)
3-4 bay leaves

1 cup cooking liquid
3 Tbl ketchup
1 Tbl yellow mustard
1 tsp berbere
1/2 tsp black pepper
Finish with 2 Tbl butter if desired; leave off for vegan

First, you must prep the jackfruit. This is the most tedious part! The main thing to know about this weird fruit is that it is HELLA STICKY. The rind and parts around the seed pods have some sort of sticky stuff on them that is impervious to soap, alcohol and only mostly will come off with 100% acetone. WEAR GLOVES!! And lube up the gloves with food release or oil – as well as any knives you’ll be using. I think that oil will loosen the sticky a bit, but it’s serious stuff.

Jackfruit Chunk

What you’re doing is pulling out the seed pods and removing the seeds and their cases. The seed pods are the edible bits and they are not as sticky as the rest of the fruit. You want to have seedless pods like this:

Seed Pod w/out seeds

This 2-3# piece of jackfruit gave me about 3 cups of pods. So I guess you can figure about a cup per pound. Put the pods in a pot and cover with water. Add all the seasonings and bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 45 minutes.

Jackfruit pods cooking.

Preheat oven to 350F. Cover a sheet pan with foil and spray with food release. Use a slotted spoon to fish out the cooked pods and spread onto the sheet pan in a single layer. Bake for about an hour, or until the edges are getting brown. If you like burnt ends and/or a lot of bark, let the jackfruit get dark like I did. It is delicious!

Jackfruit “pulled pork”!

Scrape the jackfruit off the sheet pan and pull apart any large chunks with a fork. I got a little over a cup from the original 3 cups I started with, so LOTS of shrinkage. I think a 10# jackfruit would be the perfect size for a batch now that I have cooked with it. There is a LOT of waste and a lot of shrinkage.

For the sauce, put the liquid and next four ingredients in a small saucepan and cook down by 1/3 or until desired thickness. Finish with butter if you are not vegan and want that nice glossy, fatty buttery feel to add to the finished dish. I think the extra fat compensates for the lack of fat overall. I dressed the “pork” with a little sauce before storing in the fridge.

Finished Product