Is Jackfruit the New Vegetarian Pork?

I have to admit that when I miss meat, which isn’t very often, I usually discover that what I’m really missing is barbecue. My mother’s side of the family is pure Deep South and I grew up eating a lot of delicious barbecue, especially pulled pork sandwiches. Now, I usually whip up some vegetarian barbecued baked beans when the cravings hit, but it’s really not the same. So imagine my absolute delight when I saw a recipe for vegetarian pulled pork!

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The recipe is on the delightful ForksKnivesandSpades.com, a wonderful blog that I wish I’d discovered a long time ago. The funny and intelligent blogmistress Shannon Marie is not only a vegetarian and a gardener, but was actually a chef in France, so she has some cooking chops. Once you check out her recipe for Vegetarian Pulled Pork (accompanied by a droolworthy pic), you’ll agree that this is a woman with skills.

Shannon Marie explains her discovery of the jackfruit and its barbecued pork impression this way:

My husband, also a vegetarian, and his band played a wedding reception for a vegan bride.  The food service consisted of pulled pork and vegetarian pulled pork. He took one look at the vegetarian one and moved on, convinced someone was playing a joke. Later, he learned from the bride that it was in fact vegan, so he dove head-first into the BBQ Jackfruit.  This is how I learned about my new bestie, Mr. Jackfruit.”

I didn’t think I’d ever seen jackfruit until I looked at her picture of a fresh one. I have seen them in the Asian market near my home, but I had no idea what it was.

According to Shannon Marie,

It is the fruit of a tree native to South and Southeast Asia, but it’s also grown in India, Africa, and the Caribbean. Jackfruit can be eaten raw when ripe, and the flavor is a sweet mixture of pineapple, bananas, and apples. When it’s unripe, it needs to be cooked. Which brings us to the pulled pork.”

Shannon Marie goes through all the traditional, real-world barbecue steps for this dish, including a dry rub, marinade and sauce. This is the stuff of which barbecue dreams are made. Yes indeed, I made it Saturday for our traditional football feast. It was amazing.

Don’t worry if you don’t think you can find fresh jackfruit. Shannon says that the fresh didn’t work out for her because it rotted too quickly, so she tried the recipe with canned jackfruit form the Asian market and it works beautifully. I made it with the canned version, too, which is cheap and readily available.

Go check out the blog, the recipe and the picture of this vegetarian pork barbecue miracle and you’ll understand why I won’t be making do with barbecued beans anymore.

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One Response to Is Jackfruit the New Vegetarian Pork?

  1. Jenny Sangler October 8, 2013 at 2:52 am #

    Have you tried jackfruit before? Please share your own jackfruit recipes below. Thanks!

    - Jenny Sangler

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