I recently became a member of a Facebook group called “What F.A.T. Vegans Eat.” I feel the need to point out the recklessness of titling a group “F.A.T.” as it made me join under the false pretense that I would be surrounded by other vegans that are as obsessed with soul-satisfying comfort food not seen under the raw or typically health-centric vegan pages. I will admit--I am a comfort food addict. Becoming a vegan did make me healthier, but it in no way curbed my love for the occasional decadence--my typical weekday night at home (when my erratic lifestyle affords me one) can be pictured as me with a Betty White size glass of wine and a bottomless mixing bowl of raw vegan cookie dough, sitting on my couch delighting in an unending Top Chef marathon. But I digress. In actuality, the “F.A.T.” vegan group is a group for “Fantastically Amazing Terrific” vegans and their food photography, but just joining lit the torch of my obsession with comfort food ablaze. I started seeing easy, homemade pulled BBQ jackfruit recipes several months ago. I had already come across the pre-packaged versions at my local market but had always found them…let’s just say….lacking. The sauce was always too smoky and the “pulled” jackfruit was barely cooked and cut in triangular slices that ate more like raw, hard melon--blegh! If I hadn’t seen the recent homemade trend and set out to make a recipe on my own I probably wouldn’t have returned to jackfruit at all. But before you make that potential mistake, too, let me confirm, jackfruit is really delicious! You just need to handle it yourself. It’s hard, even here in California, to find jackfruit raw. Where some would find this an issue, I see it as a blessing. Canned jackfruit, in water, not only holds maintains a lot of its original nutrition, but it's already been taken out of the casing and can be rinsed, drained, and used immediately! Easy peasy! Combine the effortlessness of jackfruit, a crock-pot cooking method, and the sumptuous sweet and spicy comfort cuisine of America--BBQ--and you have one of my now all-time favorite meals! But let's not forget what makes BBQ--BBQ--the sauce! The sauce alone can be made and enjoyed as a dip or a topping to homemade Seitan, roasted cauliflower, or any other treat you want to give a little southern lovin’! Whether you use this recipe as a sauce or sandwich, it truly puts to rest the idea that BBQ is just for carnivores!
YIELDS 2 - 3 Servings
- 3 14 oz. cans jackfruit (in water)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons brown/muscovado sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne/red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups coleslaw
- 3 hamburger buns
1. Thoroughly rinse and drain the three cans of jackfruit. Set aside. 2. Prepare sauce. First, dice 1 clove of garlic and ¼ of one red onion. 3. In a bowl, add the diced garlic, diced onion, ketchup, canola oil, molasses, brown (or) muscovado sugar, rice vinegar, ground cayenne/red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated. 4. Place the drained jackfruit and sauce in the Crock-Pot, making sure to gently coat all of the jackfruit in the sauce evenly. 5. Set Crock-Pot to high for 1 hour. 6. After 1 hour, remove Crock-Pot lid (pro tip: don’t place your face directly over the Crock-Pot as you open it or you’ll get a nose-full of vinegar air that’s been building up). Using two forks, gently shred jackfruit in the sauce. 7. Using my staple coleslaw recipe (link below), layer your hamburger buns with the pulled jackfruit--maybe, if you’re like me, topping it with some of the extra sauce--and topping it off with approximately a ¼ cup of coleslaw. 8. Put back on that top bun, repeat two more times, and get ready for some real vegan southern comfort food! I pictured the BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwiches with my staple coleslaw because nothing is more classic, and delicious, as sweet pulled BBQ with crisp tangy slaw. And while the idea of homemade coleslaw can seem arduous, it is so darn easy! Don’t waste your pennies on the premade slaw when you can wow your party guests, or lets be real--your family on a Friday night, with something you made yourself! Get the coleslaw recipe here: Healthy Sides: Creamy Country Vegan Coleslaw Whether you’re a slaw-topper like me, or like your BBQ straight up, this BBQ pulled jackfruit recipe is sure to satisfy your soul and your tummy!
Also by Missy: Vegan Slow Cooker Taco Caserole
Related: BBQ Sriracha Seitan Pizza
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Photos: Missy Ruttencutter