Unripe green jackfruit is known for taking on the texture of pulled pork, ideal for this recipe.
Did you know that jackfruit can grow to weigh up to 100 pounds? They are available fresh or canned but for convenience's sake, canned in water, not syrup or brine, is best. I admire you if you decide to use fresh. Whole, unripe jackfruit may be hard to find and even harder to prepare. But if you're determined, Asian markets and specialty grocery stores usually stock them whole and in sections. Especially if it's your first time working with fresh jackfruit, the section portion might be easier to work with
Look for jackfruit with an evenly green color and not much of a scent. Unripe green jackfruit is known for taking on the texture of pulled pork when cooked.
Jackfruit is notorious for being filled with an extremely sticky latex sap that can ruin your counters and knife if you aren't careful — and the sap is even worse if you're working with unripe green jackfruit. Prepare your workspace by lining your counter and cutting board with plenty of newspaper. Have extra newspapers or paper towels handy for wiping up sap as it comes out of the fruit. Wear a pair of powder-free gloves, then oil them and your knife liberally with cooking spray or coconut oil. Make sure you re-oil your knife after each cut — if you don't take this precaution, the sap can easily ruin the blade.
To prepare unripe, green jackfruit, start by cutting the skin off the fruit. Then, cut the flesh into large chunks, and simmer in a pot of water until tender. You can then separate the pods from the rest of the fruit, remove the seeds, and use the green jackfruit in your favorite savory recipes.
Spicy Smoked Pulled Green Jackfruit with Pineapple Rum BBQ Sauce
Prep time: Using Canned jackfruit 15 to 25 minutes. Cook time including grill time is 1 to 1 ¼ hours
2 20-oz cans young green jackfruit in water (NOT in syrup or brine)
3 cups (700-750ml) wood chips
3/4 cup BBQ sauce (ensure it’s vegan // plus more for topping)
FOR THE RUB
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon ground allspice
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup Cajun Rub and Seasoning Mix (can be substituted for the below ingredients)
1 tablespoon habanero or chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
FOR THE PINEAPPLE RUM SAUCE
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lime, zest and juice
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ginger powder
1/4 cup 1000 Island Moonshine - included
1-2 tablespoons habanero pineapple sauce (depending on hot your you like it) - included
FOR THE BBQ SAUCE
2 cups pineapple juice
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon minced gingerroot, peeled
2/3 cup Maple Chipotle BBQ Sauce (can be substituted for the below ingredients)
1/2 cup ketchup
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Soak only half of the wood chips in water for at least 1 hour or overnight. Squeeze the excess water from the wood chips and place half the wood chips in the center of a large piece of foil. Add the dry chips and mix. Close the foil around the chips, sealing the package. Using a fork, poke holes in both sides of the package.
Rinse, drain, and thoroughly dry the jackfruit. Chop off the center “core” portion of the fruit and discard. Place in a mixing bowl and set aside.
In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, coriander, allspice, cinnamon, Cajun rub and mix well. For an even simpler option, mix 1/3 cup rub with ½ cup brown sugar and mix well. Add to jackfruit. Toss to coat.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil of choice and seasoned jackfruit (use more oil, as needed, if increasing batch size). Toss to coat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to achieve some color.
Add BBQ sauce to pineapple sauce and mix well. Add BBQ/pineapple mixture to jackfruit, saving at least ½ cup. Mix until jackfruit is well covered Stir and reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 20 minutes or until it shreds easily.
Shred the jackfruit using two forks until it resembles the appearance of pulled pork.
Preheat your outdoor BBQ grill to high. Remove the grate on one side of the grill and place smoke pouch on the elements below and close the lid. When wood chips begin to really smoke, turn the grill down to medium-low until it reaches a temperature of 300-350°F
Transfer jackfruit to baking sheet, cover in tinfoil and place on grill. Close lid and cook 30 to 40 minutes, mixing and turning every 10 minutes.
Note: Cooking time and temperatures will vary depending on the size and type of your BBQ.
Serving options: Traditional pulled pork is served on a soft bun with coleslaw and extra BBQ sauce. Brioche buns are arguably the best type of bread to use for a pulled pork or pulled jackfruit sandwich due to its neutral flavor and usability. Besides coleslaw with your pulled pork sandwich, pickles, kimchi, pickled vegetables, horseradish sour cream, and jalapeno aioli are all other possibilities to create your unique pulled jackfruit sandwich. Check out our list below for other serving ideas. The list is endless. This is one time you’ll want leftovers!
OTHER SIDE IDEAS
sweet corn fritters
honey butter biscuits
spicy collard greens
onion and tomato curtido salad
cucumber tomato salad
IDEAS FOR SERVING PULLED JACKFRUIT WITHOUT SERVING IT ON A BUN
added to chili
added to poached eggs, kimchi and potato cakes
in a wrap with hummus
added to simple salad
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