Maple-Sriracha Jackfruit Sandwich

published Jan 23, 2020
Recipe Review
Maple-Sriracha Jackfruit Sandwich

In this satisfying vegetarian recipe, jackfruit simmers in apple juice, maple syrup, and Asian chili-garlic sauce before being mashed into tender, juicy bits resembling pork after a long braise.

Serves6

Prep15 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Jackfruit barbecue sandwiches and tacos have been popping up on menus everywhere, and for good reason —  jackfruit’s unique texture makes it a believable play as pulled pork. Here, we’re simmering it in apple juice, maple syrup, and Asian chili-garlic sauce until it’s softened, then mashing it into tender but fibrous juicy bits that have an uncanny resemblance to falling-apart tender meat that comes from hours of braising a tough cut of pork or beef. That texture has been the holy grail of vegetarian chefs for years, delivering a convincing look and mouth-feel that you just can’t get from a bowl of beans.

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Preparing Jackfruit For Cooking

This sandwich is the perfect introduction to cooking with jackfruit, and is sure to surprise and delight even the skeptics at the table. The sauce is simple and punchy, and plays up the shockingly-convincing meatiness of the jackfruit.

Transforming a can of unfamiliar fruit into a meat alternative may sound daunting, but canned jackfruit in brine is already cut and cooked, so you‘re halfway there. One crucial tip: you need to get rid of as much of the brine flavor as possible. (Most canned low-acid vegetables, like artichoke hearts, are packed in the same kind of brine). To eliminate the salty, acidic taste of the liquid, I always soak the drained jackfruit in cold water if I have time, then rinse and drain really well. Also: Don’t add any salt to the dish until the very end, after you taste it. The jackfruit is usually salted enough.

Maple-Sriracha Jackfruit Sandwich

In this satisfying vegetarian recipe, jackfruit simmers in apple juice, maple syrup, and Asian chili-garlic sauce before being mashed into tender, juicy bits resembling pork after a long braise.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans

    jackfruit in brine

  • 1

    large onion

  • 1 tablespoon

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup

    maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup

    Asian chile-garlic sauce

  • 2 tablespoons

    tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon

    rice vinegar

  • 2 cups

    apple juice

  • 6

    whole-wheat hamburger buns

  • For serving: shredded cabbage and avocado, pineapple, or mango slices

Instructions

  1. Drain 2 cans jackfruit. Place in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and soak for at least 4 hours at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

  2. Drain and rinse the jackfruit pieces, and remove the seeds if desired. Thinly slice 1 large onion.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup Asian chile-garlic sauce, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar and stir to combine.

  4. Stir in 2 cups apple juice and the drained jackfruit, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. This is a good time to shred some cabbage and slice avocado, pineapple, or mango for serving.

  5. Uncover and mash the jackfruit with a fork or potato masher. When all the jackfruit is broken into meaty looking shreds, taste and adjust the sauce — if it is thin, stir and cook for a few minutes, if it seems dry, add a tablespoon of water.

  6. Serve the jackfruit mixture on 6 whole-wheat hamburger buns, topped with shredded cabbage and avocado, mango, or pineapple slices as desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cooked jackfruit mixture keeps for up to 4 days, tightly covered.

Storage: Store the cooked jackfruit mixture in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.