Barbecue jackfruit – when it’s done right, it really is keen to “vegan pulled pork.” However, more often than not, jackfruit dishes come out mushy and lacking in sustenance.
It takes on flavors beautifully, but because it’s almost impossible to find fresh unripe jackfruit, most of us have to get it from a can in a brine solution. Because it’s canned, meaning it’s been cooked, this jackfruit is very tender.
Fortunately, there’s something we can do about that.
When I’ve made jackfruit in the past, I would simply take it out of the can, remove the seeds, shred it with a fork, coat it with a dry rub, and fry it in a pan over medium heat until lightly crusty. While this method does deliver a kind crust, it doesn’t rid the jackfruit of excess moisture.
This time around, we still removed the seeds and lightly shredded it with a fork, but then we dusted it with salt and baked it at 250° F for an hour, which removes the excess moisture, delivering a lightly chewy texture that’s still tender and juicy.
When this method of baking the jackfruit is used, it holds its integrity when mixed with a thick barbecue sauce.
Since I’ve been omitting sugar from my diet recently – and I know many of you are as well – I’ve included a recipe for sugar-free barbecue sauce that’s thick, sweet, lightly tangy, bursting with flavor, tomato-based, and perfect when paired with jackfruit, tempeh, and portobello mushrooms.
If you like what your taste buds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.
Ryan & Kim
Salty, meaty jackfruit with thick & sweet sugar-free barbecue sauce.
- 2 cans (14 oz each) unripe jackfruit, drained & deseeded
- Light pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp barbecue rub (optional)
- 1/4 c sugar-free bbq sauce or other bbq sauce of choice
Sugar-Free Barbecue Sauce:
- 4 large beefsteak tomatoes, peeled & deseeded
- 1/4 c apple cider or white vinegar
- 2 tbsp tamari sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp liquid smoke
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, paprika, cinnamon, & salt
- 1/8 tsp each ground cloves & allspice (optional)
- 1/2 tsp liquid stevia
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
- Pre-heat oven to 250° F.
- Drain jackfruit from the brine in the cans and remove the seeds, which look like round yellow pods. Once the seeds are removed, lightly shred the jackfruit with a fork or your hands.
- Place jackfruit on a cookie sheet, toss with a light pinch of salt and barbecue dry rub, if you choose to use any. Bake in oven at 250° F for one hour.
- For sugar-free barbecue sauce, peel and deseed your tomatoes by thinly cutting an “X” shape on the bottom of all the tomatoes. Then, place them in a large pot of boiling water for 15 seconds. After removing from boiling water, transfer to a large bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process.
- Remove from the ice bath and peel back the skin from the “X”s using a pairing knife or your fingers. The skin should come off relatively easily because of this blanching process.
- After the skin is removed, remove the stems, cut them in half, and scoop out the seeds and “guts” of the tomatoes with a spoon.
- Place the skinned, deseeded tomato halves, along with the rest of the barbecue sauce ingredients – except for the arrowroot powder – into a blender and blitz on high until smooth.
- Remove a 1/4 c of this slurry and combine it with arrowroot powder in a small mason jar or air tight container, seal with a lid, and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
- Place the entire tomato mixture and arrowroot slurry into a medium sauce pot and turn heat on high. Stirring frequently, bring this mixture to a boil for 30 seconds. After that, kill the heat and set aside.
- Once the jackfruit is finished baking, remove from oven and stir with a 1/4 c of barbecue sauce.
- Serve with extra bbq sauce along with sides of your choice, we love to pair ours with homemade coleslaw!