Sunday, 14 April 2013


Graeme is a vegetarian. I am not. I love vegetarian food though, and generally don’t eat a lot of meat. I don’t think I’d struggle too much if I were to follow a vegetarian diet, but the commitment phobe in me refuses to limit my diet in such a drastic way. If I crave meat, I eat meat. But if Graeme craves meat, sometimes he cooks up some vegetarian pulled pork. This is actually something he's started cooking after I moved out, but he tells me about it all the time. So now that he's visiting I decided to make him make it for me to see what all the fuss was about. And I must say it was pretty delicious! But what is in this vegetarian pulled pork recipe, you say? You’ll be happy to hear there’s no imitation meats or anything like that (I’m not the biggest fan of imitation meats myself). Instead, the recipe uses unripe jackfruit in place of the pork. I’ve never really used jackfruit in any cooking before, but as I understand it’s generally sold either as ripe jackfruit or as unripe jackfruit. Ripe jackfruit is generally used more for dessert recipes like custards or cakes, while unripe jackfruit like this recipes uses is often used in curries in various countries in south east Asia. It has a meat-life taste, hence why it’s the main ingredient in this vegetarian version of pulled pork.

The whole process of making this dish is pretty simple. You prepare the fruit, shallow fry it and then grill it in the oven for a few minutes. Majority of the flavor in this recipe relies on the sauce, so I’d recommend using a good one!

Graeme's Vegetarian Pulled Pork Recipe: 
1 tin unripe jackfruit (young green jackfruit in brine)
150 ml of your favourite BBQ sauce
cooking oil
rolls/buns/whatever you'd like with your meal

Directions: Start by preparing the fruit. First, drain each chunk by squeezing out any excess water. Use a grater to grate the core and any seeds onto a kitchen towel (to further drain any liquid), and separate the flesh of the jackfruit into shredded pieces.

Once you have your jackfruit all shredded up, fry in a lightly oiled pan on a medium high heat for about five minutes until it starts to go a little brown. Once you’ve got a little color, add the BBQ sauce and stir well to coat all the pieces, and fry for a further five minutes. Once the BBQ is well incorporated into the jackfruit, transfer to an oven tray lined with oiled aluminum foil, and spread it so that you have a relatively thin layer so the heat gets distributed evenly. Grill on a high heat for about 10 minutes or until it begins to get a little charred, occasionally stirring so that it gets evenly cooked.

Depending on what you serve this with (and your BBQ sauce), this could easily be adapted to suit a vegan diet. Serving this as a pulled pork sandwich with a side of coleslaw is a classic, but it also works great with pita bread or potato salad. We had ours with buns and grilled corn on the cob,  as I’m personally not a massive coleslaw fan.

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