VEGAN PULLED PORK

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I’ve been vegetarian for almost eighteen years so I have to hold my hands up here and admit that I have never (that I remember at least) had things like steak, ribs, or pulled pork. Having grown up without these, I don’t exactly crave them now that I don’t eat meat. I do, however, have a keen meat-eater in the form of my boyfriend Matt, and whilst he is probably the most accommodating person when it comes to eating veggie food I cook, I find it really interesting to hear his critique of veggie meat substitutes. Veggie bacon? Tastes like cardboard according to Matt, and he prefers grilled paneer to tofu any day, but the one thing we were both sure you could never replicate was a steaming hot plate of BBQ pulled pork. A few days ago I was cutting up some leftover artichokes to put in a pasta salad and as they tore apart in that stringy way I wondered aloud if they might work as a substitute. Matt quickly vetoed that idea with a look that said “you have NO IDEA” and I carried on with my pasta salad. Five minutes later he burst into the kitchen with an iPhone full of straight-from-google info and a shopping list. We were making vegan pulled pork.

Here’s where I really have to credit this post, where we got our initial idea – although we tweaked that recipe and did a few extras to make it more pork-like, with my trust taste tester at my side. The magical ingredient here is jackfruit, a fruit native to S & SE Asia which has about 95 calories per 100g and is rich in protein and vitamin C. It is a fleshy fruit that really mimics stringy meat in a way nothing else can. To make this amount of “pulled pork” we used one can of young green jackfruit, which you can get in oriental supermarkets or specialist shops. We got ours from Wing Yip who have huge stores in Manchester, Birmingham, Croydon and London and it was under £1 per can which makes this great value for money to boot. The important thing here is to make sure you buy your jackfruit in water or brine, not syrup! This is crucial!

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To start we drained our can of jackfruit and rinsed it under the tap until we had got rid of the brine. Then, placing the fruit on a chopping board, we cut out the tough triangular inner core, similar to pineapple, to leave the soft outer flesh.
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Sautee one chopped onion with a little garlic and olive oil in a pan for about ten minutes, or until the onions soften and release their flavour.
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Whilst the onions are cooking add your rinsed fleshy jackfruit (core removed) to a bowl and stir in the following seasoning:

  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of mild chilli powder.

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Once your jackfruit is coated (and your onions have softened) add the jackfruit to the pan and cook for five minutes or so with the onions, stirring occasionally.
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Mix half a cup of BBQ sauce with 1/4 cup of water (I recommend using the bowl you used for your spices so you get the rest of them out of there) and once the jackfruit has been cooking for five minutes, add your sauce to the pan. Simmer on a low heat, covering the pan for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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After 20 minutes when the jackfruit is nice and tender and the BBQ sauce has reduced, use a fork to pull apart the jackfruit until you get a pork-like consistency. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking sheet and place in the oven for 10-20 minutes at 200 degrees celsius or until the desired texture is reached. The jackfruit tastes good out of the pan but we decided to follow our inspiration post’s instructions and oven bake to give it a chewier, meatier texture. We ended up leaving ours in for twenty minutes and checked it frequently, turning over the mixture to crisp it evenly.
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Once you’re happy with the texture it’s time to serve it! This is great in a bun, on top of nachos, or in burritos!
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I may not have had the real deal before, but this was delicious and completely wowed Matt, who is no lover of meat substitutes. He said he definitely wouldn’t question this if someone served it to him as part of a meal, but if he was to try it alone he might ask if the pork had been cooked differently. A pretty resounding success and he said it was “pretty much spot on” – I’m happy with that! As well as being vegan and vegetarian this is also great for anyone looking to lessen their intake of meat and since this is made from fruit, it’s a great alternative! Let me know if you try this! I’m sure it will be a firm favourite in our household from now on!

Let me know if you try this, and please tag me in the photos or show me on facebook!

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  • http://joy-and-laughter.blogspot.com Johanna

    This looks so tasty! I’ve also never had the real deal before, so anything that’s delicious (whether it tastes like pork or not) will do it for me, but like you I have a boyfriend, who’s not a fan of vegetarian alternatives, he doesn’t mind them, but would never choose them for himself. You’re lucky yours looks up alternatives himself! Will definitely have to try this and see if I can get him on board too :)

  • http://crazylins.blogspot.co.uk Anya

    I will definitely be trying this! It looks delicious, and its a huge plus that it’s a vegetarian recipe.

    http://www.crazylins.blogspot.co.uk

  • The Yummy Chummies

    A brilliant idea! It looks so good. My mum is a pescetarian and my dad is a vegan so I’m definitely going to show them this to allow them to try something a bit different from the usual Quorn/Tofu/vegetable meals they have. Great post!

    K x

    theyummychummies.blogspot.co.uk

  • http://www.abundanceoferica.blogspot.ca Erica

    WOW! This so original. I can’t believe Matt raved about it that much! Pulled pork is a favorite of mine & my mom’s – we have it just about every time we’re in America, but this seems like a relatively easy home recipe! Thanks for sharing :)

    http://abundanceoferica.blogspot.ca

  • Lucy

    This looks so tasty ! I think you would really like this site for ordering veggie “meat” the chicken is really nice and I prefer it to real chicken ( I’m not vegetarian now) ! They even have “lobster” and “half a chicken” I know people find it strange that vegetarians would want to eat fake meat but for me I liked the taste of meat just not the way the animals were treated therefore this is perfect! P.s the restaurant they have (in Milton Keynes) is so nice :-)

    http://www.veggie-world.com/

  • http://Wondorla.blogspot.com Orla

    I admire you so much for having the will power and self control to be a vegan, I have tried so hard to be a vegan but my dad just doesn’t agree with it and yea well…. I failed :( ;) xxx

  • Kay

    Love your blog and videos etc. and love the recipes you put up especially as I’m a long term vegetarian too. I’ve watched your videos and read your blog for years but never commented on anything. Always have wanted to say that I hope you know you really aren’t fat and are really very pretty. Keep up the good work xxxxx

  • http://www.honeygo-lightly.com/ Sam

    Oh I am most certainly going to make this!

  • http://lornascorner.blogspot.com Lorna

    This looks delicious, I’m definitely going to try it! Off to my local oriental supermarket tomorrow for sure! Loving your #awesomeaugust posts and videos. X

  • http://cydneyhelsdown.blogspot.co.uk/ Cydney

    this looks amazing, i’ve been experimenting a bit more in the kitchen as of late so i will be giving this a try as soon as i get my hands on a can of jackfruit!

  • http://www.scheine.co.uk Shabna

    We have a jackfruit tree in my house in India they are the strangest fruits!! This is such a cool idea, definitely going to try

  • http://onenonrunner.blogspot.co.uk/ Holly Finnigan

    Literally can’t wait to try this, this has been one of the things I have had a little meat envy for! Thank you for your kitchen experimentation :) x

  • Emma

    This is a great recipe! I’ve had jackfruit before and can’t really handle them though – they really are THAT meaty – but it will be great for my newly-turned veggie boyfriend! x