Exciting vegan cooking requires lots of imagination. I’ve always wondered: who was the first person to try this thing, and realise it was good to eat? I’m still getting over the whole Aquafaba craze: who would have thought you can make macaroons out of chickpea water? Jackfruit is another discovery that blows my mind: I knew all about the ripe, golden fruit. That you could use jackfruit in its unripened state as a substitute for meat never crossed my mind.
A lot of vegans have begun using jackfruit to make BBQ “pulled pork”. I’ve never had real pulled pork, but from what I hear, the recipe has fooled many meat eaters. I like making it in the summer, as it has quite a rich flavour, and tastes nice with a homemade potato salad.
I decided to try and use jackfruit with other sauces too. I had some cans lying around in the back of the cupboard, and a packet of sticky rice, and did some experimenting with teriyaki-style flavours. I was pleased with the results, and will definitely try it again. I even took some to work with me the next day for lunch.
Because this teriyaki sauce is thinner than your average BBQ sauce, it really soaks into the jackfruit, which might make it seem slightly dry. The way to tackle this is to save some of the teriyaki in another dish and pour it over the jackfruit before serving. Alternatively, use one teaspoon of corn flour mixed with one cup of cold water and add to the sauce to thicken. It’s my first recipe of this dish, so I’m sure I’ll be doing it many more times, tweaking bits here and there. I would also like to try it with agave syrup, or something thicker than maple. I’ve heard rice syrup is great with oriental-style dishes. Might give that a go.
Teriyaki Jackfruit Recipe (Serves 4)
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins
2 cans green jackfruit
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Sesame seeds (a handful)
- Drain the jackfruit. Place in a bowl and marinate with the sugar, cayenne pepper and garlic paste for about 10 mins
- Heat the sesame oil in a pan on medium-high heat
- Place the jackfruit flat in the pan. Fry one side until it’s very brown and then turn over (altogether about 20 mins)
- Add the maple syrup, soy sauce, and butter and leave to simmer for approximately 20 mins
- Use two forks to gently pull apart the jackfruit. It should be soft and come apart quite easily from its usual triangle shape, into something that looks like the pictures above.
- Remove from the pan and serve immediately with your favourite side. I chose white sticky rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for that special flavour and crunch.