If you do a lot of vegan or vegetarian cooking, you’ve probably heard of jackfruit. You’ve probably also seen a million recipes for vegan pulled “pork” using it in place of meat. Today, let’s take it one step further and enjoy this flavorful, savory dish, inspired by Sticky Chinese Pork Belly.
This one has been on my recipe idea list for well over a year, and have just only begun to work on it the last couple of months. Then, after the third trial, there was a jackfruit shortage at the grocery store that brought things to a screeching halt. However, there obviously is a happy ending since you can see this recipe exists now.
I’ve tried this recipe several different ways – marinating it, roasting it, searing then roasting it, but the way I decided on not only tasted the best, but required fewer steps. That’s something I always aim for when creating recipes.
I applied technique that’s involved in cooking meat, and it worked wonderfully. Coating the jackfruit in flour, then searing it in hot oil gives the jackfruit a slightly crisp exterior, while remaining tender on the inside. Since jackfruit doesn’t have the same molecular makeup as pork, it does “sear” slightly different than a pork belly would, but is incredibly close in texture.
You can serve this over rice for a satisfying lunch. The extra sticky sauce that’s leftover in the pan is perfect for mixing into your rice before topping with the jackfruit.
- 1 565g can Jackfruit, drained
- 2 Tbsp Rice Flour
- 2 cloves of Garlic (½ Tbsp when minced)
- ½ Tbsp Ginger Root (peeled and minced)
- ¼ cup Soy Sauce (Tamari for GF)
- ¼ cup Maple Syrup
- ⅛ cup Coconut Sugar
- ⅛ cup Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Cornstarch (or Arrowroot Powder)
- 1 ½ tsp Chinese 5 Spice
- 1 Thai Chili Pepper (deseeded and finely minced)
If using canned jackfruit, drain the liquid, then dump the jackfruit onto a cutting board. Cut into bite sized pieces. (I just cut the big ones in half.) Wrap in a dishtowel and press as much liquid out as you can.
Mince your garlic, ginger and chili pepper, then combine in a bowl with the soy sauce, maple syrup, coconut sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, and 5 spice. Set aside.
Heat a pan over high heat and coat the bottom of the pan with oil (about 2-3 Tbsp.) Place the jackfruit in a mixing bowl and sprinkle the rice flour over it and toss. Once it’s coated, place in the hot pan one by one. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown, then flip all the pieces over.
After you’ve flipped all the pieces of jackfruit over, pour in the marinade and lower the heat to medium. Once it starts to bubble, tilt the pan slightly towards you, and spoon the sauce over top the jackfruit .The sauce will start to thicken after a minute or two. Once all the pieces are coated and the sauce has thickened nicely, shut off the heat then serve. Enjoy!
You should be able to find canned Jackfruit at your local grocery store in the international section. I found it here in Canada for $0.88 per can. If you can't find any, click the link in the ingredient list above and you can purchase it through Amazon. It is more expensive, however.