Canned jackfruit is amazing. You can dry it out and put it in tacos, use it as a crab analog, put it in a salad and a bunch of other things. All you really need to do is find a can of it packed in either brine or water, break up the flaky pieces, then dry it out, braise or saute it to get the texture you want.
For this application, I smothered the flaked jackfruit in a new-to-me purchase I recently found at Trader Joe’s: Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce. This stuff is perfectly spicy, super thick and perfect for making pulled jackfruit sandwiches. The flavors and heat get really concentrated and thick during the bake time, making a spicy and sticky sauce that clings perfectly to the jackfruit.
Once the jackfruit is done, the rest of the sandwich is a breeze: some red cabbage slaw is added for crunch and color, some sliced jalepeno for a different kind of heat and some cilantro for a clean and herby finish. You can of course finish it with whatever you want, but you should definitely not skimp on toasting the bun before you assemble. The buttery crunchiness is magic and worth the extra few minutes of work!Print
PULLED JACKFRUIT SANDWICHES WITH RED CABBAGE SLAW
- Total Time: 1 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 sandwiches
for the pulled jackfruit
- 2, 20 oz. cans of jackfruit, packed in water or brine
- 2 tsp canola or grapeseed oil
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups vegan BBQ sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Sriracha-BBQ sauce)
for the slaw
- 1 cup chopped red cabbage
- 2 tsp vegan mayo (I used Vegenaise)
- 2–3 dashes apple cider or coconut vinegar
- 1–2 handfuls of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 jalepeno, sliced thinly
- 4 hamburger buns
- vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
To prepare the jackfruit
- Drain then pull it apart to create shredded pieces. Finely chop the tough parts and discard the seeds. Place the oil into a large cast iron pan, rub to coat, then add in the shredded jackfruit. Smother with the BBQ sauce until it covers it only halfway, stir to coat, then place into the oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove from the oven and give it a stir. Return it to the oven and let it bake for 15 minutes more. Repeat this process until you have a texture you like. BBQ sauces vary in viscosity and sugar content, so this time will vary. I baked for an additional 45 minutes total to get this texture.
- Allow the jackfruit to cool and serve immediately, or chill in a separate container and serve later by warming it up over medium-low heat in a cast iron pan until heated through.
When you are ready to serve the sandwiches
- First toast the hamburger buns. Don’t skip this step because it really makes the sandwiches fantastic.
- To toast the buns, melt enough vegan butter in a clean cast-iron pan,over medium heat so the bottom is covered. Place the buns in the pan for a few minutes, or until toasty and crisp around the edges. Repeat his process until all of your buns are golden and crispy.
To make the slaw
- Quickly toss together the cabbage, vegan mayo and vinegar.
To assemble the sandwiches
- Divide the jackfruit into four portions and place them on the toasted buns. Top with the slaw, fresh jalepenos and cilantro and serve immediately.
- Cook Time: 1 hours 30 minutes
I can only find fresh jackfruit where I live. Never seen it in canned version. Any chance that the result would be the same?
This works best with young canned jackfruit because it has a really soft texture. Mature jackfruit tends to be a bit tougher and fibrous, so I suspect the results wouldn't be quite the same. But if you try with successful results I'd love to know!
Tai Summers says
I bought a case of NATIVE FOREST brand organic canned Jackfruit-No BPA in cans-from Amazon. Prime about $27 for 12 cans.
Trader Joe’s sells it canned.
You might not see this, since it has been a while – but if you get fresh jackfruit, pressure cook it first, with a little salt and water, and it will be nice and tender. You can even freeze it at this stage. Even if you bake it later, for this recipe, it will not lose it’s texture and become mush.
Looks really good and my mouth is already watering. So I am going to try this really soon. Anyway, thanks for sharing.
I love jackfruit, the texture is so great! I haven't tried that TJ's bbq sauce but now I'm thinking I will definitely pick some up. Thanks for the tip!
great looking recipe, thanks for sharing. where do you buy your jackfruit? i have never been able to find it.
It can be found in most Asian supermarkets or online.
What a delicious looking recipe! I'm always a little scared to use jackfruit..but this recipe helped!
I haven't seen jackfruit cooked in the oven before. It looks like it gets the sauce really dry, in a good way.
This recipe is ridiculously good. I attended two potlucks in the past week and I have never received so much attention in my life for a dish! I felt like I was a gourmet chef. Which is funny because this recipe is so easy. I cooked it just like the recipe said and wouldn't recommend any changes except I found TJ's siracha sauce a little too spicy so did half and half with TJ's basic bbq sauce. Definitely grill the buns.
Yes, that bbq sauce can get a little intense once it reduces! Thanks so much for sharing and your kind feedback, so happy you (and others!) enjoyed. 🙂
We eat jackfuit cooked this way a lot, it's delicious! I work at Trader Joe's & never thought about using that awesome Sriracha sauce, but will give it a try! We buy it for $1.50 a can at asian grocery stores, best place to find jack fruit in most areas. Always buy the canned in brine, NOT syrup, FYI! 🙂
Courtney Farmer says
This was fantastic. My husband and I loved it, and I am a big fan of your method of cooking the jackfruit down to the way you like it in the oven. We also did an additional 45 minutes. The jalapenos and slaw were wonderful together and we thoroughly enjoyed the leftovers too. Thanks for a killer recipe!
Courtney, thanks for your comment! Using canned items and having leftovers is great, especially now. Glad you and your husband enjoyed.