Vegetarian Pulled Pork

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Recently, wanting to try pulled pork again, I managed to find jackfruit canned in water rather than syrup.  The difference was amazing!  My cravings were satisfied.  For those of you who have not tried a vegetarian version of pulled pork, I encourage you to do so.  It’s healthier, extremely easy on the wallet, and if you don’t say anything, your family and/or guests might never know the difference.  Oh, and there’s one other thing… vegetarian pulled pork takes 45 minutes from start to finish.

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  • 2 (20 ounce) cans young green jackfruit packed in water
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Begin by draining the jackfruit and rinsing well under cold water. Using your fingers, massage the jackfruit and break the pieces apart; set aside
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil, add the onion and jackfruit; sauté until the onion is slightly caramelized
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to sauté over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Stir often because brown sugar will burn easily.
  4. Once cooked, use a fork to press the remaining larger pieces of jackfruit so that the pieces fall apart and resembled the fibers of cooked pork.
  5. At this point, you have two options – first, you can purchase jarred pulled pork sauce at your local grocery store, or second, you can make your own sauce by following these next steps. If you decide to use store-bought sauce, be sure to read the label, not all sauce is vegetarian.
  6. In a mixing bowl, whisk together ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ cup brown sugar, 2 cups ketchup, 1 cup water, ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. You can add liquid smoke too if you desire.
  7. Poor the sauce over the jackfruit, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes.
As a side note, the longer you simmer the mixture, the deeper the flavour will be. Even though this dish is ready in less than 45 minutes, you can leave the “meat” to simmer for a longer period of time to intensify the flavour. If the mixture becomes dry, add 1 tablespoon of water and stir.

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