You can follow a plant-based diet and still enjoy a southern barbecue feast thanks to jackfruit, an Asian tree fruit most readily available canned. The fruit magically turns into meaty pulled “pork”—pleasing both vegans and omnivores in one delicious dinner.
Take leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch, packing it up into a Southern-style barbecue “bento” box.
3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
1 1/4 cup (310 mL) quick-cooking cornmeal
3/4 cup (180 mL) chickpea flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
2 tsp (10 mL) cider vinegar
2 – 20 oz (565 g) cans young green jackfruit in water (not syrup)
1/2 cup (125 mL) vegan low-sodium BBQ sauce
4 cups (1 L) finely shredded cabbage
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup (60 mL) vegan mayonnaise
2 Tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
For cornbread, preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Grease 8 x 8 x 2 in (20 x 20 x 5 cm) glass or ceramic baking dish with a bit of oil. In large bowl, whisk together all cornbread ingredients until thoroughly combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out mostly clean.
Rinse, drain, and dry jackfruit well. Chop off core and add to large skillet with BBQ sauce. Heat jackfruit and sauce (more if you want it extra saucy!) over medium until bubbling, stirring often; reduce to low heat, cover, and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Shred with 2 forks to achieve “pulled pork” texture. Keep warm.
For slaw, add cabbage to large bowl and massage with hands to soften slightly. Mix in cilantro, vegan mayonnaise, and lime juice, cover, and chill until ready to serve, up to 3 days.
To serve, slice cornbread into squares and add to plates with pulled jackfruit and slaw.