A Quick Menu, Second Course – BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich

Printable recipe: BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich

In my previous posts, I talked about a quick menu at a restaurant in Mexico, consisting of a bowl of comforting bean soup, and a BBQ sandwich, and how it would be easy to adapt and reproduce at home, with non-perishable ingredients and pantry staples; I also shared a recipe for my bean soup as the first course.

In this post, I am sharing my recipe for the second course, a BBQ sandwich; to list only cupboard items, and to offer a vegetarian option for the Christian Lenten season, I used canned young green jackfruit instead of cooked, shredded beef.

Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus, called jaca in Spanish) is a tree originally from India; its giant fruit looks very exotic, with spiky skin and sweet pods containing edible seeds (photos below from Wikipedia):

When still green, pods, seeds and also the flesh surrounding the pods are used as a popular and very helpful substitute for meat, in many vegan recipes for stews, tacos, and as in this case, as a “pulled no-meat” product.  I bought a couple of cans at an international market a few weeks ago, for when my vegetarian daughter came to visit, and they have come very handy these days, in light of the current pandemic situation.  The photo below shows the can I opened for this recipe:

001 can of jackfruit

The photo below shows how the jackfruit chunks look, after draining the brine:

003 jackfruit in brine

The piece at the centre shows how some of it naturally shreds.  There are some seeds wrapped in pods, which might not shred easily, as well as the middle of the sections.  I separated them from the shredded strands:

004 separated jackfruit sections
Seeds, pods and non-shredded sections of jackfruit in the small bowl on the left; shredded jackfruit on the right

This step is not necessary, but I wanted the texture of my filling to be as close as possible to shredded meat, so I covered the small bowl, and reserved in the fridge for another use (the flavour is very mild, so add to stews, a stir-fry, or cook with a sauce, for tacos.)

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich –

Sandwich de Jaca en BBQ

Printable recipe: BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich

Ingredients (4 portions)

1 can young green jackfruit; drained and shredded
1 tsp dry oregano (preferably Mexican, or use marjoram)
¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or beer)
¼ cup tomato paste
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce*, chopped, plus 1-2 tbsp of adobo (to taste)
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (homemade, or if not available, use soy sauce)
¾ tsp salt, or to taste
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp dark molasses
½ onion; peeled and sliced thinly
1 tbsp oil
4 pieces crusty bread, such as baguette sections or bolillos

Pour vinegar (or beer) over the shredded jackfruit (photo below, left) and then sprinkle with oregano and half a teaspoon of salt (photo below, right):

Mix all the ingredients together, cover bowl and let rest for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the Mexican BBQ sauce by placing tomato paste, chopped chipotle and adobo, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire (or soy) sauce, 1/4 tsp salt, black pepper and molasses in a bowl:

007 prepare sauce

Mix thoroughly, and reserve.

In a large pan, warm up oil over medium heat; add onions and sauté until they become translucent and start to caramelize.  Add marinated jackfruit, deglazing with the liquid, and scraping any burnt bits from the bottom of the pan (photo below, left); mix with onions and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes.  Stir in reserved Mexican BBQ sauce (photo below, right):

Continue cooking for a few minutes, stirring occasionally (photo below, left).  Meanwhile, open sections of baguette (or buns) in half, lengthwise, and lightly toast.  Fill the toasted bread with BBQ jackfruit, once most of the liquid has evaporated from the pan (photo below, right):

Serve immediately (shown below with a bowl of bean soup and tortilla chips):

012 BBQ jackfruit sandwich and Bean Soup

Mexico has declared one month of strict social distancing, so I guess now it will be not just me having a fantasy about eating the Quick Menu at that restaurant.  However, my homemade Quick Menu really hit the spot, and vanquished some ninny fears I had that the absence of fresh produce and meat would make it insufficient.

Chipotles are ripen jalapeño peppers, dried and smoked; they are often prepared in an adobo sauce, and sold canned.  Once opened, it is very convenient to transfer to a non-reactive container or bottle, and store in the fridge, to use as needed:

013 chipotle peppers in adobo

I am sharing my recipe at What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link-Up #246 with Helen @ The Lazy Gastronome.

I am sharing my recipe at Over the Moon #218, graciously hosted by Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, and Marilyn @ Marilyn’s Treats.

I am joining Classy Flamingos Blog Party #96, hosted by Linda @ Poinsettia Drive.

20 thoughts on “A Quick Menu, Second Course – BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich

  1. The only jackfruit I can buy at the store are pouches already seasoned with barbeque, teriyaki, and curry flavor. I need to see if I can find an online source to buy canned and make home-made. Thank you for this recipe!


  2. p.s. Just ordered some cans of the exact product you show, AND I bought a 4.4# bag of dried jackfruit (I hope it keeps well in fridge once opened.) It’s a perfect meat substitute.


  3. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Pleas stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn


    1. Me neither until my vegetarian daughter introduced me to it. It is nice because the flavour is mild but the texture is almost like meat, so it takes the flavour of the seasonings you use, and gives a “meaty” bite.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Irene, I’ve had this recipe since your post and finally decided to try it. It is danged good! Spicy but not too hot. A very flavorful combination of ingredients.


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