Jackfruit Sliders, bathed in a sweet, spicy chipotle cherry BBQ sauce, mimic the taste and texture of pulled pork- making them a fantastic meatless option.
I just dropped off little Winnie, one of my foster kittens, at the shelter for her spay surgery. And I’m feeling melancholy because that means it’s almost time to put them up for adoption, which is bittersweet because on the one hand, they’ll hopefully go to good homes and live long and happy lives, and it’s really rewarding to know that we play a small part in that.
On the other hand it’s sad because these foster kittens (we currently have three- plus our two…I know) have become a big part of our lives over the last few months, and soon we’ll have to say goodbye and see them off into the big world to become upstanding members of feline society. I imagine it’s kind of like dropping your kid off at college, but probably a thousand times scarier and harder when it’s your kid versus some stray kitty. So this can be considered good preparation for motherhood, I suppose?
Can I tell you a secret, though? We kind of want to keep one! We really bonded with the smallest and frailest of the litter- he has the silliest disposition and is seriously so lovable. We’re still undecided because owning three cats is A LOT and there would be no getting around the fact that John and I would then legitimately be crazy cat people. So we’ll see…
In the meantime, let’s make some vegan Jackfruit Sliders to take my mind off all the kitten drama!
Have you heard of jackfruit? It’s this crazy looking fruit that grows in India and Southeast Asia, but we can get young jackfruit stateside in the canned variety. It has a very neutral flavor (similar to tofu), making it well suited to absorb savory flavors like BBQ sauce! The really cool thing about jackfruit though is that it pulls apart when cooked down and actually resembles the texture of meat. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of this stuff…I’m envisioning vegan curries and stews of all kinds in the cooler months. But the first recipe I wanted to experiment with were these Jackfruit Sliders, while summertime still begs for barbecued goodness.
I made these Jackfruit Sliders with a sweet and spicy chipotle cherry BBQ sauce to take advantage of cherries before they’re out of season. It was quite simple, I just took my standard BBQ sauce recipe and added chipotle powder (Frontier Co-Op makes a great one) and fresh cherries to simmer with the sauce, then blended it until smooth.
I paired these vegan delights with a pre-made broccoli and kale slaw from Trader Joe’s. I loved it but feel free to make slaw from scratch or use any variety of toppings you like.
As soon as I finished shooting these Jackfruit Sliders, John, my assistant Sky and I all devoured them in seconds, and we marveled at how similarly the taste and texture resembled pulled pork.
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Jackfruit Sliders, bathed in a sweet, spicy chipotle cherry BBQ sauce, mimic the taste and texture of pulled pork (making them a fantastic meatless option).
FOR THE CHIPOTLE CHERRY BBQ SAUCE:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup fresh cherries pitted
- Salt and ground pepper to taste
FOR THE SLIDERS:
- 1 20 ounce can jackfruit in brine or water drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 slider buns
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the cumin and chipotle powder and cook for one minute. Add the ketchup, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add cherries. Stir to combine and cook for about 5-7 minutes.
Remove sauce from heat and season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside.
In a skillet over medium heat, heat a little water or oil. Add the jackfruit and cook until blackened in spots, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add half of chipotle cherry BBQ sauce and ½ cup water to skillet. Stir and cover; turn heat down to medium-low and cook for about 10 minutes, then stir again, adding more water if needed. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Using a fork, shred the jackfruit until it resembles pulled pork. Assemble sliders with slaw and and BBQ jackfruit. Add more BBQ sauce if desired.