Stick With Canned Jackfruit For Your BBQ Sandwich

canned jackfruit sandwich
canned jackfruit sandwich - JeniFoto/Shutterstock

Long a favorite at BBQ joints and food trucks across the country, a good tender, saucy, mouthwatering BBQ sandwich is a staple that never goes out of style. If anything, it just evolves with the times. No longer only for the carnivores to enjoy, there's more than one way these days to make a truly killer BBQ sandwich -- no meat needed. Whether you're avoiding pork for reasons related to health, morals, or to reduce your carbon footprint, or you just don't love the taste, don't sleep on jackfruit as an alternative. The curiously fibrous, adaptable fruit is a secret weapon in many plant-based dishes and its meaty texture and flavor works especially well as a substitute for pulled pork.

Much like tofu or tempeh, jackfruit soaks up any flavor it's introduced to, making it the perfect thing to douse in your favorite tangy barbecue sauce and pile high on a bun. Like most recipes, though -- for classic barbeque or a plant-based version -- everyone's got their own technique and time-honored customs that separate the just good from the truly great. As it turns out, the key to a truly mouthwatering plant-based BBQ creation starts with using canned, as opposed to whole, fresh jackfruit. Contrary to what you might think, for the best texture, fresh isn't best here.

Read more: 11 Tips You Need When Cooking With Plant-Based Meat

Use Canned For A Better Consistency And Ease

chunks of jackfruit on a plate
chunks of jackfruit on a plate - Ascannio/Shutterstock

To create a dupe for a classic BBQ sandwich that even the biggest meat lovers will scarf down, it's about nailing the texture. No one wants a pile of tough meat or jackfruit. The fresh, whole, gigantic fruits you may see sold in the produce section can be hard to work with and ooze out a thick sap. Alternatively, canned young or green jackfruit is easy to find and easy to shred into the perfect faux pork.

Top chef alum and chef Spike Mendelsohn, who's no stranger to creating delectable plant-based creations at his restaurants, agrees. For the best faux-meat substitute, he recommended "finding some canned organic canned jackfruit because it's probably the easiest to start with instead of buying the fresh stuff." Step two is to rinse before using, then season "just the way you would season your pork," said Mendelsohn.

What you do after that is up to you -- your options are all delicious. Stack your sandwich with a juicy slaw, or dress with whatever topping you love on a traditional barbecue sandwich. Your taste buds won't know what hit them ... and certainly won't know this is nothing but plants.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.