Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mystery "Meat"

Before we get to the meatiness of this post, I have an exciting announcement! LP of the Skimming the Ocean blog was the random lucky winner of the Allison's Gourmet giveaway!! (LP, I left a comment on your blog, but please shoot me an email and we'll work out the deets. My email is in my Blogger profile).

Now, can you guess what's in this bowl? It's not meat. And it's not even fake meat. Any guesses?

Would you believe it came from this can?

What you see there is jackfruit in brine, a weird Asian fruit that's not sweet when it's packed in salty brine. In fact, it doesn't have much of a flavor at all. It comes in wedges, almost like a pineapple, but when you rub them between your fingers, it shreds into something that looks exactly like pulled pork barbecue.

Of course, it doesn't start out with that sexy barbecue color that you see above. It looks pale and off-white, like the picture on the can. But I finally jumped on the vegan jackfruit taco bandwagon of a few years ago and made Melisser's recipe for Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos from the Vegan Girl's Guide to Life. You can also find the recipe here on her old Urban Housewife blog:

After simmering in the Crock Pot overnight with fresh onions and garlic, salsa verde, chili powder, cumin, and other spices, the jackfruit tastes exactly like shredded beef. Even the texture was pretty spot on from the way I remember pulled pork. Granted, I've not had pulled pork in 17 years, but ...

I topped my tacos with leftover vegan rotel dip, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and tequila-lime salsa. On the side, I made a batch of my Raw Mexican Rice:

I really want to share this recipe, but I developed the dish for a VegNews.com article I'm working on. So you'll just have to wait, but I'll definitely link to the article here as soon as it goes up. I can tell you that the "rice" is actually raw butternut squash shredded in the food processor. The dish was inspired by Ani Phyo's Walnut Cranberry Squash Rice from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen, but I completely changed the add-ins and used Mexican spices.

15 comments:

Shannon said...

There's a restaurant called Strange Matter in Richmond, Va that has a jackfruit sandwich. I've never had it, but I hear it's pretty terrific.

JL goes Vegan said...

Looks AMAZING!

bmh383 said...

Looks good! I looove jackfruit bbq. Thanks for posting about it, going to have to pick some up soon now. :)

LP said...

Yay!!! Thank you!!!!

KTBuns said...

This looks fantastic... Always wanted to try jackfruit! And love the butternut rice idea.

jennifer said...

these look awesome, i love jackfruit! can't wait to see the recipe. i've added this to:http://fuckyeahvegantacos.tumblr.com/post/17372253424/fuckyeahvegantaco-vegan-crunks-mystery-meat

xotaco!

Sheridan & Drew said...

I've never even heard of using jackfruit as "meat"! Looks awesome! I need to ty it.

foodfeud said...

It all looks delicious. I have been hearing about this jackfruit craze for a while now. I should go look for some.

Jennifer said...

I have been wanting to try jackfruit! At this past years New Orleans Po Boy Fest they served a vegan jackfruit poboy that I heard was awesome. I tried to find canned jackfruit at Whole Foods and asian markets but could not find any! Where did you buy yours?

Theresa said...

I made BBQ pulled jack fruit at christmas time with a whole jackfruit! It was so (messy but) good! http://offbeathome.com/2012/01/how-to-cook-jack-fruit

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

VT just did a jackfruit spread in this month's issue. Lol. I'm pretty sure I've seen the canned stuff around here, so I might have to give that crockpot method a try!

tender b. said...

I had this in Chicago a few years back. It wasn't until the recent Veg Times that I realized where to buy it. I'm planning on finding some this weekend.

Anonymous said...

this looks and sounds and no doubt tastes yummy. My one concern is that in substituting for rice and meat (or faux-meat), you've removed all sources of protein except for the tortilla. I would not serve this as a complete meal in my home for this reason.

xvavaveganx said...

I've heard a lot about jackfruit but never really knew what it was until I read your post! Thanks for the info and what you made looks so delicious!

Anonymous said...

Yep, you would probably die immediately from protein deficiency, seriously people need to get educated before they post ignorant comments like this! The body needs amino acids to build protein in the body and they are found abundantly in fruits and vegetables