Smokey BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwiches


Last weekend we saw the first signs of summer. It wasn’t raining and the sun was out for a change. And temperature was a pleasant 17 – 20 C. Which, off course, is Dutch for let’s-all-wear-shorts. But above all, weather like this means that barbecue season has officially started. Hurray! It’s the time of year when the heavy smell of charcoal fills the streets after 6.00 pm, and baguettes and satay sauce are sold out at almost every supermarket in town because they’re an indispensable part of Dutch BBQ-cuisine. But although this weekend’s weather was nice, it was still a bit to cold for me. So I celebrated the beginning of barbecue season indoors by making some smokey comfort food: BBQ pulled jackfruit.

Jackfruit is the weirdest fruit ever. It basically looks like a big green alien egg. But it has the perfect texture for a vegan alternative for a pulled pork sandwich. It’s sticky, spicy, smokey and best served in a steamed bun with pickles or coleslaw. The perfect food for (early) summer!

You can buy cans of jackfruit in most Asian supermarkets. I use the ones with brine, but you can also use the ones in water.


Pulled BBQ Jackfruit in Steamed Buns

Serves: 2 to 3
Preparation: 1 hour

3 cans of young green jackfruit (in brine or water)

1 small onion (chopped)

3 cloves garlic (chopped)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsp liquid smoke

1 cup of vegetable broth

1 cup bbq sauce

juice of 1/2 lime

6 steamed buns


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (or 355 F)
  2. First clean the jackfruit. Drain and rinse. Cut the cores. Then, with your hands, take out the seeds. Don’t forget to take out the seed skins too. You might end up with more waste than product but in this case that’s perfectly fine. You have to discard about 50 percent of the canned jackfruit to get to the good stuff, which is the stringy bits.
  3. With your hands
    break the pieces of jackfruits apart until you get that pulled pork consistency.
  4. In a large pan or wok, sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent. Then add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add spices and toast them briefly. After that, add the jackfruit and liquid smoke. Mix well.
  5. Add vegetable broth, cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Now add the bbq sauce to the mixture and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn to medium heat and let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. You want the sauce to thicken and caramelize slightly.
  7. Transfer mixture to a baking tray lined with non-stick paper and pop in the oven. Let it bake for 20 minutes, giving it a good stir after 10 minutes. Bake until the top bits are crunchy and the rest is still sticky and delicious. Mix in the lime juice and you’re ready for dinner!

Serve in steamed buns and add greens, veggies, pickles and other desired toppings. Best enjoyed in the sun with a cold alcohol free beer! But an indoor dinner with a hungry human also works fine.


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