Wooops…. so much for blogging more regularly during Vegan MoFo. :( It’s been almost two weeks since my last
confession blog post, and Vegan MoFo is almost over…. ㅠㅠ I’ve just been busy and exhausted all the time. Last week was the Chuseok holidays and PLANT stayed open the entire time. I expected it to be quiet and empty, since people would be out of town visiting family, but it turned out to be one of our busiest weeks since we opened. I’m so grateful to everyone who chose to come hang out at our shop over the holiday and be our ‘family’! But by the end of the week, I was running on fumes. Just dog-tired and ready to sleep. Thankfully, this week we had Monday and Tuesday off, so I was able to sleep in a little later. Since I’m a little rested up now, I figure it’s time to crank out a post!
So every Monday I come up with a dish for Plant’s upcoming weekly menu. There are so many things I want to cook, it’s always hard to pick just one dish for the week, and also to make sure I can get all the ingredients in time (some things I have to order in advance). When it comes to cooking for the cafe, I like making fresh, light meals like salads etc, but I also want to make really hearty, meaty dishes. It’s fun to cook up vegan eats that are different from all the other veggie options out there in other Seoul restaurants, using ingredients that are a bit unusual…. such as jackfruit pulled pork!
Now I’ll admit this was my first time cooking jackfruit. I’ve known about the concept of using jackfruit for vegan “meat” (mostly from living in LA), but never actually tried cooking it myself. I checked out tons of recipes online for reference, and there are loads of recipes for Western style BBQ jackfruit pulled pork, but I wanted to do something Asian-y, so I checked out various Chinese pulled-pork recipes and used those to get the right flavors. The first time I made it, it turned out way too salty, and then the second time, it came out too sweet! Third time’s the charm though, cuz it came out just right. For those in Seoul, you can get canned young green jackfruit (in brine) at the Foreign Food Mart in Itaewon, as well as a few other small foreign markets in the area. Just make sure you get the young green stuff, not the jackfruit in syrup.
Fo’realz, it looks like meat, no? A bit unnerving, but trust me, no animals were harmed in the making of this dish. For this plate, I placed the jackfruit over steamed Chinese buns with some chopped scallion sprinkled on top. If you’re looking for 5-spice powder or steamed buns, check out the Chinese market at Daerim station. I also added some perilla leaves on the bottom for some peppery flavor to cut through some of the saltiness. Here’s the recipe!
Vegan Jackfruit Chinese Pulled-”pork”
1 540g can young green jackfruit in brine
1Tbs olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 medium onion, sliced long
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, chopped
1 Tbs sugar or rice syrup
1 1/2 Tbs soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbs hoisin
1/2 Tbs minced ginger
1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse the jackfruit thoroughly to get rid of the brine, Cut out the tough core.
2. In a large pan or pot, heat up the olive oil over medium-high heat and then add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Sautee for a minute or two.
3. Add the jackfruit pieces and carrots and continue to sautee.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Continue until all the sauces and flavors have been absorbed into the jackfruit and the veggies are fully cooked. Use a fork to shred any larger chunks of jackfruit.
5. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, to taste. Turn off the heat and let it rest in the pot for a bit so the flavors can settle in more, before serving. I personally reckon it tastes even better the following day~:)
Feel free to leave a comment!