Pulled pork, sweet and sour pork, and barbeque ribs are some quintessential weeknight dinners.
Although these are on the non-vegan menu, no rules say vegans can’t have them.
Some vegan meat alternatives offer similar textures and tastes; for example, seitan is a popular vegan meat substitute made from vital wheat gluten.
They are high in protein, reasonably low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, and contain several minerals.
But what about vegan pulled pork?
Although seitan is a good substitute, the substitute is selected depending on the choice of taste.
And besides seitan, there are other suitable substitutes that can even fool your non-vegan friends.
Keep reading to find out.
Substitutes Used for Making Vegan Pulled Pork
There are numerous ways to substitute pork.
While making vegan pulled pork, the best substitutes are to use either ripe banana peels or jackfruit.
Ripe banana peels can blanched and then shredded with a fork, leaving you with a texture similar to shredded meat.
If you are going for more traditional flavorings, use seitan, a type of plant-based meat made from vital wheat gluten, for things such as vegan steaks, sausages, and ribs.
You can also opt for king oyster mushrooms and other mushrooms like chanterelles, shiitake, or even minced creminis can also be used as pork substitutes in various dishes, depending on the recipe.
Another option is jackfruit.
But what is jackfruit?
What Is Jackfruit
Jackfruit is a widely found tropical fruit from Asia. It is the largest fruit grown on a tree, with an average weight of 100 pounds.
They contain lots of nutrition and are easy to eat, as they can be roasted, dried, ground, creamed, or just consumed fresh.
Jackfruits are a popular meat substitute and have a light peach or pear-like flavor.
The fruit’s texture is similar to that of applesauce or an overripe banana.
Furthermore, jackfruits have wide-ranging health benefits.
They can prevent the formation of cancer cells in the body, lower blood pressure, fight against stomach ulcers, and slow down the degeneration of cells to make the skin look young and vital.
Boiling the root of the jackfruit and consuming the high nutritional extract can control asthma and help cure diarrhea and fever.
Besides the health benefits of the fruit, the jackfruit tree provides strong timber and a sticky rubbery-like substance that can be collected from the tree and is used in latex products.
Moreover, jackfruit seeds are also consumable.
They can be roasted or boiled and are highly nutritious.
Vegan Pulled Pork Sandwich Recipes (2)
The following 2 recipes utilize ripe bananas and jackfruit as a pork substitutes:
Option #1: Banana Peel Substitute
Ingredients (for 2)
- 3 banana peels
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 trp barbecue seasoning
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 sweet jumbo onion
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 vegan buns
- Mixed greens, tomato, guacamole and pickled onion.
- Wash the banana peels, remove the tips and the inside, and shred with a fork.
- Boil 15 minutes to soften. Drain and mix it with all the spices.
- In a frying pan, blanch the onion.
- When soften, add the banana peel and let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Add a little of the boiling water (has all the nutrients) and reduce it slmost completely, so it will be juicier.
Assmeble the Sandwich
- Slice the vegan bun.
- Spread the guacamole on the botom half of the bun.
- Place a layer a mixed greens over the guacamole.
- Add a layer of tomato slices on the mixed greens.
- Fork the hot “banana pork” on top of the tomatoes.
- Top-off with a light layer of pickled onions.
Option # 2: Jackfruit Substitute
If you bought a canned jackfruit, proceed with the recipe.
However, if it is a raw fruit, follow the steps to cut the fruit without hurting yourself.
How to Cut the Jackfruit
- First, do a ripe test. Press the jackfruit gently, making sure it is pliable so the fingers can press it without much pressure.
- Next, the aroma test. Make sure your jackfruit doesn’t smell funny or spoiled.
- Now to cut open the fruit, prepare a sharp knife.
- Coat the blade of the knife and your hands with vegetables, coconut, or any oil. It will keep the adhesive resin or gum of the jackfruit from sticking to the knife and hands.
- Cut the jackfruit breadthwise.
- Pull open the jackfruit, and wipe out the latex(the white juice leaking out from the middle stem of the jackfruit) with a tissue or clean towel.
- Next, cut the halves of the jackfruit lengthwise.
- Clean the latex from the fresh side of the pre-used cloth or new tissue.
- Again cut the halved pieces into half lengthwise.
- Next, cut off the middle stem from each piece. This will make it easy to extract the jackfruit pulp.
- Carefully pick out the jackfruit pulp and not the fibrous part in the bowel.
- Rinse them and remove the seeds.
- Now they are ready to make vegan pulled pork.
This vegan pulled pork sandwich recipe has two parts: vegan pulled pork and Asian slaw.
Although the ingredients of the sandwiches depend on the eater, so if you like a sandwich plain and simple, you may ignore the Asian slaw.
Vegan Pulled Pork Ingredients
- Olive oil 2 tbsp
- Onion 1 (medium size, sliced)
- Garlic 3 cloves (minced)
- Jackfruit 3 cups (fresh or canned)
- Salt 2 tsp
- Pepper 1 tsp
- Cumin 1 tsp
- Chili powder 1 tsp
- Paprika 1 tsp
- Cayenne pepper ½ tsp
- Vegan Worcestershire 1 tsp
- Liquid smoke 1 tsp
- Vegetable stock 2 cups
- Vegan barbecue sauce ½ cup
Asian Slaw Ingredients
- Cabbage ¼
- Pak choi (bok choy) 1 head
- Carrot 1
- Chili 1 (sliced and de-seeded)
- Spring onion 1
- Leafy coriander 1 bunch
- Sesame oil 2 tsp
- Tamari 2 tsp
- Maple syrup 1 tsp
- Ginger root 1 cm (finely grated)
- Lime 1 (juiced)
- Sesame seeds 1 tbsp
After gathering the ingredients, start making the sandwich.
Vegan Pulled Pork Recipe
- Start by preheating the oven to 350ºF/180ºC.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet or pan of your choice on medium heat.
- Add the sliced onions and minced garlic, and saute until translucent.
- Next, add jackfruit, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, vegan Worcestershire, and liquid smoke.
- Stir to mix and coat the jackfruit in spices evenly.
- Add vegetable stock, and bring it to a simmer.
- Lower the heat and cover the pan. Let it simmer for another 45 minutes and until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the fruit has broken down.
- Turn off the heat.
- In a baking tray, lay out foil wrap.
- Spread the jackfruit on a prepared baking sheet and bake at 350ºF/180ºC for 45 minutes.
- Take out the baked jackfruit.
- Pour the vegan barbecue sauce over the baked jackfruit, mix and place it back into the oven for 15 minutes.
- After it’s done, scrape out the vegan pulled pork into a bowl. And serve it warm on vegan buns with Asian slaw.
Asian Slaw Recipe
- Start by preparing vegetables. Shred the cabbage, pak choi, and coriander; peel and grate the carrot.
- Slice the chili lengthwise and de-seed them.
- Finely slice the chili and spring onion.
- Keep vegetables on the side, and prepare a dressing.
- In a bowl, add sesame oil tamari, maple syrup, ginger root, and lime juice and whisk everything together.
- In a salad bowl, add all the sliced, grated, and shredded vegetables.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables.
- Massage it with your hands to evenly coat the dressing on the vegetables.
- Top the Asian slaw with sesame seeds, and serve it with your vegan pulled pork.
Assemble the Sandwich
- Slice the vegan bun.
- Spread the vegan pulled pork on one slice of the vegan bun.
- On top of the vegan pulled pork, add a scoop of Asian slaw, and cover the sandwich with another slice of vegan bun.
- The vegan pulled pork sandwich is ready to serve.
Homemade BBQ Sauce Recipe
Not all BBQ sauces available in the market will be vegan-friendly.
The alternate way to browse the grocery aisles and check the ingredients carefully is to make one at home.
One of the potential benefits of making BBQ sauce at home is the ingredients that go into the sauce are transparent to you.
- Ketchup 2 cups
- Apple cider vinegar ¼ cup
- Brown sugar ¼ cup
- Maple syrup 2 tbsp
- Soy sauce 1 tbsp
- Lemon juice 1 tbsp
- Salt 1 tsp
- Pepper 1 tsp
- Garlic powder 1 tsp
- In a pan, add ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder on medium-low heat.
- Stir and mix everything perfectly.
- Leave it to simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
- Turn off the heat and transfer the sauce to a bowl or container.
Vegan Pulled Pork: Top Making & Serving Tips
Following are some making and serving tips that can make the vegan pulled pork sandwich tastier.
- When making your own vegan pulled pork recipe with jackfruit, remember that jackfruit has its natural sweetness. So, if your recipe has any sweeteners, cross them off; they could make the vegan pulled pork sweeter than necessary.
- As mentioned before, not all BBQ sauces are completely vegan-friendly. Either check the ingredients carefully on the package or make one yourself using the above recipe.
- King oyster mushroom: another substitute for pulled pork, is one of the biggest mushrooms. They have a neutral flavor when raw but spruce up a savory and umami flavor with a meaty texture when cooked. Hence they make a good meat substitute for vegans. So, depending on the recipe and preference, choose your substitute.
- Besides the Asian slaw, the vegan pulled pork sandwich can be served with dill pickles, jalapeño slices, vegan coleslaw, red onion slices, onion rings, grilled bell peppers, radish sprouts, green onions, or avocado slices.
Depending on the choice of taste, the substitute for making vegan meat is selected.
Ripe banana peels and Jackfruit are the best option for making vegan pulled pork.
Banana peels may seem a little juicier and though jackfruits have a light peach or pear-like flavor, they make a good vegan pulled pork after all the spices and cooking.
However, before starting, make sure that jackfruits are pliable and don’t smell funny or spoiled.
Also, remember jackfruit has its natural sweetness.
So when incorporating using your recipe for vegan pulled pork, cross out any sweet ingredients like maple syrup.
Please be sure to share your helpful tips and favorite substitutes for vegan meat!