Since I was making 4 big sandwiches, I used 2 cans of jackfruit. If you are making smaller sandwiches, one can would be enough. Rinse the jackfruit well because it’s been sitting in brine and it will be too salty otherwise. Some people throw away the cores when they prepare the jackfruit but that’s throwing away more than half the contents of the can. I sliced them up finely and they are perfectly edible. I read a lot of recipes for tips on how to prepare and cook jackfruit. I covered the jackfruit with a spice rub and toasted it in a pan for a few minutes before adding some oil to cook them in. Then I added in some caramelized onions and made a gravy for the jackfruit to simmer in. That made it soft and tender and easily pulled apart. I wanted my jackfruit to be chewy and meaty though so I put it on a baking sheet and roasted it for 15 minutes. Then I piled it high on heroes, topped it with vegan cheddar and broiled the heroes just long enough to melt the cheese. It’s amazing how meaty this tropical fruit is. Other than a slight sweet taste, almost like pineapple, the jackfruit is pretty much a blank canvas so you can use whatever spice and flavor panels you like best – Indian, Mexican, Chinese, whatever.
Jackfruit Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich [Vegan]
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 2-20 oz. cans of jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
- ½ tsp. garlic powder plus extra for sprinkling
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. celery seed
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbs. chickpea flour
- ¼ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 Tbs. gluten-free, vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 4 gluten-free rolls
- ¼ cup vegan mayo
- 1 cup vegan cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a skillet that has a lid, heat 1 Tbs. of oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook for 3 minutes until they start to soften. Lower the heat to medium-low and let the onions cook, stirring often, until they are browned and caramelized. This should take about 20 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- While the onion is cooking, prepare the jackfruit. After rinsing them in water to get rid of the salty brine, dry the jackfruit pieces in a clean towel. Using a paring knife, cut the triangular core out of each piece of jackfruit. Slice the cores into small pieces. Place the jackfruit into a bowl. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, celery seed, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to the bowl. Mix well so that the jackfruit is completely coated with the spices. Put the jackfruit into the dry skillet and toast them over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. This will lock in the spices.
- Add the remaining Tbs. of oil to the skillet. Stir the jackfruit so that it gets coated with some oil. Add the caramelized onions to the pan and mix it with the jackfruit. Add the flour and mix it well into the oil, onions and jackfruit. This will help make the gravy. Add the vegetable broth, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar. Mix well. Lower the heat to medium, cover the skillet and let the jackfruit and onions simmer for about 15 minutes, until it is soft and tender.
- When the jackfruit is soft, use two forks to pull the pieces apart and shred them. Transfer the shredded jackfruit to a large baking sheet. Arrange it in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes. This will make the jackfruit chewier.
- Set the oven to broil. Slice open the rolls and spread a thin layer of mayo on each bottom piece. Sprinkle with some garlic powder. Mound the jackfruit on 4 bottoms of the rolls. Top with the shredded cheese. Place the rolls on the baking sheet, all face up. Broil for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to watch it so it doesn’t burn. Remove from the oven and place the tops of the rolls over the jackfruit. Serve while hot.