Vegetarian ‘Pulled Pork’ Sandwich Recipe

This Vegetarian ‘Pulled Pork’ Sandwich Recipe uses Jackfruit, an uncommon fruit with a familiar texture.

From "The Veggie-Lover's Sriracha Cookbook"
May 2014

  • The Veggie Lover's Sriracha Cookbook Book Cover
    “The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook” by Randy Clemens explores the true depth of this tasty condiment in a series of Sriracha-laden recipes.
    Cover courtesy Ten Speed Press
  • Vegetarian Version of Pulled Pork Sandwiches
    These vegetarian “pulled pork” sandwiches are topped with chopped avocado and pickled red onion.
    Photo by Leo Gong
  • The Veggie Lover's Sriracha Cookbook Book Cover
  • Vegetarian Version of Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Devoted Sriracha addicts know that this fiery red condiment adds the perfect spicy kick to their favorite foods. But for those who want to take it to the next level, Randy Clemens shows how versatile this garlicky, pungent sauce can be in The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, 2013). This excerpt from the “Main Dishes” section uses the jackfruit to replace meat in this Vegetarian ‘Pulled Pork’ Sandwich Recipe.

Vegetarian “Pulled Pork” Sandwich Recipe

I first enjoyed fresh jackfruit (which is one helluva treat) at my friend Phi’s house. Sadly, canned jackfruit packed in syrup pales in comparison. And then there’s canned young jackfruit packed in brine, a product that doesn’t sound anywhere near as tasty. When shredded, however, it makes an excellent stand-in for pulled pork, right down to the texture. I discovered this novel, vegetarian-substitution at the delightful vegan SoCal food truck Seabirds, and I’ve been hooked ever since. It might take a little searching, but you should be able to find canned young jackfruit in brine at Asian markets or online.


Pickled Red Onion

• 1 large red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
• 1 cup apple cider vinegar
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
• 6 whole black peppercorns (optional)

Jackfruit “Pulled Pork”

• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 small red onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
• 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon dry mustard
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup Sriracha
• 1/4 cup water
• 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
• 2 (20-ounce) cans jackfruit packed in brine
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Hamburger buns or rolls, to serve
• Sliced ripe Hass avocado, to serve


1. To make the pickled onion, put the onion in a large saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute, then drain well. Transfer to a small bowl or a glass jar. In the same saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately remove from the heat. Pour over the onion. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for 1 month.

2. To make the “pulled pork,” preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add paprika, cumin, and mustard and sauté until the spices are toasted, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in 1/4 cup Sriracha, the water, and the brown sugar. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has the consistency of barbecue sauce, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste and add more Sriracha if desired.

4. Drain the jackfruit and rinse under cool running water to reduce the saltiness. Transfer to a large bowl and use two forks to pull the jackfruit into shreds. Add the Sriracha mixture and toss until the jackfruit is evenly coated. Transfer to a nonstick or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the jackfruit firms up and the sauce dries slightly, adhering to the jackfruit. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. To assemble the sandwiches, divide the “pulled pork” among the buns. Top with avocado slices and pickled onion. Serve immediately.

Gluten-Free: Substitute gluten-free hamburger buns, or wrap the “pulled pork” in gluten-free tortillas or large leaves of iceberg, Boston, or Bibb lettuce.

More from The Veggie Lover's Sriracha Cookbook

California Benedict Recipe With Sriracha Hollandaise
Watermelon Sangria Recipe With Sriracha

Reprinted with permission from The Veggie Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook: 50 Vegan “Rooster Sauce” Recipes That Pack a Punch by Randy Clemens. Copyright © 2013 by Randy Clemens. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

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