I never buy “fake meat.” I consider it heavily processed and not what you could categorize as healthy, plus I’m usually satisfied with veggies, whole grains, and tofu anyway. But if you are like me, sometimes you are craving something with a more “meaty” texture. Then this jackfruit “chicken” certainly won’t disappoint!
It is tender and buttery and comes together in 30 minutes!
If you have never heard of jackfruit (which I doubt), it is a fruit usually sold in cans in Asian stores or even on Amazon. I used this one. It is available in two versions: ripe jackfruit in syrup and young green jackfruit in brine. You want to buy the latter. It is very bland if not seasoned properly but has a fibrous meat-like texture.
To add flavor to our jackfruit, we will use a sauce made of almond butter, cashew butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, and spices. The mix of all these ingredients gives the jackfruit a “chicken” and buttery flavor. I also add sautéed mushrooms to create a richer texture.
It all starts by cooking quinoa, brown rice, or your favorite grains. In the meantime, you prepare the jackfruit “chicken.” Sautée the onion and garlic, cook until they start to caramelize, and add the mushrooms and jackfruit. Stir in the sauce and mix to coat. It’s that easy! The sauce gives the jackfruit a rich and buttery flavor.
Then assemble the quinoa, sautéed (or raw!) greens, and jackfruit “chicken” in bowls.
I’m sure this will become a regular on the menu here, and I have no doubt it will become one for you, too!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
- 2 20-ounce cans young green jackfruit
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4-5 cremini mushrooms sliced
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1 cup quinoa or brown rice
- 2 cups salted water
- 4 cups sautéed greens like spinach kale, etc (optional)
- Combine all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and mix until smooth. Set aside.
- Start by preparing the quinoa, combine the quinoa with water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until no liquid remains. In the meantime, prepare the jackfruit "chicken.
- Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Chop off the center (the firm part) and discard. Keep the softer edges.
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes until onions are soft and start to caramelize, this is important to add flavor.
- Add mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.
- Add the jackfruit and slightly shred it by pressing with a spatula as it cooks. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the skillet. If needed, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to prevent sticking.
- Stir in the sauce and mix well, making sure all the jackfruit is coated. Continue to cook for one more minute.
- Divide the quinoa into 3 serving bowls, top with the jackfruit "chicken" and a squeeze of lemon juice. You can also serve with your favorite greens like spinach, kale, chard or arugula.
- Please do not omit any ingredient in the almond butter sauce, each one contributes to the "meaty" flavor. Smoked paprika can be replaced with 1/8 tsp liquid smoke though.
- Optional garlic quinoa sauce: in a small bowl combine 2 tbsp tahini, 1 tsp chopped garlic, 1/4 tsp maple syrup, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground coriander. Add enough water to thin out and drizzle on quinoa.
- Nutrition information includes quinoa and spinach.
About the Author
Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.
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