Innovate Blog
Hottest free-from dishes 2019 – Vegan jackfruit appeals to all

Tuesday February 19, 2019

In their latest food and drink report supermarket Waitrose revealed that one in eight Britons are now vegetarian or vegan and further 21 per cent claim to be flexitarian, where a largely vegetable-based diet is supplemented occasionally with meat. This means a third of UK consumers have deliberately reduced the amount of meat they eat or removed it from their diet entirely. One particular meat-free alternative that Waitrose say has become extremely popular with vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians is jackfruit.

In their latest trend report social media website Pinterest revealed that there has been a 420 per cent increase in interest of jackfruit among users. They say that the rising interest in jackfruit could have something to do with the rising number of people who are wanting to reduce the amount of meat they eat.

Otherwise known as a “pauper’s fruit”, jackfruit is a relative of the fig, mulberry and breadfruit family. It’s a sweet fruit that can be eaten on its own or in a dessert, however when cooked, it loses it sweet taste and has a texture that is extremely similar to meat.

Another reason why jackfruit has been increasing in popularity is because it’s a lot healthier than meat. It contains vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A and C, protein, fibre, riboflavin, magnesium and potassium and has 24 per cent less saturated fat than pork and 18 per cent less than chicken.

Jackfruit is the perfect alternative to meat and fish in dishes such as sushi, ‘fish’ cakes, burritos, fajitas, chili and spring rolls. One dish in particular that has even fooled meat eaters into thinking that they were eating meat is pulled jackfruit, or vegan pulled ‘pork’.

Pulled jackfruit can be used in a wide variety of dishes, including pasta and nachos, however it is most popular mixed with barbeque sauce and placed in a bread roll to create a vegan barbeque pulled ‘pork’ sandwich, or a barbeque pulled jackfruit sandwich.

To create a  barbeque pulled jackfruit sandwich the BBC Good Food website recommend following this recipe:

  • In a frying pan, heat vegetable oil and cook 1 whole chopped onion until it is very soft, for around 10-12 mins.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, cumin and paprika to the onions and cook for a further 2-3 mins.
  • Next add 2 teaspoons of Tabasco, 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 4 tablespoons of bbq sauce. Mix well before adding in a can of chopped tomatoes, 2 cans of young jackfruit and 200ml water.
  • Leave to simmer gently, covered, for 30 mins stirring every 5-10 mins to help break down the jackfruit, then take the lid off and cook a further 10 minutes.
  • Once cooked, use a fork to make sure all of the jackfruit is well shredded. Check seasoning and add another tbsp of barbeque sauce if necessary, for extra stickiness.
  • Finally, toast the bread roll and place the shredded jackfruit inside.

If you’re looking to try pulled jackfruit sandwiches, we recommend visiting the following places: Vegan Hippo (Soho, London), Club Mexicana (Camden, London), Illegal Jacks Tex Mex Grill (St. Patrick Street, Edinburgh) and Zuchi Foods (LinkStreet, Birmingham).

Alongside the rising number of restaurants now serving pulled jackfruit sandwiches, there has also been an increasing number of street food stands serving the dish. At KERB London there are now 8 fully vegan street food stands, which all use jackfruit in their dishes, and that number is expected to rise even further by the end of 2019.

If you are considering serving pulled jackfruit sandwiches in a street food environment, or for your customer to enjoy on-the-go or at the comfort of their own home then it is important to make sure that you have the right food packaging for the job. At Bunzl Catering Supplies we have a wide variety of food packaging options to suit your needs.

If serving for customers to enjoy outdoors in a street food environment, then a sturdy tray might be the best option. At Bunzl Catering Supplies, we sell food on-the-go trays in lots of materials, shapes and sizes, including foam, foil, rPET (made from recycled PET – and recyclable) cardboard and bagasse (made from sugar cane – and compostable).

Alternatively, if looking for a ‘boxed’ solution so that your customer can enjoy it on-the-go or in the comfort of their own home, the Sustain bagasse hinged containers provide a practical, sustainable answer. Part of an exclusive brand range of renewable and compostable food packaging, made from sugar cane, Sustain bagasse hinged containers are sturdy but light, and prevent the pulled jackfruit sandwich from being crushed on the move.

To find out more about our food packaging options that are suitable for serving pulled jackfruit sandwiches, please take a look at our food packaging e-brochure or contact Bunzl Catering Supplies today.

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