Tender jackfruit is simmered in spicy maple Buffalo sauce and stuffed into buns to make these mouthwatering pulled jackfruit sandwiches.
These sandwiches were initially going to be sliders. I've never made sliders, so obviously I don't have any slider recipes on the blog, and I thought it seemed like about time I changed that. I even went out and bought some slider buns. And then I realized I don't really think sliders are that great an idea. Maybe that's why I've never made them before!
When I want a sandwich I want a full-sized sandwich. A mini sandwich seems like a tease. Do people who eat sliders eat two or three of them? Somehow that still seems unsatisfying, and I'm not sure what the bread to filling ratio of two or three sliders would be in comparison to a regular sandwich, but I have a feeling it's not great.
So at the last minute I stuck my slider rolls into the freezer in exchange for some good old burger buns. Maybe I'll change my mind about sliders down the road, but I think I'm more likely to turn my slider buns into some bread pudding.
In other news: Trader Joe's has jackfruit! One more reason to love TJ's. I spotted it among the other canned goods on a recent trip and I couldn't be happier. One reason I haven't posted too many jackfruit recipes on this site is because I know lots of readers have trouble finding the stuff.
Asian markets usually carry jackfruit as well, but not everyone has an Asian market nearby. And okay, not everyone has a Trader Joe's nearby, but I think between the two sources most of you guys will be able to get your hands on some jackfruit. Jackfruit is taking over! Yay!
Since there are a million pulled jackfruit recipes around I wanted to do something a little different, and I've been itching to do a summery Buffalo sauce recipe, so Buffalo pulled sandwiches it is! If you're into spicy with a little sweet I think you'll love these guys.
Tips for Making Awesome Maple Buffalo Jackfruit Sandwiches
- Make sure you use unripe jackfruit (also may be labeled young and/or green jackfruit). The ripe stuff is sweet and not ideal for use as a meat substitute.
- Frank's brand hot sauce is the best one to use for this recipe (or anything Buffalo, for that matter). You can use another brand and it'll still be delicious, but won't have as much characteristic Buffalo flavor.
- Make the filling ahead of time and reheat it for an easy make-ahead lunch or dinner.
Maple Buffalo Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches
- 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 20 ounce cans young green jackfruit, drained
- ⅔ cup cayenne pepper hot sauce, Franks works best
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- About 1 cup water
- Salt and pepper to taste
For Serving (optional)
- 4 to 6 sandwich rolls, sliced open
- Vegan Mayo
Coat the bottom of a medium saucepan with oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute more, until very fragrant. Add the jackfruit, hot sauce, maple syrup, tomato paste, liquid smoke, and 1 cup of water. Stir well, bring the mixture to a simmer and allow to cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Stir every few minutes and after about 10 minutes begin using a couple of forks to break up and pull apart the pieces of jackfruit. It should be stringy and tender by the time it's done cooking. Continue to simmer until the jackfruit is very tender, about 20 minutes total. You can add a bit of water during cooking if the sauce gets too thick.
Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the jackfruit among the rolls and top with toppings of choice. Serve.
Some people like to remove the cores and seed pods from their jackfruit before cooking. I don't, because it's time consuming and just adds some additional texture to the final product. Feel free to remove them if you like.