If you are in search for a light, flavorful and easy to make appetizer, then try these jackfruit pulled pork lettuce wraps. They taste like pulled pork tacos, except they are 100% vegan and gluten-free.
Jackfruit is a vegan kitchen staple because it’s such a versatile ingredient. Cooked jackfruit has similar taste and texture of pulled pork and a neutral flavor that serves as a blank canvas to imitate meat dishes.
The jackfruit filling for these lettuce wraps is flavored with mouthwatering umami Asian flavors. I usually make the filling in a big batch for an easy meal prep throughout the week.
These jackfruit lettuce wraps can be served as an appetizer, starter or low-carb meal. They are one of the easiest vegan and gluten-free dishes you can make in advance and heat up when ready to serve.
Green jackfruit vs. Ripe jackfruit
From the outside, the green (young) or unripe jackfruit doesn’t look a lot different from ripe jackfruit. Although green jackfruit will feel tougher. Inside however, you’ll see a world of difference. The flesh of unripe jackfruit is white and the seeds will be quite small. On the other hand, ripe jackfruit is very fragrant when you open it and you’ll find that the flesh is yellow and the seeds will be larger.
Ingredients to make Jackfruit
- Organic Young Jackfruit - Canned Green Jackfruit
- Water Chestnuts - To add a depth of flavor and crunch.
- Toasted Sesame Seed Oil - For nutty flavor.
- Onion - To add depth of flavor.
- Garlic - Grated, minced or paste (either will do).
- Ginger - Grated, minced or paste (either will do).
- Tomato Paste
- Hoisin Sauce - Make sure to read the label to avoid gluten, if gluten-free is necessary.
- Soy Sauce - Make sure to read the label to avoid gluten, if gluten-free is necessary.
- Sriracha Sauce - Make sure to read the label to avoid gluten, if gluten-free is necessary.
- Maple Syrup - To add a balance of sweetness.
- Ginger Powder
- Cumin Powder
How to cook Jackfruit Pulled Pork (Step By Step Instructions)
- Step 1 - Wash and drain jackfruit under cold water to rinse the extra salt from the brine.
- Step 2 - Using a sharp knife, roughly chop up the jackfruit into smaller pieces. Or take two forks into a jackfruit piece and pull them in opposite directions to shred the the jackfruit pieces apart.
- Step 3 - Slice the water chest nuts in small minced pieces.
- Step 4 - Heat oil in a skillet over low-medium heat. Add onions and cook till they are translucent and fragrant. Then add ginger, garlic and tomato paste.
- Step 5 - Stir in the following ingredients: hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, maple syrup, ginger powder and cumin powder.
- Step 6 - Toss in the jackfruit and chestnuts and mix together.
- Step 7 - Cover the skillet with a lid and turn down the heat to low. Let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Step 8 - Then remove lid and turn off the heat. Give it another good mix and set aside till ready to assemble.
Full recipe details are in the recipe card.
Most canned jackfruits are extremely salty from being packed in brine, so make sure to properly rinse canned jackfruit before using.
Recipe Notes on Jackfruit Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps
- Lettuce wraps - You can assemble these tacos in iceberg or butter lettuce. If you like crispy bites, then go for the iceberg. Take apart the lettuce cups from the lettuce head and wash them in cold water before assembling.
- Toppings - There are several ways to go with toppings or garnishing. For this recipe, I simply went with julienne-cut carrots and sliced green onions. But don't limit yourself; add other toppings like avocado or cilantro to jazz it up more.
Substitutions and Variations
This vegan pulled pork or savory jackfruit filling is simple to make in a batch and store to use as needed. You can use it for several different meal prep ideas, other than just lettuce wraps.
- If you don't mind the carbs, it's easy to swap out the lettuce cups for crunchy corn taco shells for your next Taco Tuesday dinner. Top it off with some pico de gallo, drizzle over some sriracha mayo and lime juice.
- You can use this jackfruit recipe as a topping for salads, nachos or vegan rice bowls. Or use it as a dip with tortilla chips.
- This jackfruit filling can also be used to fill in your wraps, burritos or quesadillas with an Asian twist.
- You can even sub the hoisin, soy and sriracha for other flavored sauces like BBQ, Teriyaki or Buffalo.
A large, green and spiky fruit grown in tropical climates. Asian cuisines use it as an ingredient for several dishes.
Southeast Asia (India)
Canned young jackfruit is readily available in several local grocery stores and Amazon. But you can also get it fresh in most Asian markets.
Unripped young jackfruit is almost tasteless which why it is easy to mimic meat dishes. Due to its fiber-like texture, it resembles pulled pork or chicken when cooked. Ripe jackfruit is slightly sweet and used in some Southeast Asian desserts.
Jackfruit is encased in a thick and spiky skin that can be a little tricky to remove so if you decide to get them fresh, be extra careful. If you’re unsure about how to do this properly, see if the shop removes the skin for you.
Here's a video to check out on: how to to cut fresh jackfruit.
Yes! Jackfruit has several health benefits whether it’s raw (green) or ripe. It is a good source of B vitamins (folate, niacin, and riboflavin), magnesium and potassium. It's vitamin A content also increases as it ripes. In terms of macronutrients, one cup of this fruit has 38 grams carbs, 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat at 157 calories.
More Meat-free Appetizers
- Miso Garlic Green Beans with Spicy Chili Sauce
- Easy Crispy Baked Tofu
- Roasted Beets and Fennel Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
- Chunky Guacamole and Chips
Jackfruit Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps
- 1 whole lettuce head iceberg or butter lettuce
- 14 oz organic young jackfruit canned
- 1 cup shallots diced
- 1 cup water chestnuts diced in small pieces
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce low sodium
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced or paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger root grated or paste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup green onions sliced
- ½ cup carrots julienne cut
- Wash and drain the canned jackfruit to remove excess salt. Roughly chop them up to look like shredded chicken. Or stick 2 forks in each piece and pull in opposite directions to shred.
- Wash and drain water chestnuts. Then mince them into small pieces using a knife.
- Heat oil in a medium sized skillet over low-medium heat. Add shallots and cook them until translucent.
- Next, add the garlic, ginger paste, and tomato paste and cook for another 30 seconds. Stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sriracha sauce, maple syrup, ground ginger, and ground cumin.
- Add the jackfruit and water chestnuts and mix well. Cover the skillet with a lid and let it cook on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Then remove from heat, and give it another mix. Set aside.
- Take apart all the lettuce cups from the lettuce head and wash them in cold water. Set aside for assembling the tacos.
- On a separate platter, assemble the lettuce leaves or lettuce cups on a separate platter and scoop the jackfruit filling into each one.
- Garnish with green onions and carrots as desired.
- Jackfruit - Most canned jackfruits are extremely salty from being packed in brine, so make sure to properly rinse canned jackfruit before using.
- Lettuce wraps - You can assemble these tacos in iceberg or butter lettuce. If you like fresh and crispy bites, then go for the iceberg. Take apart the lettuce cups from the lettuce head and wash them in cold water before assembling.
- Toppings - There are several ways to go with toppings or garnishing. For this recipe, I simply went with julienne cut carrots and sliced green onions. But don't limit yourself there, add other toppings like avocado or cilantro to jazz it up more.