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Red Curry Jackfruit Chick'n

Red Curry Jackfruit Chick'n

It seems like jackfruit is one of those love-or-hate things. As a vegan who can’t eat seitan - er, I mean, I could if I didn’t care about being out of commission for a good week or so afterwards - it’s always good to have another “meaty” choice beyond tofu, tempeh, mushrooms and eggplant. Jackfruit can have a nice texture and be a good flavor conduit if treated right. The problem with jackfruit is it can be tricky to get a decent texture out of and sometimes the flavor just kind of rests on top of instead of soaks into the jackfruit. During a recent long road trip - returning from the magical land of The Herbivorous Butcher - I enjoyed my shredded jackfruit chicken very much and decided it was time to up my jackfruit game. I wanted it tender, juicy and full of great flavor, just like the kind I’d picked up from the HB. So here is my process: instead of just shredding with a fork, I shredded it finer in a food processor, and instead of only cooking on the stovetop, I popped it in the oven to roast for maximum great texture and flavor. Feel free to substitute green curry paste for the red curry, but remember to check the ingredients as it may have anchovies and/or fish sauce, especially with red curry pastes. (This red curry paste is widely available and vegan, but the roasted red curry paste by the same brand is not vegan.) By the way, jackfruit is one of the few things I will recommend to get a canned version of; in my experience, it is just a much better option in this kind of recipe than fresh jackfruit.
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Red Curry Jackfruit Chick'n

This was what I used: again, feel free to use the veggies you like)

1 20-ounce can green jackfruit, packed in brine or water, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 bunch scallions, sliced
(reserve minced green tops for optional garnish)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 cups broccoli crowns, cut into florets
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons tamari, divided
1 cup coconut milk
4 teaspoons vegan red curry paste
2 teaspoons tamarind paste
(or two teaspoons lime juice plus two teaspoons coconut sugar or sweetener of choice)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
Prepared rice
Chopped peanuts, scallion tops, lime wedges and chili sauce, optional garnishes

Cut the jackfruit chunks into two or three smaller pieces with a knife. In a food processor, pulse 15 - 18 times until the jackfruit is in smaller, thinner pieces. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get too finely minced.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the sesame oil and coconut oil, warming for a minute. Distribute the oil through the pan. Add the scallions and ginger, cooking for two minutes, stirring often. Add the broccoli, garlic and 1 tablespoon of tamari, and sauté for six minutes, stirring often. Add the jackfruit and sauté an additional minute.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a blender, mix together the coconut milk, second tablespoon of tamari, tamarind or lime juice/sugar and cumin; blend until smooth. Add to the pan with the jackfruit and broccoli, cooking over medium-low for 15 minutes.

Transfer to the lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes and returning to the oven for the additional ten minutes. Serve over rice with optional garnishes.

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