Vegan Pulled Pork: A Delightful Plant-Based Alternative

Vegan Pulled Pork is a culinary masterpiece that is both tantalizing and simple to make. Whether you choose to utilize tofu, mushrooms, or jackfruit, as long as it is seasoned to perfection and smothered in delectable BBQ sauce, you’re in for a treat!

Vegan Pulled Pork

I still vividly remember the first time I tried vegan pulled pork. It was a sandwich made with jackfruit from a now-defunct LA restaurant called “Pure Luck.” Initially, I was perplexed by the mention of jackfruit on the menu, but the server assured me that I would love it. And boy, were they right!

Ever since that revelation, I became a regular customer at the restaurant, consistently ordering their iconic pulled pork sandwich. However, it occurred to me recently that I had never attempted to replicate it at home. That realization sparked an idea: why not experiment with all three options—mushrooms, tofu, and jackfruit—and determine which one reigns supreme?

Ingredients for Vegan Pulled Pork

Let’s start by breaking down the three essential components of this recipe: the dry rub, BBQ sauce, and the “meat” itself.

The Dry Rub

While store-bought dry rubs or seasoning blends are viable options, I prefer creating my own at home. The recipe below yields a generous quantity, so feel free to halve it if desired. This versatile dry rub can elevate various dishes, not just pulled pork.

The BBQ Sauce

Similar to the dry rub, vegan-friendly BBQ sauce is available in most grocery stores. However, I thoroughly enjoy crafting my own sauce. It’s a quick and easy process that grants you the flexibility to tailor the flavors to your preference. For my personal BBQ sauce recipe, visit the Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ website.

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The Vegan “Pork”

Now, let’s explore the three excellent options for the “meat” in our vegan pulled pork.

Tofu

When using tofu, I recommend opting for super firm tofu that comes vacuum-sealed and doesn’t require pressing. If that’s unavailable, extra firm tofu that has been pressed for approximately 30 minutes works well too. Grate the tofu, toss it in a preheated pan with some oil, add the dry rub and BBQ sauce, and you’ll have vegan pulled pork ready in about 10 minutes.

Tofu Pulled Pork

Not only is tofu an excellent source of high-quality protein, but it’s also the most economical choice compared to mushrooms and jackfruit. A 16 oz. block of tofu cost me just $4, yielding approximately 4 cups of shredded tofu. With this amount, you can make 4 to 6 sandwiches, depending on your desired portion size. Tofu is undoubtedly a budget-friendly option!

Mushrooms

For the mushroom variation, I experimented with King Oyster mushrooms. I purchased them from Whole Foods, where they were slightly pricier at just under $10 for 8 oz. However, if you have access to a local Asian market, you’ll find them at a significantly lower price point.

Unlike tofu, mushrooms require baking in the oven, making them slightly less convenient. Additionally, they tend to shrink significantly during the baking process. Therefore, 8 oz. of mushrooms will only yield enough for approximately 2 sandwiches, perhaps 3 if you opt for smaller portions. To prepare the mushrooms, shred them, season and bake them, pan fry, and then add BBQ sauce.

Mushroom Pulled Pork

Although mushrooms are pricier and more time-consuming to prepare, the flavor is extraordinary. The texture is reminiscent of meat, and if time and cost are not barriers, mushrooms are undoubtedly the superior choice.

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Jackfruit

In my experience, jackfruit reigns supreme as the most popular option. It’s easy to understand why—it’s more affordable than mushrooms (although still costlier than tofu) and incredibly convenient to use.

Jackfruit Pulled Pork

Similar to tofu, shred the jackfruit, season it, pan fry, and generously coat it in BBQ sauce. The texture remarkably resembles pulled pork, as I remember it. However, it’s crucial to ensure you purchase young jackfruit preserved in water or brine, not syrup.

Overall, I believe jackfruit offers the best overall experience. It’s cost-effective, user-friendly, and boasts an incredible texture. Moreover, it beautifully absorbs the seasoning rub and BBQ sauce.

Comparison

Each option—tofu, mushrooms, and jackfruit—has its own unique merits, ensuring a delightful culinary experience. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference.

Feel free to experiment with this recipe and even create sliders for your next party. The possibilities are endless!

For more mouthwatering recipes, check out the variety of plant-based options on the Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ website. And if you’ve tried and enjoyed this recipe, please take a moment to leave a rating and review. Your support truly means the world to us!

Happy cooking and happy eating!