RecipesCooking Techniques

Barbecue Jackfruit Sandwiches with Cabbage Slaw

Barbecue Jackfruit Sandwiches with Cabbage Slaw

Thanks to a smoky, tangy, gently sweet sauce, these barbecue jackfruit sandwiches taste satisfyingly meaty (feel free to double the sauce to toss with smoked or braised pork shoulder as well).


  • 2 (20-ounce) cans young green jackfruit in brine (such as Trader Joe's)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 cup, plus 1/3 cup water, divided
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 3 ½ tablespoons dark brown sugar, divided
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage (from a small cabbage)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 large scallions, thinly sliced on an angle (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 teaspoons spicy brown mustard, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce plus 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 4 potato sandwich rolls, split and toasted
  • Dill pickle chips, for serving


  1. Rinse jackfruit under cold water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Cut off jackfruit core and discard. In a medium bowl, shred jackfruit using your fingers, and set aside.
  2. Finely chop half of the onion, and set aside. Thinly slice remaining onion half. Bring 1/2 cup of the water, 1/2 cup of the vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Add onion slices, and return to a simmer over medium-high. Remove from heat. Let stand until ready to use.
  3. Stir together cabbage, cilantro, mayonnaise, scallions, 2 teaspoons of the vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 2 teaspoons of the mustard in a medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low. Add chopped onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until brown around edges, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds. Add cumin; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender.
  5. To the onion mixture in the blender, add ketchup, chipotle chiles and adobo sauce, and remaining 1/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon mustard, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon vinegar. Process until very smooth, about 30 seconds. Return mixture to the large skillet and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low. Simmer, stirring often, until flavors meld, about 4 minutes. Add shredded jackfruit; cook, stirring constantly, until warmed through, about 3 minutes.
  6. Drain pickled onion slices. Divide jackfruit mixture evenly among bottom buns; top with desired amount of cabbage slaw, pickled onion slices, and pickle chips. Cover with tops of buns and serve.

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