Vegan Faux Pulled Pork - A november tale
The closer we get to winter the greater the pull to those slow cooked dishes, the real comfort foods that warms up hearts and bellies, like a spicy deep flavored pulled pork. I'm so happy to share this vegan Faux pulled pork with you - it's been developed with love in my recipe lab oops, meant kitchen - and I'm proud to say that it gives the meat versions serious tastiness competition.
The "meat" in this dish is made up by roughly ground tempeh, chopped shiitake mushrooms and sliced shallot. It's slowly cooked together in a home made bbq sauce with hints of anis from fennel and juicy tamarind. If you're not familiar with tamarind paste yet, you most certainly have tasted it in asian dishes already. It's one of the main ingredients of Worchester sauce, also found Indian chutneys. The flavor is slightly sweet, tart and sour and the tamarind fruit is sometimes referred to as the Indian date. It gives acidity in cooking and it's great in slow cooking stews and sauces. You can often find tamarind paste in asian super markets or health food stores.
You can swop the tempeh for jackfruit, a popular ingredient in vegan pulled pork versions - because of it's stringy texture, it looks very much like meat. Jackfruit can be hard to find in stores, but is available to buy on Amazon. My version is a little bit more handy using readily available tempeh with a satisfying texture. I'm way to impatient to wait for a postal order when I feel the need for a dish like this on a rainy weekend anyways :)
This dish can be served in the same way as traditional "meat" - pulled pork. In a fresh bread bun, or with sweet potato fries, cole slaw, baked potato etc. You can also successfully add it to wraps or tacos, and serve it with rice, it's really versatile.
On this occasion, I'm adding it to a freshly baked spelt and quinoa flakes bun, (recipe coming to the blog soon), - the juicy faux pulled pork makes a perfect combo with bread. Add avocado and pickles if you like.
As I was testing this recipe on my hardest critics - my family, I got a lot of oohs and aahs... so it was an instant success. I love hearing feedback by the way, and both my daughter and my man are amazingly on point and right in their "tasting". It's pretty much fun to involve loved ones in the cooking, or cook with friends who really get into it, not getting embarrassed but actually letting loose on associations and coming up with suggestions.
This dish is really welcome in these times. November has been dark and gloomy so far. It's not just the weather, we are close to Paris here, and the recent sad events is casting a long shadow over the rest of Europe. We light up the fire place and have long dinner conversations. It will get darker for a while, but the light always return. Meanwhile let's take care of ourselves and each other.
Faux Tempeh Pulled Pork
1 ½ tbsp butter or coconut oil (vegan)
250 gr tempeh, roughly grated (or use the same amount canned Jackfruit, roast in the oven for 20 minutes, 200℃, before adding to pan)
100 gram shiitake mushroom (or regular mushrooms), finely chopped
2 shallots finely sliced on the length
1 tsp sea salt
1 garlic clove
Scrummy bbq sauce:
2 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp sriracha
a few grinds of black pepper
¾ tsp salt
2 tsp paprika pulver
1 tsp tamarind (can be substituted for one spoon of white wine or rice vinegar plus a spoon of honey or agave syrup)
2 tbsp soy
1 tsp honey
1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
1 tsp ketchup
⅔ cup of water
swirl of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste, extra water if needed
- Mix all the sauce ingredients except the finishing part in a bowl and set aside.
- Press the garlic with a fork and mix it with a tsp fine salt and set the “garlic salt” aside.
- Heat up a skillet to medium low heat and add butter or coconut oil and let it melt.
- Add shallots and let it sweat ca 2 minutes, stir every now and then.
- Add the chopped mushrooms and the garlic salt. Let it sweat for another 2 minutes.
- Add the grated tempeh and mix well with the onion and mushrooms. Saute while stirring for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sauce and let it all simmer for 8-10 while stirring as the liquid reduces, add water if it gets to dry.
- Finish by turning down the heat. Swirl a little virgin olive oil and taste it. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with your choice side dishes. Bon Appetit!