Chinese 5-spice Jackfruit With Steamed Buns

Chinese 5-spice Jackfruit With Steamed Buns

I’ve made BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwiches and jackfruit carintas tacos and from that taquitos. I’m ready to go in a new and different direction with jackfruit. I’m most familiar with Chinese cuisine so let’s go there.

I decided on Chinese 5-spice seasonings for the jackfruit and to serve it in the same manner as traditional Peking Duck with steamed buns but without the duck.

Chinese 5-spice Jackfruit With Steamed Buns

I thought it came out well, it doesn’t taste like duck but I didn’t expect it to nor was I trying to make it taste like duck. It’s got its own 5-spice taste which was good and then combine that with the bun and sauce it’s very savory and reminiscent of baos served at dim sum.

The flavor seemed to have developed quicker with the 5-spice seasoning, it tastes the same right after cooking as it does overnight, unlike the bbq jackfruit.

I went the lazy route on the steam buns and got the store-bought kind. I’m sure it would be even better with freshly-made buns.

Chinese 5-spice Jackfruit With Steamed Buns

Chinese 5-spice Jackfruit With Steamed Buns
Makes about 6 – 8 servings

Chinese 5-spice Jackfruit
1 20 ounce can young green jackfruit in brine
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1 lime, juiced
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 tablespoon chinese 5-spice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Freshly cracked black pepper

Drain and wash the jackfruit in several changes of water. Squeeze out as much water as you can.

Put the jackfruit in a slow cooker, add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to just cover the jackfruit. Set the cooker for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. The jackfruit should be fork tender and come apart easily. Set aside to cool.

For Serving
1 package of steamed buns, available at the Asian grocery store
Hoisin sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce
2 green onions, julienned
1/2 bunch of cilantro (optional)

Heat up the buns according to the package directions. Open up a bun, spread a bit of the Hoisin sauce on, add some of the jackfruit and a few pieces of the green onion strips or cilantro sprigs. Close bun and eat.


  1. says

    Wow, these look fantastic! I just want to sink my teeth into one of those buns! I’ve only had the jackfruit done BBQ style or like carnitas, but this 5 spice take on it is so clever, and I imagine, delicious.

  2. Sharky says

    This looks amazing, and what a strange coincidence that I happen to be eating canned jackfruit while I read this! (And it was in my Google reader — I wasn’t looking for jackfruit recipes or anything.)

  3. Valerie says

    I had no idea that jackfruit could be a “meat” substitute. I’m going to try this. We can only get canned jackfruit here, but I’m not sure if it is “green.” Will that make a difference if it isn’t “green”?

  4. says

    This looks to die for – I have heard so much good about jackfruit but have not ever found it anywhere – I wonder if you can get it online?

  5. chow says

    Foodeater – Thanks! It was fun trying out the jackfruit in a new and different recipe.

    lisa (show me vegan) – Thank you!

    Sharky – That’s quite a coincidence, we must be on the same brain wave. :-)

    Valerie – You’ll need the “green” or “unripe” jackfruit for use as a meat substitute. The ripe jackfruit is sweet and is used for desserts.

    bex – Thanks, it’s quite an interesting ingredient to work with. Give it a try if you get a chance.

    Nikki – I think you can buy it online. Just google “canned jackfruit”, it looks like carries it. It’s $2.50 there, at my local Asian grocery store it’s $1.

  6. says

    oh my goodness!!! that is the perfect thing to serve to omni family members to convince them that veg food is good! (they aren’t so turned onto veg desserts unfortunately D’:) this’ll be perfect!!! thanks!

  7. Emily says

    Just tried this tonight…frankly I’m disappointed. I was hoping it would taste like duck dim sum buns or something like that…but it didn’t. It had no bite to it, it didn’t have the meaty texture that was described. It tasted like really bad sweet and sour pork you find at the Chinese buffet that’s been left out for a day or two. Maybe it was the kind of jackfruit I used? The asian food mart in my area didn’t have the frozen kind so I made the buns homemade. Time consuming but worth it. I think next time I’ll make it with something a little more savory in flavor…mushrooms?

    Disappointed…but willing to try again with the right medium.

  8. chow says

    Sorry to hear that it didn’t come out to your liking. But I said it doesn’t taste like duck nor was I trying to make it taste like duck. I definitely did not say it has a meaty texture.

    Mine came out more savory than sweet, seems like that would be because of the seasonings used. For a meatier texture, I think seitan would probably work better, something with more of a bite to it – jackfruit to me is very light.

    I would love to hear if you found something that was like duck dim sum. :-)

  9. Leah says

    I think finding the young green Jackfruit in brine is the most difficult part to making this meal. No one even knew what I was talking about at Whole Foods, they looked at me like I was crazy. I found it at a little locally owned Asian market near my house in Fresno. The key don’t look in the canned fruit section. Try the section with canned bamboo shoots and other veggies.

  10. chow says

    Leah – Sorry you had such a hard time finding a can of the young green jackfruit. In my other posts on jackfruit, I mentioned it can be found at some Asian supermarkets. :-)

  11. chow says

    Cholo – I think the dough can be the same but the shape is different. In a bao, the filling is enclosed. A steamed bun is shaped like a clam shell and the filling is added in between as pictured above.

  12. Karen says

    Hello I am trying this recipe right this minute, don’t know how quickly you might be able to reply, I am not sure whether to put the slow cooker on low or high. Looking forward to trying this, I am going to try drying it out a little more in the oven after the slow cooker process – I will let you know how this goes.

  13. chow says

    Karen – Sorry for the lateness of a reply. My slow cooker doesn’t actually have a high or low. It’s just on or off and for how long. That’s probably not very helpful. But hopefully the jackfruit turned out for you. :-)

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