This post is for that one time you (me) accidentally bought the wrong kind of canned jackfruit. Hell-bent on making BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwiches with young green jackfruit yet somehow you end up with a can of ripe jackfruit in syrup.
Maybe the store only had the kind in syrup, maybe you weren’t sure which kind to get in the first place, maybe you thought they were interchangeable. They’re not. They’re totally different. Taste, texture, color, everything.
But you can still make a savory dish with the sweet jackfruit. In this home-style Chinese tomato “beef” dish, seitan stands in for the beef and jackfruit replaces the usual pineapple.
I figured since canned jackfruit in syrup taste like a cross between pineapple and banana it’ll work in the recipe. It’s a bit like sweet and sour but with more of a tang. Perfect for using up that unintentional can of jackfruit and the last of the summer tomatoes.
Chinese Tomato “Beef” with Jackfruit
Makes about 2 servings
3 medium heirloom tomatoes
1-inch fresh ginger, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 ounces seitan strips or baked tofu cut into strips
3 pieces of canned sweet jackfruit in syrup
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon corn starch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
Wash and cut the tomatoes into bite-sized wedges. If you don’t like the skin on, parboil the tomatoes first and peel off the skin. Cut the jackfruit into bite-sized chunks.
Heat the wok to hot. Add the oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant, a few seconds. Add the seitan and stir fry for a minute or so.
Add the tomatoes and jackfruit and stir to combine. Add the soy sauce, vinegar and water, mix well and lower the heat to cook for a few minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture to thicken into a sauce. Serve immediately over rice.
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