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Slow-Cooked Jackfruit in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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Kansas City, Missouri, is known for its great barbecue. Most of the restaurants have amazing pulled pork sandwiches showcasing homemade barbecue sauce. I grew up in my family's Italian restaurant, Anthony’s, in Kansas City. We found a way to serve this crowd favorite with our own twist, where we'd marinate the pork for hours in a spicy tomato sauce. This is my vegan spin on it. It’s made with jackfruit and takes a third of the time as pork.

Technique tip: This dish calls for water sautéing, which means literally sautéing with water instead oil. When water sautéing, make sure to add water if the ingredients start to burn or stick to the pot.


  • 'Pork' in Spicy Tomato Sauce

    • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 4 cups tomato sauce
    • 1½ tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 20-ounce cans young green jackfruit in brine or water, rinsed and drained
    • 8 leafs fresh basil, for garnish


1. Water sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.

2. For optimal texture, cut the jackfruit into slices from core to the outer edge. This breaks up the tougher core as much as possible and makes for the best texture. Use the core and seeds.

3. Add the cut jackfruit and sauté with onions and garlic, add water if needed. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add tomato sauce and and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and let cook for 10-15 on low-medium heat.