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Pulled Jackfruit Arepas

Jackfruit is a versatile fruit that, because of its meaty, stringy texture, can be used as a meat substitution. We pair it with arepas to create a Latin twist on the traditional pulled pork sandwich. Consuming a variety of plant-based foods has been linked with preventing the risk of cardiovascular disease and has been used in preventing various chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. In general, a plant-based diet is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, which are mainly found in animal fats. This recipe features Jackfruit as an alternative to a traditional pulled pork  and adds a Latin twist by incorporating arepas. 


Jackfruit Filling:

2 tsp olive oil
½ cup red onion, small diced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, small diced
1 can jackfruit, drained (10 oz) (in water, brine works too)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup unsalted vegetable stock
1 cup unsalted canned pinto beans, drained
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
¼ tsp chili powder


1 cup red cabbage, shredded
½ cup unsalted canned corn, drained
1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup cilantro, sliced
1 tbsp jalapeño, deseeded & minced
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (unseasoned rice vinegar works too)
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt

Arepa dough:

1 cup water
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 cup Pre-cooked white corn flour (masa harina is an option as well)


Jackfruit Filling: In a medium pot, bring oil to a medium heat then add red onion and chipotle pepper; cook for about 3 minutes. As onions become translucent, add the jackfruit and cook for 5 more minutes. In the same pot add garlic, cook for another minute, and then deglaze pot with vegetable stock. Add in pinto beans, paprika, salt, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Bring heat to low/medium heat and simmer covered pot for 15 minutes. Mash the jackfruit with a potato masher, and continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes. While the jackfruit is simmering, prepare the slaw and arepas.

Slaw: In a medium bowl combine red cabbage, corn, red onion, cilantro and jalapeño. In a small bowl combine apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, and salt until well incorporated. Pour wet mixture over cabbage mixture and let set for 10-15 minutes while the arepas are prepared.

Arepa dough: In a medium bowl add water and salt, then slowly add in the corn flour until well combined and smooth. Let the ball of dough rest for 5 minutes, then roll out into 4 even ½ inch thick disks. Bring non-stick skillet to medium/high heat, spray with non-stick cooking spray and cook disks about 6-7 minutes on each side until golden brown, then set them aside to cool for assembly. As the jackfruit is ready and slaw has set, slice arepas in half and fill each one with jackfruit and slaw.

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 45 minutes

Ready In: 1 hour

Nutrition: 325 calories; 3.8 g total fat; 0.4 g saturated fat; 0 g cholesterol; 565 mg sodium; 64 g carbohydrate; 15 g fiber; 9 g protein

Chef's Tips:

To bump up the protein, add more beans to the jackfruit or a mild low-fat cheese. This recipe is an excellent source of fiber. Remember that when increasing your fiber intake, it is important to also consume an adequate amount of water to minimize the potential side effects.

Arepas are traditionally made with masarepa, a pre-cooked corn meal, and the most widely available brands online are Goya and PAN. You can find this dough at Latin or international markets around the city and county. Global Foods Market in Kirkwood usually has jackfruit available. If you aren’t able to get to those stores; you may buy masa harina, which is sold at Dierbergs and other stores. Masa harina is what is used to make corn tortillas, and it may be used if you don’t mind the variation in taste.

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