I must admit that my inspiration for this Vegan Cubano came from “Jane the Virgin”. Seeing them eating at their fast food trucks and walking around Little Havana, I just want to close my eyes and get transported over there. The colourful streets and buildings, the beautiful weather, what could be better? So to give myself a little taste of Miami back here in Berlin, I decided to try out making a cuban sandwich. Of course, as the traditional version is made using pork, I had to adapt my own version – so I made a vegan or veggie recipe for the sandwich using jackfruit as a meat substitute.
I recently tried out BBQ jackfruit in a vegetarian dish. I really like the taste of course, but especially the texture. I had already made a BBQ Pulled Carrot Sandwich, back then I was using carrots because I couldn’t find jackfruits. I’m still proud of my recipe, but I find the jackfruit’s texture is better and “meatier”.
Jackfruit is an ideal replacement for meat, especially in sandwiches, carnitas, fajitas… All you have to do is season it to your liking and you can use it in all sorts of cuisines. I’m definitely gonna keep experimenting with it!
Vegan Cuban Sandwich
- 2 cans of jackfruit in brine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp epazote or coriander
- 1-2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 baguette, or bread of choice, to serve
- vegan cheese, or cheese of choice, to serve
- dijon mustard, to serve
- vegan mayonaise, or regular, to serve
- pickles, sliced lengthwise, to serve
Rinse, drain and dry jackfruit. Chop off the center core of the fruit and discard it or you can use it in another recipe.
Shred it using your fingers, add to a bowl and add olive oil, liquid smoke, epazote, paprika and cumin and combine.
Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add jackfruit and cook for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 8 minutes. Add lime juice and mix. Taste and adjust seasonings.
In the meantime, slice your baguette into 3 equal size pieces. Slice each of them lengthwise. Spread mustard and vegan mayonnaise on each side, top with cheese and pickles. When jackfruit is cooked, add a few spoonfuls on top.
Close the sandwich and press firmly with your hands.
Now you need to press the sandwiches. If you have a sandwich press you can use that, otherwise simply lay the sandwiches one at a time in a frying pan on medium heat and press them down with a weight to flatten the bread until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasty on both sides.