Jackfruit Ropa Vieja

 

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Back in 2011, I posted a recipe for my vegan version of Ropa Vieja made with portobello mushrooms. “Ropa Vieja” means “old clothes” and comes from this story: A man’s family was coming to his home for dinner. Being very poor, the man could not buy them enough food. So he went to his closet, gathered some old clothes (ropa vieja) and imbued them with his love. When he cooked the clothes, his love for his family turned them into a wonderful stew. According to Wikipedia, that’s one of the theories of how the dish Ropa Vieja got its name.

I wrote about how I had just learned to make Ropa Vieja not long before I became vegetarian and how shedding myself of meat was like shedding my old clothes. Then I shed more when I became vegan and even more when I became gluten-free.

My vegan Ropa Vieja was incredibly delicious and tasted a lot like the original version. Juicy, beefy portobello mushrooms cooked in a rich sauce of sofrito, olives and cumin with delicious colorful vegetables.

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Mushroom Ropa Vieja

 

Recently I made another vegan version of Ropa Vieja, this time using jackfruit instead of mushrooms. Jackfruit may be a fruit but when cooked with savory spices and sauces, it tastes very meaty. That’s the only change I made from the mushroom recipe. Everything else is the same. It is also equally delicious.

This dish has jackfruit that is cooked until browned and then added to a flavor-packed pan of sofrito, onion, celery, carrots and peppers. It all simmers in a savory tomato sauce and salty olives. It’s not only delicious but it’s a colorful dish that is as fun to look at as it is to eat.

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Trudy, The “V” Word Spokescow, loves Jackfruit Ropa Vieja.

The sofrito recipe is located on the original Ropa Vieja post. If you don’t want to make it, you can certainly skip that step and just continue on sauteing the aromatics. If you don’t have vegan Worcestershire sauce, substitute 1 1/2 tsp. each of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.

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Whether you make my Mushroom Ropa Vieja or my Jackfruit Ropa Vieja, I think you will find that these “old clothes” fit you perfectly. Enjoy!

Jackfruit Ropa Vieja

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GF

2-20 oz. cans of jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed

½ tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried thyme

2 Tbs. canola oil

½ cup sofrito 

8-10 stuffed pimento olives (alcaparrado or other green olives)

1 tsp. ground cumin

1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 Tbs. vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 cups water

2 bay leaves

4 medium stalks celery, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

2 bell peppers, diced, mix colors if possible

1 medium onion, diced

Kosher salt, to taste

1/2 cup frozen green peas

Fresh parsley for garnish

 

First, prepare the jackfruit. After rinsing them in water to get rid of the salty brine, dry the jackfruit pieces in a clean towel. Using a paring knife, cut the triangular core out of each piece of jackfruit. Slice the cores into small pieces. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the jackfruit and season with pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and thyme. Cook about 10-15 minutes until they are browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the sofrito, olives, and cumin to the pan. Let cook until fragrant. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and peppers to the pan. Allow them to cook about 10 minutes, or until they start to soften. Stir in the diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and water. Add the bay leaves. Let cook for about 4 minutes until the sauce begins to bubble.

Return the jackfruit to the pan and stir to coat them in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer on low heat about 20 minutes until the jackfruit are tender and have taken on the flavors of the sauce.

Remove the jackfruit again and shred with 2 forks or slice them as thinly as possible, if desired. Return them to the pan again. Season the ropa vieja with salt, to taste. Bring it to a simmer, about 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender and the jackfruit is heated through. Stir in the frozen peas and heat through. Remove the bay leaves. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with rice, quinoa, or plantains.

 

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The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.

 

Jackfruit Ropa Vieja
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Spanish
 
Ingredients
  • 2-20 oz. cans of jackfruit in brine, drained and rinsed
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • ½ cup sofrito
  • 8-10 stuffed pimento olives (alcaparrado or other green olives)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs. vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 medium stalks celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced, mix colors if possible
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • ½ cup frozen green peas
  • Fresh parsley for garnish
Instructions
  1. First, prepare the jackfruit. After rinsing them in water to get rid of the salty brine, dry the jackfruit pieces in a clean towel. Using a paring knife, cut the triangular core out of each piece of jackfruit. Slice the cores into small pieces. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the jackfruit and season with pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and thyme. Cook about 10-15 minutes until they are browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the sofrito, olives, and cumin to the pan. Let cook until fragrant. Add the onion, celery, carrots, and peppers to the pan. Allow them to cook about 10 minutes, or until they start to soften. Stir in the diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and water. Add the bay leaves. Let cook for about 4 minutes until the sauce begins to bubble.
  3. Return the jackfruit to the pan and stir to coat them in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer on low heat about 20 minutes until the jackfruit are tender and have taken on the flavors of the sauce.
  4. Remove the jackfruit again and shred with 2 forks or slice them as thinly as possible, if desired. Return them to the pan again. Season the ropa vieja with salt, to taste. Bring it to a simmer, about 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender and the jackfruit is heated through. Stir in the frozen peas and heat through. Remove the bay leaves. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with rice, quinoa, or plantains.

 

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6 Responses to Jackfruit Ropa Vieja

  1. Tomer September 25, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    Can you get the Jackfruit in Israel?

  2. Lydia Claire August 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    Our local Asian market only had canned jackfruit in syrup so we purchased frozen jackfruit. It doesn’t say on the package if it is old or young jackfruit. Do you know if we can use the frozen jackfruit in place of the canned jackfruit in brine? Thanks!

    • Rhea August 12, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

      Hi Lydia, I looked up your question and found that yes, you can use frozen jackfruit. It comes in ripe or green and you should choose the green type for savory dishes. Hope it works out. xoxo

  3. thepeacepatch August 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    It looks crazydelicious and so appealing on this gloomychilly day…thanks for sharing both recipes! Cheers! 🙂

    • Rhea August 12, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

      Thank you. Cheers and kisses. xoxo

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Jamaican (Ital) Curried Jackfruit with Chickpeas | The "V" Word - January 2, 2015

    […] Here on the blog, I’ve shared my recipes for my Jackfruit Philly Cheesesteak and my Jackfruit Ropa Vieja. […]


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