Sweet & spicy jackfruit rolls with Thai basil

These perfectly-formed, crispy, juicy rolls are absolutely mouth-watering. Most of us have heard of jackfruit being used for a vegan imitation of pulled-pork, however I think this umami, peking duck-inspired recipe trumps all that.

Jackfruit is incredibly simple to cook and tastes magical when combined with the right spices and a little bit of sweetness (in this recipe maple syrup).

This dish can be served as a main (if you just fancy pigging out on these amazing morsels) or as a vegan starter to a tofu pad thai or peanut tempeh skewers and rice for example. These can be eaten fresh or later, I like to heat them up gently so they're a little warm but not steaming. These rolls are great to serve at a small dinner party if you and your friends like to get hands on with food, as everyone can assemble their own and tuck in greedily.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a starter)

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1/2 small chilli, chopped finely

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 1 400g tin jackfruit (Biona is great)

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 2 tsp sweet chili sauce

  • 1/4 tsp ground chili

  • 1/8 tsp five-spice

  • 8 rice paper sheets

  • 1/2 bunch of chopped spring onions

  • 2 carrots, sliced very finely into 5cm strips

  • 40g roasted peanuts

  • fresh Thai basil for topping

  • sprinkle of sesame seeds (not essential)

  • extra soy sauce/siracha mayo for dipping


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium heat, sautée the garlic, chili and shallot for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

  2. Drain and rinse the jackfruit (as it's tinned in a salt mixture/brine), squeeze in kitchen foil (draw out of some of the liquid so it will be exra crispy later) then cut finely. Most recipes suggest discarding harder bits, but I don't like waste so simply ensure these bits are nice and thin.

  3. Add the jackfruit to the skillet and shred it by pressing with a spatula. Add the water, soy sauce, maple syrup, sweet chili sauce, ground chili, and five-spice, and stir to combine.

  4. Cook for about 15 minutes, until no water remains. the jackfruit has soaked up the sauce and it has started to caramelize, colour and become lovely and crispy.

  5. Transfer the jackfruit to a bowl or plate and let it cool for 20 minutes, or until it’s at room temperature.

  6. To assemble: very slightly wet a sheet of rice paper and place it on a cutting board. Add a spoonful of jackfruit, 2/3 carrot slices, couple of spring onion slices, a few torn leaves of Thai basil and some peanuts. Roll the rice paper tightly from the bottom to top, folding in the sides as you go. Transfer to a place and repeat with the remaining rice paper and filling. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and dip indulgently in basically whatever you like- yum!

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