Jackfruit Char Siu & Vegan Manapua.

Happy Halloween! I’m home tonight and I thought I would take this opportunity to update this little blog.

Char siu is a Chinese BBQ pork, usually slow cooked in a sweet and slightly spicey sauce/glaze. I’ve never eaten the real thing, but I remember the red-glazed meat from Chinese restaurants growing up. The inspiration to create a vegan version of char siu comes from my desire to veganize as many Hawaiian staple dishes as possible. Somehow, making these foods here in Los Angeles reminds me of being there…among the apple bananas and sugarcane. I dream a little dream of some day being able to live there part of the time and the other half of the year here in good ol’ LA.

Homemade Veg Manapua w/ Jackfruit Char Siu.
Homemade Veg Manapua w/ Jackfruit Char Siu.

Jackfruit Char Siu


Two 20 oz cans young green jackfruit (in brine)

¼ c unbleached cane sugar

¼ c all natural, humane honey (farmer’s market or straight from the farm is BEST)

¼ c hoisin sauce

¼ c soy sauce

2 tsp Chinese five spice powder

2 tsp white pepper, ground

4 tbsp sesame oil

one head of garlic, cloves peeled and sliced


Open the jackfruit and drain it into a colander. Take each piece of jackfruit and squeeze as much brine out as possible, using your hands. Once the jackfruit is squeezed, go ahead and put it in a slow cooker, with the remaining ingredients. Slow cook your jackfruit on low for at least 4 or so hours, until the jackfruit has darkened and absorbed most of the liquid. You don’t want it to be totally dry, so check on it and give it a stir every now and then and a taste too, if you see fit. *This recipe for char siu will not have the traditional red coloring, as it contains no food coloring.

This recipe can be used to make Manapua (pictured above), Hawaiian version of bao stuffed with char siu or it can be used in other traditional dishes such as Dry Mein (Sam Sato inspired recipe coming soon).


2 Comments on “Jackfruit Char Siu & Vegan Manapua.

  1. The other day, I had a veggie bao at a chinese restaurant that was just a boring cabbage filling. A jackfruit char siu filling would have been way better, that looks so good! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: