Black Cooks: Vegetarian Barbecue


[Image Description: side by side photos of the cauliflower (left) and pulled ‘pork’ (right)] 

Article by Ellanora Lerner 

This is part of our Black Cooks Series. Make sure to read the intro if you haven’t already!

BBQ Cauliflower Wings by Jessica in the Kitchen (Vegan or Vegetarian)

While at college, I had the chance to try cauliflower wings for the first time. When I got home and started looking for vegetarian foods to cook, I knew I wanted to try them out. The Super Bowl, the championship game in American football, is not usually a big deal for my family. But it seemed like the right event for this dish so these became Super Bowl wings.

Cooking Process: When I first made the batter, it was very thick. I didn’t realize that was a problem until my cauliflower started falling apart. However, once I added a bit more milk the problem went away.

Alterations: She recommends either using a store-bought BBQ sauce or using her strawberry BBQ sauce recipe. I choose a third option and found a very simple barbeque recipe online (I think from the NYT)which was very easy to make.

Review: They were good! I would definitely recommend them, especially if you like BBQ sauce which, despite what the existence of this article may suggest, myself and my family don’t really like. I still might make it again but I would definitely give each piece a lighter coating of BBQ or maybe even try a different sauce.

[Image Descriptions: cooked cauliflower on a baking tray (right) and cooked cauliflower in a pile on a plate (left)]

Vegan BBQ Pulled ‘Pork’ by Fit Men Cook

I’ve always loved pulled pork and as I searched for recipes, I kept finding mentions of jackfruit pulled ‘pork’. Jackfruit comes from Southern Asia. As a ripe fruit it is sweet and used for desserts. In a can, which is how you can buy it in the US, it is mild, and tastes kind of like artichoke in my opinion. It is used mostly because of its texture which pulls apart in the way pork can.

Cooking Process: Overall, the recipe is simple and straightforward. However, I used a crockpot and something in the cooking process caused spices to get baked on to the sides of the pot. I’m not entirely sure if it has gotten fully clean yet. If you make this, I recommend stirring throughout to prevent this.

Alterations: I didn’t have liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, or coconut sugar. I google substitutions for all of them and was easily able to find ingredients that I had.

Review: This was not my favorite thing I’ve made but I think it’s worth a try. The first thing to note of course is the same problem of personal preference against BBQ sauce. I didn’t like when I get big chunks of jackfruit so I would definitely recommend thoroughly pulling the jackfruit after cooking. Finally, I recommend eating on a potato bun or something similar and adding a cold topping such as avocado or a salad/coleslaw.

[Image Description: cooked jackfruit in a crockpot (left), cooked and pulled jackfruit.]

In this series, we will be picking Black chefs to highlight, trying out their recipes, and showing you how it goes. As new articles go up, they will be linked on the intro article. Cook along and tag us in or send us your photos on Instagram! If you have a Black chef we should highlight, let us know and if you want to write your own article as part of the series, send us an email or DM. We can’t wait to cook with you!