I've never had an actual pulled pork sandwich. But I know that people really love pulled pork.
When I was in high school I worked at a local fast food place where we served pulled pork sandwiches, and people freaked out over them. I never got it, and honestly, I thought they seemed kind of gross.
It wasn't until I started playing around with vegetarian ingredients like jackfruit that it started to make sense.
A big sloppy sandwich that's loaded with barbecue sauce? I never doubted barbecue sauce's deliciousness, and when paired up with meatless ingredients that I really enjoy, the whole pulled barbecue whatever sandwich idea is pretty darn appealing.
Mushrooms are my latest favorite ingredient in this type of sandwich. It just occurred to me a few weeks ago when I made these mushroom tacos that thinly sliced mushrooms in some barbecue sauce would make an amazing vegetarian sandwich. So I gave it a try and it did not disappoint at all!
The key here is to slice the mushrooms super thin and then brown them in some oil before simmering them in barbecue sauce.
This gets them nice and tender and just kind of stringy, which is the texture we're looking for in a vegetarian spin on a pulled pork sandwich.
Next, a brief simmer in barbecue sauce gets the mushrooms even more tender and infuses them with zippy barbecue flavor.
Stuff the mixture into buns and pile on your favorite toppings. I went with some pickles and veggies, but vegan coleslaw would be amazing.
And if you love these sandwiches, don't miss the pulled jackfruit sandwiches and the pulled summer squash sandwiches too!
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 ¼ pounds cremini mushrooms cleaned and sliced very thin
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 burger buns or sandwich rolls
- Lettuce tomato, coleslaw, or toppings of choice
- In a small bowl, stir together the water, tomato paste, molasses, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and paprika. Set aside.
- Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms in an even layer. Cook for about 5 minutes, flip, and then cook 5 minutes more, until browned in spots. Add the onion and sauté with the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more, until very fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste mixture to the skillet and stir to coat the mushrooms. Bring the sauce to a simmer and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, until it thickens up a bit and the mushrooms are very tender. You can add a bit more water if the sauce gets too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stuff the mushroom mixture into buns and top with toppings of choice. Serve.
I love this recipe! I can only seem to find similar recipe ideas like this but with jackfruit, and i can't find jackfruit anywhere in the uk, mushroom is the perfect solution!
It's still pretty tough to find here too! I'm just starting to see it in some specialty supermarkets. I hope you enjoy this as an alternative. 🙂
Is there an option to use a slow cooker with this recipe?
I think you could probably get this to work in a slow cooker, but I haven't tried the recipe that way so I don't know what setting or cook time you'd want to use.
Can I use portebella mushrooms?
They should work if you chop them up very finely.
Did you use the mushroom stems, or just the caps? Also, I have one of those hard-boiled egg slicers that I use to slice mushrooms very quickly. Is that thin enough, or would I be better off to cut them by hand even thinner? Very excited to try this version, as I just tried one I found on the internet last week that used lentils and grated carrots and loved it! Thanks!
Katie Trant says
Hey Lori - you can definitely use the stems as well as the caps, just slice 'em super thin. I've never tried using an egg slicer for mushrooms, but that's a great tip! I think in this case you'll want them to be even thinner in order to get at texture that mimics pulled pork, although the taste would still be great if you used your egg slicer.
Finally made these tonight. Fabulous! The sauce thickened up perfectly. I did use the stems ans sliced thinly as suggested rather than using my hard-boiled egg slicer (glad I could give tou that time-saving tip!) I put the mixture on a ciabatta roll. I wish I would’ve toasted the roll slightly, and I think it would’ve been even better. Definitely saving this recipe to make again! Thank you for sharing your creativity!
Katie Trant says
Yay! So glad they turned out well, Lori!