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The Hot New Vegan Ingredient Is Jackfruit

Susan Feinger, BBQ Jackfruit Bao

Is jackfruit the new soy?

The starchy, fibrous fruit is popping up in vegetarian and vegan dishes, serving as the meat substitute du jour for some of the more creative chefs, restaurants—even food trucks.

We first spotted it in the BBQ jackfruit bao—substituting for what might otherwise have been pork—in L.A. at Susan Feniger's Street, which serves inventive spins on global street food.

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 "We like to use jackfruit in our vegan baos and tacos because it's not a processed fake meat," Feniger told us. "It's an all-natural plant ingredient that is not processed, and exists in natural world. When shredded and cooked, it takes on almost any flavor, so that it is a natural complement to the spices and flavors we use. We often have to convince meat eaters that it's not a meat, because they think it is!"

The Seabirds vegan food truck, seen on the Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race and an Ellen DeGeneres favorite, also offers the ingredient in globally inspired dishes like taquitos and shawarma—to insanely delicious effect.

We can't wait to see what other genius chefs pick this fruit for their cruelty-free, Ellen-approved dishes!

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