We’re Greeks, so pita bread and gyros have always been one of our favorite foods. When we were eating meat, we used to buy pita gyros once or twice a month, usually on Fridays or weekends. We were impatient for that moment and the perfect combo for us was watching a film and eating pita gyros. We can still remember those moments from our youth!
When we started vegetarianism a few years later and then, veganism, we wanted to recreate these memories and flavors without harming any animals, of course.
In the beginning, we started experimenting with mushrooms and made delicious pita gyros with pleurotus mushrooms (those of you who follow us on Instagram, you may have already seen them in Instagram stories).
You can find it in our digital cookbook. 😉
Then, we tried jackfruit which was a great surprise for us!
What is jackfruit?
It is essentially a fruit from a tree that grows in India, Jamaica, South America, and elsewhere. The ripe jackfruit is sweet and can be eaten raw (of course there are also sweet canned jackfruit jars). What we use for the gyros and other cooked dishes, however, is the unripe, young jackfruit which when cooked, can taste and look like meat. Of course, it can never have 100% the taste of meat but we can give it a meaty flavor with spices and it can be an excellent meat substitute. It is very tasty when we marinate it, in soups (years ago we tried it in clam chowder and we loved it).
This fruit is also very nutritious as it contains protein, calcium, iron, and of course, no fat.
You can easily find it in organic or Asian stores.
We usually buy 2 glass jars of 500gr of organic jackfruit “Clearspring Organic Young Jackfruit Chunks”, but there are definitely other brands as well.
You can cook it in different ways. Just keep in mind that its mass is greatly reduced during baking.
For the gyros, we recommend marinating it for at least one day in the refrigerator to absorb the aromas and flavors of the spices and the olive oil.
If you do not have time or have forgotten (it happens to us all the time), you can cook it in the oven at low temperature for about 40 to 50 minutes at 100 degrees C, and then, increase the temperature to 200 C until the chunks become golden and crisp.
As for the spices, do not hesitate to play and put other than the ones we suggest.
Regarding the serving, we generally prefer seasonal fruits and vegetables. So when we know for sure that some products are out of season, such as tomatoes or cucumbers, we wait patiently to taste them during the summer.
In this case, we make other intriguing combinations and very interesting ideas emerge, such as the one with the jackfruit gyros with mayonnaise and kale (we’re deeply in love with kale 😍).
This idea came by chance when we only had those ingredients and this vegan pita gyros was really perfect!
It may seem very simple but the flavors fit perfectly and we did not feel that something was missing.
Tell us if you prepare them and how you liked them!
Find more recipes in our digital cookbook “Eat Like A Greek Vegan”!
Vegan jackfruit gyros with kale
For the jackfruit
- 520 gr (net weight) canned young jackfruit
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp curcuma
- ½ tsp salt
- 4-5 pita bread
- 1 red onion in slices
- sauce of your preference mayonnaise, mustard, even fava, etc (we like it very much with mayonnaise or fava)
- pan-fried kale
- Prepare the marinade by mixing all the spices, salt, and olive oil in a bowl.
- Drain and rinse the jackfruit in plenty of water and lay it in a pyrex.
- Break apart the jackfruit chunks with a fork and pour the marinade.
- Use your hands to get the marinade everywhere.
- Ideally, leave it in the fridge for a day to marinate well. If you are, however, in a hurry, place the jackfruits chunks in parchment paper in the oven at 100 degrees C for about 40-50 minutes.
- Then, increase the temperature to 200 degrees C and cook them for about 30 minutes until golden and crisp (the exact temperature and time depend on your oven).
- Serve in pita bread with sauce and kale that you have lightly fried in a little oil.