Tag: plant based

Broccoli Tofu Patties

Broccoli Tofu Patties

Broccoli is polarizing. I know fully-fledged adults who will only touch it if it’s buried under a blanket of melted cheese, or raw and dunked in a vat of ranch dressing. And I get it. Broccoli is often overcooked, mushy, and bland. And a lot read more



I just recently returned from a family trip to Hungary, where the food was heavy on rich meaty dishes, but light on veggies. I found myself craving one of my meatless meals where I make an array of plant based dishes so there’s a variety read more

Jackfruit Bowls

Jackfruit Bowls

What shreds like pork, absorbs flavor like tofu, and packs more nutrients per serving than both? Jackfruit! Jackfruit is an incredibly versatile tropical fruit that is grown throughout Southeast Asia. When ripe, it gets sweet, sticky, and yellow-orange and is used in a variety of sweets. For those of us growing up in the eighties, I would liken it to a stick of juicy fruit gum. Unripe, or green,  jackfruit is most often used in savory dishes. I find the flavor is most similar in taste and texture to artichokes or hearts of palm. The fruit can grow up to 50 pounds, and can be quite a mission to prep.

Luckily for us, it’s pretty easy these days to find green jackfruit in convenient cans, all prepped and ready to go. Maybe you’ve seen these cans at Whole Foods or Trader Joes but weren’t sure what to do with it. Let these Jackfruit Bowls be your introduction to this nutritional powerhouse. And don’t be scared by the lengthy list of steps; the components can all be made ahead of time. Whip up the sauce, pickle the veggies, and cook the jackfruit over the weekend, and then you have a meal ready to go in minutes during the week. (Calling all meal preppers!)

jackfruit bowls ingredients

Make the Jackfruit Bowl Components

I love making grain bowls because it’s a chance to load them up with all kind of flavors and textures for an exciting meal. These pickled veggies add a nice tang. And you can make them a couple days before you make the jackfruit bowls. Just let them sit in the fridge, marinating away. They will still have a nice crisp crunch.

salt jackfruit bowl

Let it sit for 15 minutes, and drain it, squeezing to get out all the liquid. Then add the seasoned rice vinegar, sesame oil, and minced garlic.

Jackfruit Bowl Sauce

jackfruit bowls sauce

This sauce is a thick, well balanced blend of flavors. A little Sambal Olek chili sauce for heat, hoisin for umami depth, a blend of red and  rice vinegar for a mild tanginess…some ketchup, Worcestershire sugar, and garlic round out this Asian take on a BBQ sauce. Just mix everything up and keep refrigerated until you’re ready to make the jackfruit bowls.


Cook the Jackfruit

I start by draining the brine from the jackfruit. Then I simmer it in a pot of water until tender, about 5 minutes. Check with a fork and make sure you can easily pierce the jackfruit. Depending on the brand you are using, you may need to simmer the jackfruit a little longer to get it fork tender. Then I drain it and set it aside while I sauté the aromatics.

What you end up with looks very much like shredded pork. Many years ago, before green jackfruit was even a thing, we were asked to use it to make some appetizers for a wedding. We ended up using it as a filling for Chinese style steamed buns, but a couple of the wedding guests were imagining the jackfruit as a filling inside of soft rolls, like a shredded BBQ pork sandwich. That too would be fantastic!  If you are making this ahead, keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Assemble Jackfruit Bowls

Depending on my mood, I will make this with rice as the base, or quinoa, just follow the package directions. Cauliflower rice is a great option too, if you want to add even more veggies to your bowl.

I also like to add cucumber and avocado, for color and texture, and then garnish with chopped herbs and scallions.  Line up all your toppings to make assembling the bowls a breeze.

I let everyone add their own sauce at the table. Any left over is wonderful with a simple grilled chicken or maybe scoop some into a soft roll and call it a day! I hope these Jackfruit Bowls become your gateway to all the deliciousness that jackfruit has to offer. Try them and let me know what you think. Rate and leave a comment on the recipe down below, and show off your bowls by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!

Love the bowls vibe? Check out the Soboro Beef, Salmon Poké, and Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Bowls.



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recipe card jackfruit bowl

Jackfruit Bowls

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: bowls
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian



Jackfruit mixture:

  • 1 can young green jackfruit
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • ½ large yellow onion, diced


Pickled vegetables:

  • ¼ head green cabbage
  • 1 small carrot
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Sauce to serve on the side:

  • ¼ cup hoisin
  • ½ Tablespoon sambal olek (or any garlic chili sauce)
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (use coconut aminos if vegetarian)
  • 2 Tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic

To serve:

  • 6 cups cooked rice, quinoa, mixed grains or cauliflower rice
  • 1 avocado, diced 
  • european cucumber, sliced thin
  • Chopped cilantro
  • 1 stalk of scallion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons crispy shallots (optional, purchase at an Asian market)


Make the pickled vegetables: 

  1. Peel and then cut the carrot into three logs. Slice the carrot very thin, stack the slices, and then cut across the slices to yield thin matchsticks (julienne). Put the carrots into a large bowl.
  2. Peel off any discolored or tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Shred the cabbage as you would for coleslaw, very thinly with a knife or with a food processor. Then put it into the bowl with the carrots and toss with the salt. Let the cabbage mixture sit for 15 mins., tossing occasionally.
  3. Drain the cabbage in a colander, squeezing the cabbage tightly to remove excess liquid. 
  4. Place the cabbage back in the bowl and add the seasoned rice vinegar, garlic, and sesame oil. Stir to combine. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. The cabbage will keep for several days.

Make the sauce:

  1. Combine the hoisin, sambal olek, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, ketchup, and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Set aside or refrigerate until jackfruit bowls are ready to serve.

Make the jackfruit:

  • Open the can of jackfruit and drain the brine. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil on high heat. Add the jackfruit, lower the heat to medium high, and simmer for 5-7 minutes. It should be easy to pierce with a fork when done. (Continue to simmer for a couple more minutes if needed.) Drain the jackfruit and set it aside.
  • Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and the chopped onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions have softened and are starting to lightly brown. Add the garlic and ginger and stir to combine. 
  • Next add the jackfruit and break it up with a masher or a fork. Add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, salt, and sugar. Stir to combine. Bring the contents to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and remove from the stove.
  • Cool the jack fruit and refrigerate if not using right away. The jackfruit can be kept refrigerated for 3 days. 

Assemble the bowls:

  1. When ready to serve, divide the rice, grains, or cauliflower rice into 4 large bowls.
  2. Top evenly with jackfruit, avocado, cucumbers, and pickled cabbage. 
  3. Garnish with some chopped scallion, cilantro, and fried shallots. Serve jackfruit bowls with the sauce on the side. 

Keywords: meal prep, jackfruit, avocado, pickled vegetables, vegan, plant based, grain bowl, rice

Kinpira Renkon

Kinpira Renkon

Need to get out of a side dish rut? I’ve got you. This Japanese style stir fried lotus root dish, known as Kinpira Renkon, will help you shake things up. It’s a quick and simple veggie side that delivers phenomenal flavor, and complements just about read more

Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels Sprouts Salad

This Brussels Sprouts Salad is a surprise star on our menu. While everyone likes brussels sprouts that have been fried with bacon and showered with cheese, people rarely seem to clamor to eat them raw. But finely shredded in a creamy dressing, they are a read more

Shanghai Bok Choy

Shanghai Bok Choy

As Lunar New Year continues, we are celebrating with a new spin on a classic dish. This Shanghai Bok Choy dish is an oldie but a goodie. Tender baby bok choy is cooked with earthy shiitake mushrooms in an umami packed sauce. The final dish is so beautifully plated it gets everyone excited to eat their veggies.

Traditionally, this recipe is made with dried shiitake mushrooms. But my husband really dislikes dried shiitakes and will usually eat around them when they are in a dish. He finds them funky (not in a good way!) and musty. In order to avoid having to eat all of the mushrooms myself, and leaving him with a somewhat boring plate of plain bak choy, I decided to use fresh mushrooms instead. In addition, the baby Shanghai Bok Choy caught my eye at the store so of course, I bought them. And these cute little guys cook up fast!

In my humble opinion, you can never have too many quick vegetable sides in your repertoire. They are a great way to add variety, color, and health on the table. This speedy Shanghai Bok Choy recipe is on the table in 20 minutes, so let’s get into it!

Shanghai Bok Choy

The Shanghai variety of bok choy is more mild than regular bok choy, which is the dark green and white veggie that you’ve probably all seen before. The leaves of Shanghai Bok Choy are smooth and oval shaped and it’s a more compact size. Both can be used interchangeably. Shanghai Bok Choy comes in a couple of different sizes, as you can see below, but seek out the little baby ones so you can make this adorable presentation. Added bonus? The baby ones cook super fast so you can leave them whole.

If you’re using regular sized Shanghai Bok Choy, cut them in half lengthwise before continuing with the recipe.

It Starts with Sauce


How do you get the vegetable resistant people in your life to try something new? Prepare it with an addictive sauce. This is simple to make, but the flavor is anything but. Shaoxing wine adds a complex tang, oyster sauce brings richness and thickens it up (look for vegetarian versions if you want this to be vegan), and soy sauce adds deep umami flavor. I use stock for some liquid-you can use either chicken or veggie stock. A little sugar, toasted sesame oil, and a dash of white pepper rounds it out. You can sub black pepper, but white pepper has more of an earthy funk that I love here. Everything gets a quick whisk, and then set it aside.

Prep the Veggies

Now that the sauce is ready, it’s time to clean the Shanghai bok choy. Like leeks, they can have a lot of hidden dirt and grit, so a thorough washing is essential. I soak them in a bowl of water for a couple minutes and then swish them around with my hands to make sure any dirt falls out. Do this a couple of times to be safe. Nothing is worse than biting into gritty vegetables-been there.


When you go shopping for shiitakes, you will notice several different kinds. The best are the ones that look like turtles. They have a crackly cap and a deep dark color. The best quality dried mushrooms come from these “turtle” shiitakes. The next best type are the ones I’m using today. They have thick juicy caps and have a nice flavor. Part of the joy of eating shiitakes is the “toothsomeness” which is very important, so I avoid the thin flimsy shiitakes that cook out a ton of water and shrink to nothing.

For the preparation, I just remove the tough stem. Unless they are huge, I like to leave them whole.

The slurry will make a nicely thickened sauce. Taste it and adjust for seasoning, and then pile the saucy mushrooms into the center of the Shanghai bok choy.

Don’t save this dish for the new year. Shanghai Bok Choy is a perfect side for:

Or make it a Meatless Monday meal and pair with any of these:

However you enjoy this Shanghai Bok Choy, we want to hear about it! Rate and comment on the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!


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Shanghai Bok Choy

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: side
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • 1 pound baby shanghai bok choy 
  • 8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms (about 910 mushrooms)
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon water


  • 2 Tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • A dash ground white pepper
  • ¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock


  1. Combine the shaoxing wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and white pepper.
  2. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Trim the base of the shanghai bok choy if dry or dirty.
  4. Soak the bok choy in a large bowl of water in the sink for a minute. Then, using your hands, stir the vegetables to release any dirt or sand. Repeat this process a couple of times or as necessary, until the water is clean and there is no sand or dirt at the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Trim the shiitake stems and discard. Set the mushrooms aside.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat for several minutes. Add 1 Tablespoon of oil, 1 Tablespoon sesame oil, and half of the minced garlic.
  7. Stir for a couple of seconds and then add the bok choy. Stir to combine. 
  8. Add ½ cup of chicken stock, ⅛ teaspoon of salt, and cover with a lid. Cook for 3 minutes, using chopsticks or tongs to flip them around several times to cook them evenly. 
  9. Arrange the bok choy attractively on a platter in a ring shape, leaving the center open for the mushrooms. Drain any remaining liquid from the bok choy in the pan and return it to the stove.
  10. Again heat the pan over medium high heat. Add 1Tablespoon neutral oil, the remaining minced garlic, and mushrooms. Stir fry for 10 seconds. 
  11. Stir in the sauce, lower heat to medium, cover with the lid, and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  12. Combine the water and cornstarch, making sure it’s completely smooth, and slowly pour it into the sauce while stirring constantly. Let the mushrooms cook for an additional minute and taste the sauce. Adjust the seasoning with salt or pepper as needed.
  13. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon. Add a little hot water if the sauce is too thick or more cornstarch slurry if the sauce is too thin. 
  14. Transfer the mushrooms and sauce to the center of your Shanghai bok choy ring, and serve  immediately.


*I used baby shanghai bok choy which is about ½ the size of regular shanghai bok choy. I like that I can use it whole. If you are using regular shanghai bok choy, trim the base and cut it in half lengthwise before using.

*If you are using boxed stock, taste the sauce before adding any additional salt. Some commercial stocks are very salty.

Keywords: bok choy, plant based, veggie sides, shiitakes