These look just like the real thing, even when you bite into them, with their crunchy outer skins, stringy insides and cauliflower bones!
Spice mix batter:
- 3/4 cup plain white flour
- 3/4 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp celery salt
- 1/4 tsp sage
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- Pinch of dried oregano
- Pinch of turmeric
- 1 can’s worth of aquafaba (the liquid drained from a can of chickpeas)
- 1/2 tsp kala namak (Indian black salt, can be substituted for regular salt)
- 1 tsp MSG/umami flavouring (optional)
- 2 cans young green jackfruit (565g cans before draining, 280g cans after draining)
- 1 medium cauliflower, washed and dried
- 1 + 1/2 cups of chicken style stock
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast (aka. nooch)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 10 drops of liquid smoke
- 500-750ml / 17-25 fl oz vegetable (canola) oil for frying
- Open the two cans of jackfruit and discard the liquid, rinse the pieces in a colander. Each piece will be triangular shaped, with a harder core – cut off this core before squeezing the jackfruit so that any seeds pop out, all of the brine is squeezed out and it spreads out to become stringier.
- Place the jackfruit in a pot with the chicken style stock, nutritional yeast, onion powder and liquid smoke. Bring the stock to a boil whilst stirring and then cook on medium for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed by the jackfruit. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Take your cauliflower and cut off all leaves as close to the stem as you can, whilst making sure to not cut off any of the stem. Cut the whole cauliflower into quarters, slicing from the stem to the florets of the cauliflower – you want to keep the stem attached to the florets as this is what will make your ‘bone’ and also hold onto the flesh of the jackfruit. Cut off the majority of the florets of each cauliflower quarter, so that you get the basic shape of a drumstick. See images for a guide as to how this should look before moving on to the next step.
- Place a piece of clingwrap on your bench, followed by one of your cauliflower ‘bones’, and a quarter of the jackfruit mixture spread around the floret part of the cauliflower. Wrap the clingwrap around the jackfruit flesh, leaving the stem of the cauliflower exposed, and twist the clingwrap until it wraps around the flesh tightly. Use this opportunity to mould the fleshy part of your drumstick, mushing it around until you achieve the desired shape. Repeat for each cauliflower bone, then place all of the drumsticks in your freezer for at least an hour to firm up.
- Mix all spice mix ingredients except for the aquafaba in a large bowl, and pour the aquafaba into a separate bowl – also set up a plate of paper towels to transfer the drumsticks to once fried.
- Once the drumsticks have firmed up a little, take them out of the freezer and unwrap the clingwrap – and this is where it gets tricky. Once aquafaba hits the jackfruit flesh it will want to fall apart, so be sure to work quickly from this point. Dip both of your hands into the aquafaba and coat the whole drumstick before dipping it into the flour mixture and compressing the flesh onto the cauliflower as much as possible. Once you’ve coated the drumstick in the flour mixture, it will sit on the ‘bone’ much easier and you can use this opportunity to reshape the flesh on the bone so that it looks just right. Dip your hands back into the aquafaba, coat the drumstick once more and cover it in another layer of the flour mixture. Repeat for each drumstick.
- Pour the canola oil into a deep pan, and heat until bubbling. Cook the drumsticks in batches of two, constantly turning until they become a nice brown colour on all sides. Use tongs to turn, and make sure you grip the drumsticks by the fleshy part as you turn them so they maintain their shape. After 3 – 5 minutes, remove from the pot and place on the paper towels – serve immediately with your choice of dipping sauces!
I’m into indulgent food that looks and tastes like it shouldn’t be vegan, just to prove we can. See all recipes by Zacchary