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    I pine for brine. I’m a minister for vinegar. I love the salty, acidic nature of anything preserved, fermented or aged. I’ve had nearly every pickle plate in town, and the moo shu jackfruit at Monnik Beer Co. in Germantown is an inventive take on the flavors I crave.

    The Asian-inspired dish is basically a deconstructed, vegetarian version of the moo shu pork you’d find at your favorite Chinese take-out restaurant. It’s savory, with layers of texture and temperature. The bottom of the crock holds a cool carrot slaw, topped with a warm, salty mixture of jackfruit, sweet chili sauce and meaty wood ear mushrooms, then a fried egg and pea shoots. You can roll it all up into savoy cabbage leaves.

    Monnik’s chef, Meghan Levins, came up with the dish after tasking herself with finding a meat-free option that wasn’t a veggie patty. “I wanted to bring something interesting in and delicious — and different than a lot of the new alternatives that are trying really hard to be something they’re not,” she says. (Cauliflower hot “wings,” anyone?) That’s when she thought of the huge and knobby Asian jackfruit. Levins doesn’t mess with the fruit when it’s fresh and “super-starchy.” Instead, she uses brined jackfruit because the “texture calms down in the brine and is better for savory application.” That means salty, preserved goodness in every constructed bite. 

    This originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, click here. To find your very own copy of Louisville Magazine, click here. 

    Cover Photo: Moo Shu Jackfruit at Monnik // Katie Molck

     

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    About Katie Molck

    Loretta Lynn is the best country music singer of all time and if you don't like pickled foods, you can leave.

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