What You Need to Know About Cooking With Jackfruit
Canned jackfruit can be used in many recipes as a plant-based meat substitute. From tacos to stews, it is easy to prepare and tastes delicious!
To get that grilled BBQ flavour, roast shredded marinated jackfruit in a pan with smoky bbq sauce. Serve it with a bun and tangy coleslaw!
As a vegan alternative to meat, it’s not surprising that many people have questions about cooking with jackfruit. The fruit is incredibly versatile, and when prepared correctly can mimic the texture of pulled pork or beef stew. But before you fire up your stove, here are a few things to know about the nutrient-dense plant.
The first step is to pick out your jackfruit. Look for one that’s bright yellow and has spiky skin that’s easily peelable, revealing a soft interior. It should also smell sweet, with a hint of sweetness similar to pineapple or mango. Avoid jackfruit that smells musty or pungent, as it’s most likely overripe and unpalatable.
Once you’ve picked out your jackfruit, it’s time to prepare it for cooking. Begin by removing the tough core from each piece. You’ll want to wear gloves or at least oil your knife, as the inside of a jackfruit is sticky with latex, which can be irritating. You can cut the fruit into large chunks if you prefer, and then boil the pieces until tender. This usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how large the pieces are.
After boiling, the jackfruit will be soft and will naturally shred, much like pulled pork. This can be eaten straight out of the pot, or it can be used in other recipes, such as adding a shredded jackfruit salad to a bowl of mixed greens and fresh vegetables, or putting it in a bun with slaw for a vegan spin on a pulled pork sandwich.
For a heartier meal, stir rinsed jackfruit into a stew with root veggies and herbs for a warming dish. Or, you can make a vegetarian version of American salami by adding seasoned, cooked jackfruit to a blend of beans and other ingredients, such as onions, garlic, breadcrumbs, and chilli peppers. You can even use jackfruit to make a mock ham by combining it with smoked spices, chilli peppers, and onions, and pressing it into a panini.
While jackfruit may look like something from a sci-fi film, the unique tropical fruit has been harvested and prepared in savory dishes for centuries, both raw and cooked. It is an intriguing and versatile plant, related to figs, breadfruit, and mulberries. Its spiky skin holds yellow stringy flesh divided into pods, similar to a pineapple or pomegranate. When ripe and cooked right, it can have the texture of pulled pork. The secret to a successful jackfruit dish is in the cooking technique and the seasonings.
Cooked, young jackfruit can be used to make vegan tacos, hearty curries, or even vegan “tuna” sandwiches. It is an excellent meat substitute that is filling, healthy, and versatile. Its high fiber content makes it satisfying and nutritious, while its low calorie count means that it can be part of a balanced diet without adding too many extra calories.
Young jackfruit is available canned at most grocery stores, especially as plant-based diets become more popular. The best option is to choose one that has been labelled as being organic, non-GMO, and free from added sugars. The cans typically contain 400-500g of jackfruit, which will be enough for a couple of meals, depending on the recipe.
When using canned jackfruit, it is important to drain and rinse the fruit (to remove any excess liquid) before cooking. This can be done by pouring the contents of the can into a colander or strainer. Then, simply rinse the fruit under cool water to remove the excess juice.
Ripe jackfruit is a little difficult to handle and can have a sticky sap that is not good for cooking. However, when cooked properly it can have a similar texture to pulled pork and be just as delicious. The key is to cook it in a sauce that is seasoned well, and to add the right ingredients.
A popular method for cooking jackfruit is to boil it in a tomato sauce. Then, the fruit can be pulled apart with a fork or your hands and used as a substitute for pork in dishes such as pulled jackfruit tacos, chili, or casseroles.
A bizarre tropical fruit is making a big splash in the vegan and vegetarian cooking world: jackfruit. It’s an all-in-one meat replacer that’s incredibly versatile, inexpensive and nutrient dense. It’s gaining in popularity as a protein alternative for those avoiding or reducing their animal product consumption, but it’s also a popular ingredient in sweet desserts, too.
Young green jackfruit (as seen in the can below) doesn’t have much flavour of its own so it relies on whatever seasonings and cooking methods you use. This makes it super easy to adapt to your favourite dishes, like tacos or carnitas.
When cooked correctly, jackfruit can be seasoned to taste just like pulled pork or chicken and even has that stringy texture you’d expect from meat. It’s also great in curry, stews and casseroles.
To prepare jackfruit for cooking, drain and rinse it if needed. Then, either with your hands, a knife or a potato masher, shred it into silky strains. This is easiest if the jackfruit is boiled first. This not only helps the shredded pieces to stay moist, but it also infuses the jackfruit with the cooking sauce for deep flavour.
This process can be a bit tricky as the skin is covered with sticky latex, so it’s best to lay down a plastic sheet and wear gloves. Next, oil your knife – or, as a safer option, a sharp pairing knife. Lightly oil your hand as well, and don’t forget to protect it with a pair of gloves. Once the jackfruit is shredded, set aside any tough core or seeds – these can be roasted later to make a snack.
If you’re using canned jackfruit, start by rinsing it in cold water or a few times in hot water. Then, drain and rinse again if necessary. You can buy unripe jackfruit in the canned food aisle, or look for it at Asian markets and online retailers. Look for a can with a variety of colours and sizes; it may not always be obvious which ones are the most ripe and tender. Unripe jackfruit needs to be cooked to help it soften and absorb flavour, which is why most recipes will have you simmer it in the desired dish to help with this.
If you are cooking with jackfruit, it is important to know how to store the fruit properly. This will help prevent spoilage and preserve the fruit so that it can be used in recipes for a long time. When storing jackfruit, it should be kept in a cool and dry place. It should be kept away from heat and sunlight, as these can speed up the ripening process.
When preparing jackfruit for cooking, it is often boiled. This is a great way to tenderise the jackfruit and add flavour. It also helps to remove some of the spongy texture that can be associated with unripe jackfruit. The boiling process can take around 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on the recipe you are using it for. Once the jackfruit is cooked, it will naturally start to shred. This makes it ideal for BBQ jackfruit recipes, as it can be used as a meat alternative to create delicious, plant-based barbecued food.
The jackfruit chunks that come in cans are pre-chopped, which saves time and hassle. These can be drained of any brine before use. They will then be ready to be added to a recipe. They can be added to many types of dishes, from salads and curries to tacos and casseroles. It can be seasoned in a variety of ways, to suit any meal plan or taste preference.
You can find canned jackfruit in the produce and canned fruit aisles, as well as in the Asian and international sections of most grocery stores. It is also available online. If you are planning on making a lot of recipes that call for jackfruit, it is worth investing in a large can. This will give you plenty of jackfruit to work with, and reduce the amount of food waste you have to throw out.
Jackfruit is a versatile and tasty vegetable, with an interesting texture that can be used in lots of different recipes. It can be used to make vegan tacos, hearty casseroles and even spit-roasted “tuna” sandwiches! The possibilities are endless, and the best part is that it is a cheap and sustainable option that can be easily found in most supermarkets.