This one’s been making the rounds of the vegan blogosphere and I bought a can a while back from a great local ethnic store hoping to give it a try myself, only to forget about it in the back of a cupboard.
I didn’t actually know what it was, so turned to Wikipedia…
In case you’re in the dark too here’s some info:
The jackfruit is a species of tree in the Artocarpus genus of the mulberry family. It is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia and also widely cultivated in tropical regions of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
It can be used both ripe and unripe:
- Ripe jackfruit is naturally sweet. It can be used to make a variety of dishes, including custards, cakes etc.
- Unripe fruit, or young green jackruit, like the kind I used, is typically prepared as a savoury dish, used in curries, salads etc. It has a mild flavour and distinctive meat-like texture which is often compared to chicken.
I didn’t give up animal products because I didn’t like the taste of meat so it’s pretty fun to find something with a meat-like texture which isn’t a processed product. My Mum, an omnivore, enjoyed this too.
I was in the mood for something a little spicy so chose to use it as a filling for fajitas (of sorts…) with Mexican spices, sweet potato fries and plenty of guacamole.
There are lots of recipes for this sort of thing online but if you’re interested in what I did, my recipe’s below.
Spicy Jackfruit Fajitas:
1 Onion, diced
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
2t Ground cumin
1/2t Mild chili powder
1/4t Smoked paprika
Dash of cinnamon + cayenne pepper
565g/ 20 oz can of Jackfruit in brine or water, drained
Squeeze of lime
1T Maple syrup
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add garlic, spices and salt and cook for another minute to toast the spices. Add jackfruit and break it up a little with a spatula. It will soften up as it cooks so don’t worry if it’s in large pieces at the beginning. Add tamari, maple syrup and squeeze of lime and continue to cook for approx 30 minutes until brown with some crispy edges, stirring every now and again to break up the jackfruit. It should look like shredded chicken!
Serve with your favourite Mexican side-dishes- guacamole, cashew sour cream, sweet potato fries, salsa, salad, tortilla wraps etc. (N.b. I made Angela’s Spelt Tortillas and rolled them a little thicker)
Other jackfruit recipes I like the look of are these Mu Shu Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps, these Jackfruit Crab Cakes and this Spicy Jackfruit Salad. I’d love to try jackfruit in a curry as well, maybe a Thai Green Curry to use my green curry paste!