In the past I’ve travelled quite a bit in South East Asia, particularly in Malaysia and Singapore so I’ve came across this little giant some time in the past but didn’t really appreciate it at the time. Jackfruit is native to South East Asia, South America and parts of Southern India and the fruit itself is known to grow really big – Jackfruits can weigh up to 35 kg.
The outside of the fruit is green, knobbly and pretty tough – but once you break through the outer exterior you get to the good stuff inside. In its raw form it has a very distinct flavour – like a combination between a pineapple and a pear, and the texture is very stringy which is why so many vegans use it as a substitute for meat – when its prepared properly it takes on the texture of pulled pork.
It is possible to get fresh Jackfruit in this country at specialist Asian stores, but it’s more common to find canned Jackfruit – and actually I’ve found that its much easier to make better ‘pulled Jackfruit’ with canned rather than fresh Jackfruit. So, if you want to try making it for yourself, I’d recommend trying to find canned Jackfruit in Brine. Most of the hard work has already been done for you. Of course if you are the adventurous type you can try and make it yourself with fresh Jackfruit but I’ve found it to be easier, cleaner and faster with the canned goods. Just make sure that you buy Jackfruit in Brine, not syrup – otherwise you will end up with a way to sickly sweet pulled Jackfruit (not good). You actually want to get un-ripe or green Jackfruit and this is because to get that pulled apart texture you need to cook it for a bit.
I use this recipe for making pulled Jackfruit, its great if you are looking for something with a bit of meaty texture – but without the meat
1 can green, young jackfruit in water or brine
1 onion, diced finely
2 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of cumin
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ cup barbeque sauce
¼ cup vegetable stock
1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender and lightly browned.
2. Drain and rinse the jackfruit in a strainer. You will need to cut out the core of the Jackfruit (the triangular tip) from the flesh and discard the core.
3. Mix chilli powder, cumin, soy sauce, garlic, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar together in a bowl. Add in the jackfruit flesh and make sure that the Jackfruit is completely covered.
4. Add seasoned jackfruit to the sauce pan with the onions and garlic. Sauté for a further 5 minutes.
5. Mix the barbeque sauce and vegetable stock together. Pour into the sauce pan with the jackfruit. Simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until tender.
6. Remove the lid from the sauce pan and shred (or pull ) the jackfruit with a fork. Continue to simmer with the lid off for 5-10 minutes or until the barbeque sauce is reduced. You essentially want to reduce the dish until it the sauce is thick.
That’s it. This dish is very simple to make. I normally serve these in a wrap with spinach and tomato. Add some salsa or avocado if you have some.