Apparently, I never got the memo regarding the whole jackfruit trend of 2017, despite the fact that I live in California—one of the leading states for this trend. And while I annoyingly am behind the season, as I am for most things, I decided to give it a try and share with you my findings regarding this strange fruit.
Along with my findings, I will say, this is a weirdly deceptive fruit. It does not taste like pulled pork or beef, but it does have the texture of meat. With proper seasoning it also tastes very similar and passes amazingly for a meat substitute, however, for true carnivores out there, it might not pass.
AND before we begin, a quick lesson on jackfruit.
#1: It originally comes from southeast Asia. #2: It smells really good. #3: If you buy it from the store, as in Whole Foods or an Asian supermarket, more often than not the fruit will be ripe. Ripeness depends on the color on the outside of the fruit. If it’s green its not ripe. That’s when you buy it as a meat substitute. #4: You can buy it from a can. On the outside of the can it will tell you if it’s ripe or not and whether you can use it as a meat substitute or not. #5: If you make the mistake of buying it ripe, it will be very sweet—very, very, sweet. #6: If you buy it whole, you will need to cut it with a strong knife that you brush in oil. Sometimes a white substance will secrete from the fruit, IT WILL STAIN EVERYTHING.
If all of those warnings didn’t detour you, then let’s begin.
Yields: 2-6 servings
2 8oz. cans of jackfruit
Hamburger buns of choice
Cole Slaw, for topping
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups of jackfruit, fresh or canned
2 tsp of kosher salt
2 tsp of freshly ground pepper
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of ground masala
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
2 tsp of liquid smoke
2 cups of vegetable stock
1/2 cup of vegan barbecue sauce
If you buy canned jackfruit. Drain jackfruit and rinse in cool water. Cut the inner rind of the jackfruit. It should be fairly noticeable and usually, when cut, the jackfruit will separate into slivers. It will look comparable to boiled chicken or white fish. Set aside.
If you buy a whole jackfruit. You will need to lay down some paper towels underneath the jackfruit as sometimes, it leaks a white substance that stains. Get a large knife and coat in olive oil. Slice the jackfruit longwise. The jackfruit will have smaller pods of fruit internally, pull them out and remove the inner seed. Continue the process until all of the jackfruits are pulled out and seeded and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Next, slice white onion, and coat a pan in 2 tbsp of olive oil. Cook white onions for 2-3 minutes. Then add minced garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes.
Next, add the jackfruit to the pan and stir in. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the following spices; salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, masala, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, liquid smoke. Mix in, until fully covered. This should have a strong aromatic smell and appear red in color. Once fully covered in spices, add 2 cups of vegetable broth. Let it simmer for 25 minutes. If you are pressed for time, mix in the vegetable stock and raise the heat to a low boil. Leave uncovered keeping an eye on it until almost all of the water has evaporated.
Use a flat baking sheet and line with aluminum foil. Pull the cooked jackfruit from the stove and spread out on the baking sheet evenly. Cook for 1 hour.