Guide to jackfruit
Discover the versatile jackfruit and all the different ways you can eat it.
Discover the versatile jackfruit and all the different ways you can eat it
The versatile jackfruit is full of surprises. For starters, it’s the largest tropical tree fruit anywhere in the world, growing up to 55 kg in weight. Originating from the rainforests of Southeast Asia, jackfruit has been a staple ingredient for centuries, loved for its unique flavour and multitude of uses. Let’s explore all the reasons why it really is the jack of all fruits.
What is jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a giant tropical fruit that is typically around the size of a large watermelon. Inside its bumpy, green exterior you’ll find an abundance of juicy and fibrous, yellow flesh. With its sweet and subtle tangy flavour, jackfruit could be compared to a blend of pineapple, mango and banana. You can also buy unripened jackfruit in a can, which offers many different culinary uses from the ripened fruit.
What does jackfruit go with?
Jackfruit can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Fresh, ripened jackfruit is perfect on its own as a succulent snack, or as a fruity addition to desserts and smoothies. It adds sweetness to tropical salads and works wonders in fruit-based salsas. Fancy a sweet twist in your stir-fries or curries? Ripe jackfruit works brilliantly with coconut milk, ginger and aromatic spices.
For savoury dishes, use the unripened tinned version instead. With its tender, meaty texture and ability to absorb flavours, tinned jackfruit makes a terrific meat substitute for vegan and vegetarian dishes. Use it as a pulled pork or chicken substitute, marinated in smoky spices and served in buns with tangy coleslaw. Or simmer in a zesty sauce to create tangy tacos or curries.
How to prepare jackfruit
Begin by cutting the fruit in half with a sharp knife, separating the flesh from the seeds and the tough core. Remember to save the seeds as they make a tasty snack, whether boiled, baked or roasted. The flesh can be either shredded or chopped, depending on the recipe you’re preparing. Add extra flavour by marinating the jackfruit in your favourite spices or sauces, until it absorbs all of the aromas. Finally, simply saute, simmer or roast until the jackfruit is perfectly tender.
Where to buy jackfruit
Fresh jackfruit shouldn’t be too hard to find, but it can depend on your location. Canned unripened jackfruit can usually be found in well-stocked supermarkets, but frozen jackfruit is often available too, which offers more convenience, without compromising on flavour.
Three ways to eat jackfruit
Try a vegetarian take on the popular Taiwanese street food dish, Vegetarian Bao Buns with Pulled Jackfruit Filling. Shredded unripened jackfruit is stewed in a savoury hoisin sauce and wrapped inside fluffy steamed buns.
Jackfruit makes an excellent plant-based substitute for pulled pork too. Simply cook the shredded fruit with smoky barbecue sauce and spices to create a tasty vegan alternative to traditional pulled pork dishes.
Create brilliantly tasty tacos, with succulent shredded jackfruit, seasoned with spices and topped with all the trappings, including salsa, guacamole, creme fraiche and coriander.