Jackfruit has been growing in popularity over the last few years and this increased interest and demand shows no signs of stopping. A survey by Yougov revealed that over a fifth of meateaters also regularly enjoy meat substitutes.
The largest tree borne fruit in the world and a member of the fig family, jackfruit is native to India. Very large and with a knobbly green exterior, jackfruit has a yellow flesh that unlike other fruits, has a stringy, slightly chewy texture. It owes its popularity to this unique composition, which makes it an ideal substitute for pulled pork or chicken.
As the fruit ripens it gets sweeter and more yellow. It is the unripe, or green jackfruit that is best for savoury dishes, whilst the more mature fruit can be used for desserts. Using canned jackfruit takes away the hassle of preparing the fruit; it’s not easy and they can be quite large!
As a plant-based meat alternative, we’ve seen jackfruit served most commonly in sandwiches and wraps and on pizzas. Green jackfruit is mildly flavoured and subtly sweet making it perfect to stir into full flavoured sauces. Being stored in brine adds a light salty taste to the fruit too.
We’ve been cooking up jackfruit with punchy barbecue sauce and adding it to loaded sweet potato fries. We’ve also tried slowly cooking jackfruit with a smoky, spicy chipotle sauce and using it for grilled cheese sandwiches; one was particularly good with vegan cheese. We also tried mixing jackfruit with Middle Eastern spices, lemon and garlic, leaving it to marinate and then roasting it to serve up shawarma style on a pitta bread.
Jackfruit can be used in numerous different dishes, we’ve also seen recipes for vegan nuggets, jerk jackfruit bowls and a spicy jackfruit biryani.
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