A cousin to the fig, it’s much loved in the tropics and is now appearing in American vegetarian dishes as a delicious meat substitute.
Many “newly discovered” superfruits have been enjoyed elsewhere in the world for centuries before they became tasty trends in the United States. One such find: the jackfruit. A cousin to the fig, it’s much loved in the tropics and is now appearing in American vegetarian dishes as a delicious meat substitute. Jackfruit delivers protein, iron, potassium, and calcium, and it tastes like chicken when the prickly skin is still firm, or banana and pineapple when softer.
Jackfruit Cutting Tip
Choose fruit that is firm, not overripe. The fibers of the fruit are very sticky—wear disposable gloves to cut and separate the pegs. Approach the fruit as if it were a pineapple, removing the rind, core, and fibers. If substituting canned jackfruit, rinse away the brine and thoroughly dry before seasoning.
Try it in this recipe, which boasts a Caribbean curry flair:
- 5 cups (about 3 1/2 lbs) fresh jackfruit pegs
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tsp ground dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Jamaican curry powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 tsp ground allspice
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp Jamaican curry powder
- 1 diced medium onion
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 1 diced green and 1 diced red bell pepper
- 4 chopped red potatoes
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- Fresh Cilantro
- Cut fresh jackfruit pegs (the yellowish fruit that grows around the seed) into bite-sized pieces.
- In a bowl, toss jackfruit with cornstarch,ground dried thyme, salt, Jamaican curry powder,black pepper, and ground 1/2 tsp allspice.
- In a large frying pan on medium-high, heat 2 tbsp coconut oil. Add jackfruit in a single layer (you may have to cook it in batches). Cook until lightly brown on both sides, flipping once, 8–12 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
- In the same pan, heat 2 tbsp coconut oil on medium-high. Add Jamaican curry powder. Sauté onion until the edges begin to brown, 4 minutes. Add garlic cloves; cook 1 minute. Add diced green and 1 diced red bell pepper; cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- Add red potatoes, curry powder, 2 tsp dried thyme, and 1/2 tsp ground allspice. Simmer until potatoes are tender. Salt to taste. Stir in jackfruit to warm through. Top with fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve with rice or roti.