At the Worcester Vegfest there was a vendor promoting young jackfruit as a meat alternative. They weren’t even selling anything, they were simply putting the word out there! Well, Joel and I both taste-tested a bite of seasoned young jackfruit on a cracker and holy
cow jackfruit it was good! When I looked up recipes, I discovered that making it only took 2 ingredients and minimal steps.
Firstly – Why young jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a very large pod-like fruit. Very large as in.. sometimes they grow to 80lbs! Yah, large! When ripe they are sweet and juicy. When young, they are more fibrous and not sweet. Nutritionally, they are high in fiber and protein. They provide a lot of vitamins C, B, and A.
Secondly – Where to find it?
It shouldn’t be too hard. The young (green) jack fruit comes in a can. You’ll want to find the kind in brine or water. (not syrup)
You should see it at Whole Foods, or most ethnic markets. Personally, I ordered mine on Amazon. (My cans came all jacked up and dented. But, seem fine)
Now, onto the recipe!
Take your can of jackfruit. Open it. Drain it. Rinse the jackfruit a couple of times to remove a lot of the brine.
If you care to, you an press it to release more liquids, as you would tofu. But this is not necessary.
Dump the entire can into the crockpot (or pan, but I recommend crockpot for ease). Lightly cover all the jackfruit with your choice of BBQ sauce. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
When its tender and saucy, you’re good! Remove from the crockpot.
Take two forks and shred it as you would pulled chicken or pork.
Ta daaahhh! Looks like pork, no? Crazy!
My plan was to make a pulled jackfruit sandwich on rye bread with cole slaw.. but I honestly don’t love a big messy sandwich. So I grilled the bread and ate it open faced instead, with the coleslaw on the side and some fresh pineapple.
It was really delicious! I didn’t LOVE the BBQ sauce I used… it was some kind of spicy bone-suckin’ sauce and it was too hot for me. But, as for the jackfruit? … amazing! The texture is very similar to meat shreds, but its also similar to say, an artichoke heart. I don’t think you could absolutely fool someone into thinking this was meat, but its a really tasty and way more nutritious substitute, for sure!
It couldn’t be easier to make, and I can see it being quite versatile. I’m excited to see what else I can do with it!