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Have you still got a taste for meat? No? Fantastic! But I bet you’ve still got friends and family that do. And as vegans we all know when cooking it can be a nightmare trying to please everybody. That’s why jackfruit has been making waves in the vegan scene for the last few years. This ancient exotic fruit resembles the texture of meat more than anything else on the market.
What Is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit, also known as Artocarpus Heterophyllus, is a fruit from the Jack Tree that grows in tropical climates. A native to Southeast Asia, it looks like a normal fruit, with a thick skin and is filled with stringy pods. The special thing about jackfruit though is the texture. It has a chewy meaty consistency that makes it perfect for savoury dishes. Often used as a plant-based alternative to chicken or pulled pork, it’s a versatile ingredient that deserves a place in any vegan's cupboard.
How Do You Prepare Jackfruit?
So if you happen to buy jackfruit that is whole and fresh then get stuck in! Be warned though, it can get messy. All you need to do is cut it in half, and remove the seeds and the pods with your hands. You can eat the pods of jackfruit raw, or you can cook them. There are many different ways to cook them, so it will completely depend on the dish you make, but a very common way is to fry them and then add them to your dish.
The most common way of getting vegan jackfruit in the west (and of course via PlantX) is when it’s already prepared. This will save you a bit of leg work and it will also stay fresh for longer. If you buy jackfruit in a can all you need to do is give it a good rinse first then chop or tear it (the easiest way is with two forks!).
The other way jackfruit is commonly found in supermarkets is where it’s already shredded (this makes it perfect for tacos or sandwiches) and you can either cook it how you see fit or eat it straight away. Making jackfruit meat substitutes is easy and tastes amazing!
How Do I Use Jackfruit?
When you buy jackfruit there are so many different ways to use it! If you want to use it as a meat substitute, choose unripe jackfruit. You can add it to sandwiches, omelettes, stir-fries, tacos or burritos. It also worked perfectly in stews, curries and soups because it soaks up the flavour. The most common way to use it though is to make pulled jackfruit and use it for a burger or taco filling. You can even add spices and season beforehand for that extra flavour.
How To Cook Vegan Pulled Jackfruit
Yes, we thought we’d give you a little handy guide so you can see how easy it is to make vegan pulled jackfruit. This is by far the most popular way to cook this food and make an amazing jackfruit meat substitute. Once you’ve got yourself a tin of jackfruit, all you need to do is follow these quick simple steps, and trust us, you will never want anything else!
- Prepare the jackfruit - All you need to do is drain it into a bowl, then use two forks to shred it into it resembles either shredded chicken or pulled pork. Whatever your imagination wants to call it is fine!
- Add the flavour - Start frying the shredded jackfruit in a pan, then add a sauce. You can use BBQ, or sweet and sour, or anything really. Try to make the consistency thin enough that the jackfruit can really simmer in it so it soaks up the flavour.
- Crispy? - If you want a little bit of extra crispy and smoky flavour, add it to a baking tray and whack it in the oven on high heat for 20 minutes.
As you can see, jackfruit really isn’t complicated to cook. It’s a perfect healthier alternative to normal meat and it’s better for the planet as well. And that’s what being vegan is all about!
Top Jackfruit Brands To Try
This is a ready to eat jackfruit with a lovely smoky barbecue flavour. It’s a great source of fibre and super delicious with coleslaw, pickles and a brioche bun.
This pulled jackfruit is perfect for anyone missing beef. It has an romantic authentic flavour and goes perfectly in your burger or tacos.
This organic jackfruit is perfect for anyone who wants to have creative freedom in the kitchen. Add your favourite marinade and spices and use it just as you wish!
This organic jackfruit is ready to eat and has a perfectly balanced sweet and smoky flavour. Add it to noodles, tacos or salads for a flavourful meal full of fibre.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is jackfruit healthy?
Vegan Jackfruit is revered for having a lot of fibre and very little fat. It’s also packed full of vitamins and rich in minerals. When you buy jackfruit a 100g portion contains only 95 calories and 3 grams of fibre. It’s also better for the planet and the animals. That’s a win, win and another win in our book.
How do I use unripe jackfruit?
In terms of types of jackfruit meat substitutes, the general rule of thumb is to use unripe jackfruit. That’s how you get the meaty consistency. So any dish that asks for ground meat pulled or shredded - then unripe jackfruit is the way to go.
How do I use ripe jackfruit?
If you have ripe vegan jackfruit, then you can eat it like you would a normal fruit. We couldn’t recommend using it as a jackfruit meat substitute though, the consistency and texture won’t be right. It’ll be great though for a smoothie or vegan yoghurt.
What flavour has jackfruit? Is it sweet or sour?
RIpe jackfruit has a sweet taste, it can be described as a mix between apple and banana flavour. Unripe jackfruit is more neutral and can easily be flavoured to your liking, whether that is spicy, smoky, sweet or sour!