Jackfruit-the tastiest food trend you need to try right NOW!

By Jen Shragge

Being mostly vegan means I am always on the hunt for new and exciting foods. More importantly, foods that can be transformed into amazing vegan dishes. You may or may not have ever heard of Jackfruit but let me tell you, you need to make it as soon as possible. I first discovered it in a dish at a popular Vancouver Indian restaurant. It said it was a vegetarian dish so I thought, okay, I’ll give it a whirl. I took one bite and looked at my husband and said, “There is no way this is vegetarian! I think this is fish or something!” So of course, he tried it and as a seasoned meat eater, he was a bit suspect as well and suggested I consult with the server. To both our amazement, the dish was in fact, Jackfruit and was of course completely vegan.

Jackfruit-the tastiest food trend you need to try right NOW!

raw fruit jackfruit

Jackfruit-the tastiest food trend you need to try right NOW!

Fresh sweet Jackfruit segment ready to eat

Jackfruit-the tastiest food trend you need to try right NOW!Jackfruit-the tastiest food trend you need to try right NOW!

Jackfruit is grown mostly in Asia and in the wild it is quite a huge fruit with a multi-sectioned interior. There are arils much like a pomegranate and those are separated out and the flesh portion (versus the seed) is what is eaten. Don’t let the exterior smell fool you (and yes, it’s quite horrid) – the flesh, once cooked, is heaven. Here in North America, the easiest way to find Jackfruit is in a can. Many Asian supermarkets and even many health food stores now carry various brands. My personal preference when buying canned food is to find organic and BPA-free options such as Cha’s Organic brand.

So now you have your Jackfruit, but you’re not really sure what to do with it. My all-time favourite is to make pulled Jackfruit bbq sandwiches with a vegan slaw on a pretzel bun (recipe below). Another fantastic option is tacos or burritos. I would replace any shredded chicken or pork for Jackfruit if you already have a favourite recipe for that type of dish. Jackfruit is also perfect for the slow cooker as it does require a fair bit of cooking time. Who doesn’t love to set it and forget it?!

If you’re looking for a new meatless Monday recipe or if you need a great vegan option for a friend coming over for a bbq or taco Tuesday, Jackfruit is the foodie answer you have been looking for.

Jackfruit-the tastiest food trend you need to try right NOW!

jackfruit tacos

Jackfruit-the tastiest food trend you need to try right NOW!

Pulled BBQ Jackfruit

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Pulled Jackfruit BQQ Sandwiches

Ingredients:

*1 Can of Young Green Jackfruit in Brine or Water
*1/2 Tablespoon Oil (I like avocado for it’s high smoking point)
*½ an Onion, diced
*2-3 Cloves of Garlic (I like mine with all 3), minced
*¼ Cup Vegetable Broth or Water
*1/2 Cup BBQ Sauce (homemade or store bought)

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 400F (200C). Lightly grease a baking pan or line with a silicone liner.
2) Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Cut the jackfruit into smaller pieces.
3)Add the olive oil to a large frying pan or skillet (I like to use a cast iron) over medium-high heat, and when hot add the onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions are tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add in the chopped jackfruit and vegetable broth. Cover and continue to cook another 8 to 10 minutes, until the jackfruit is soft enough that it can be broken apart with two forks.
4)To finish the jackfruit spread in an even layer across the baking pan and then pop it in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with BBQ sauce and stir to combine. Place it back in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, until it looks done (but taste a little bit every now and then to find your perfect texture and consistency). Remove from the oven and add a bit more BBQ sauce if you want it a bit more saucy.

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Jen Shragge is a yoga instructor and all around eco-diva. She now lives back in her hometown of Toronto after ten years in the Vancouver area. Jen’s days are filled by her seven year old son and husband plus her toddler who was crazy enough to make her arrival on Christmas Day. In her spare time, (do moms really have spare time!?) Jen is a stylist for Peekaboo Beans, a play-focused quality children's clothing line.
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11 responses to “Jackfruit-the tastiest food trend you need to try right NOW!”

  1. Jonnie — July 9, 2017 @ 6:18 pm (#
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    This is so intriguing! I am having trouble imagining what it tastes like but I’ll be on the lookout to give it a try.

    Reply

  2. Elizabeth Matthiesen — July 9, 2017 @ 7:59 pm (#
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    I’ve tried Jackfruit in Vietnam but I can’t remember for the life of me what it tasted like. I was given so many new things to try.

    Reply

  3. kristen visser — July 10, 2017 @ 9:36 am (#
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    definitely have this bookmarked! i have never heard or tried this before. definitely interested

    Reply

  4. Lynda Cook — July 10, 2017 @ 12:02 pm (#
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    I have never tried this and honestly it is quite scary looking, but I will trust you in saying it is good, there is a lot of different foods that taste great but look awful!

    Reply

  5. Elva Roberts — July 10, 2017 @ 12:41 pm (#
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    I had never heard of Jackfruit before until I read Jen Shragge’s post on it. I shall have to be on the lookout for it as I am trying to avoid protein in the form of red meat as much as possible. Thank you, Jen, for the heads up!

    Reply

  6. Laurie P — July 10, 2017 @ 3:56 pm (#
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    well you certainly have me curious!

    Reply

  7. Stephanie LaPlante — July 12, 2017 @ 6:20 am (#
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    I’ve never heard of jack fruit before but definitely want to try it. I’m trying very hard to be a vegetarian.

    Reply

  8. HEIDI C. — July 12, 2017 @ 10:46 pm (#
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    I have seen jackfruit in stores but wasn’t sure what it is or what to do with it. Thanks for the lesson on this interesting fruit!

    Reply

  9. Calvin F. — July 13, 2017 @ 10:32 am (#
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    I think I’ve nhad them a couple times before, but it’s rare.

    Reply

  10. Tracy G — July 15, 2017 @ 7:56 am (#
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    Wow I didn’t know anything about Jack fruit lol… weird that’s it smells horrid on the outside but tastes great on the inside when cooked. I need to try it!

    Reply

  11. Kristi F — July 18, 2017 @ 8:17 pm (#
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    A vegan cookbook I was recently looking at had a jackfruit recipe as a meat substitute so I’d love to try it out.

    Reply

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