Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Demistifying Jackfruit (Don't look away; it's NOT chicken!)

I'm going to start this post with a note to my good friend.

Remember when I was all "jackfruit carnitas!" and you were like, "meh"?
And I said, "no really, jackfruit!" and you were all, "not interested"?
And then I bought my can o' j-fruit and you pointedly suggested it sounded disgusting?

You have no idea how right you were.  This is what I found inside.  I know, right?  Total gag.

Seriously, what is this stuff?  People think tofu is gross?  Although, I did taste a tiny piece raw and it reminded me of a white bean, so that wasn't all bad.

The recipe I was using (Jackfruit "Carnitas" Tacos from The Urban Housewife) called for rinsing and then squeezing all the water out of the jackfruit pieces, which was a major gag.  Isn't this what dead chicken parts look like?

As I wasn't using a crockpot, I gamely (no pun intended) placed all of the rinsed and squeezed jackfruit into a a regular stovetop pot and shuddered.  I could only bring myself to season one side because I didn't want to touch it any more than absolutely necessary.

Once I'd roughly chopped the onions I was feeling a little better about the whole ordeal.

But the call for salsa verde should have been a sign; I don't really like tomatillos.

In lieu of a crockpot simmer, the recipe suggested simmering on a stovetop for 1-2 hours.  After 90 minutes it started to burn, but looked otherwise cooked.  Since I'd already eaten donuts for dinner In light of the abbreviated cooking time, I decided to let the the cooked jackfruit sit overnight in the fridge so that the flavors would have more of a chance to penetrate.

It's always nice when dinner is already prepared when you come home from work, but I have to admit that when I was re-heating it, the look of it was extremely off-putting.  Rather than the suggested soft tortillas, I decided to serve it on nachos; chips make most meals better.

Unfortunately, not this one.  So meaty; I really couldn't stomach it.  The seasoning went unnoticed; the texture alone was enough to turn me away from jackfruit forever.   But for all of you folks who like to duplicate the taste and texture of meat; this is for you.  To give you an idea of the authenticity, I was able to pass it off to my dad as a Mexican, pork, sloppy joe.  His only complaint?  Too spicy.  So there you have it; jackfruit: weird and "meaty".


  1. I had barbecued jackfruit in a restaurant (inside a sandwich) and it didn't seem as meat-like as you've portrayed here, but maybe that's because I didn't see it through all the stages of preparation. At least it's an actual fruit that transforms itself rather than a who-knows-what laboratory concoction. Kind of like the way spaghetti squash transforms into noodles, but not exactly. I can see why you were grossed out, but I may have to try this just to see how my omnivore friends and relatives react. :) It looks a little like soy curls, and I like those.

  2. Very bizarre! I guess you are to be commended for even being turned off by the too-meaty texture. It certainly does look pretty, um, fleishig.

  3. Andrea- you're right; I shouldn't have glossed over how interesting it is. And it did cross my mind that it would have been better drenched in bbq sauce, but I really couldn't get around the texture. I'm sure you're going to whip up something perfect with it and I'll have to try again! P.S. I've never had soy curls; I think they're a west coast thing.

    foodfeud- yes; I've never been into anything purposefully meaty (except I love my tofu pups), but I get that some people are & this is an extremely viable option!

  4. What? You like tofu pups but not jackfruit? But I get it. You don't like fruit, right? :) I didn't especially like my sandwich, but now you've got me wanting to try again.

  5. Now you've done it, Andrea. You're going to make me try it again. Note: buy the jackfruit in brine for savory dishes, in syrup for dessert (shudder).

  6. Yea I have always not liked jack fruit for some reason.

  7. i'm with my vegan gut! that does not look appetizing haha


Have you got something to say? It would be so nice to hear from you!
(I know captchas suck, but not as much as spam.)