Jackfruit is a delicious fruit that you can use in many recipes. It has the texture of meat, making it perfect for vegan or vegetarian dishes. They can be eaten raw, used as a vegetable in cooking, or ripe as a fruit. In this article, we look at how to identify a ripe jackfruit, what it tastes like and where you can find them. We also provide some popular jackfruit recipes, including BBQ Jackfruit Bites, Thai Pineapple Curry with Jackfruit, and a delicious Jackfruit Burger!
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So, what does jackfruit taste like?
The taste of Jackfruit depends on the ripeness of the fruit when consumed. It has the texture of meat, making it perfect for vegan or vegetarian dishes. Ripe Jackfruit tastes like a combination of banana and pineapple, with hints of apple or mango.
If you are craving meat but don’t want the guilt associated with it, then jackfruit is the perfect substitute. The texture is similar to pulled pork and, when cooked well (like in our BBQ Jackfruit Bites recipe), will have that crispy outside and juicy inside barbecue chicken wings.
Jackfruits come in a number of different varieties, each with its own unique taste. Here are some of the most popular:
Black Gold Jackfruit: This is a green-skinned variety of jackfruit. They are large, dark brown in color with a velvety smooth texture, and have an apple-like taste
Cheena Jackfruit: This is a yellow-fleshed variety of jackfruit. They are smaller in size, pale green to light brown in color, and have an earthy taste, so are usually used in cooking.
Cochin Jackfruit: This is a variety of Jackfruit primarily grown in Australia. They are typically smaller in size, light green to pinkish-brown in color and have an earthy taste with hints of banana.
Dang Rasimi Jackfruit: This is a variety of Jackfruit primarily grown in Thailand. They are typically large, bright green to light brown in color, and have a sweet taste with notes of mango.
Golden Nugget Jackfruit: Averaging between 6-8 pounds, this is well known as being a deliciously sweet variety of Jackfruit with a smooth texture and dark orange flesh.
Green Horned Jackfruit: This is an uncultivated variety that bears similarities to the black gold type of jackfruit. It has been described as having spicy notes with hints of pine.
What is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a fruit native to India. They can grow huge, depending on the variety, and are used as a popular substitute for meat. The inside of the fruit is made up of numerous pouches of flesh wrapped in edible skin.
Jackfruit has been cultivated in tropical climates around the world for centuries. There are over 100 varieties, and they come in four different colors: green, yellow, red, or purple. The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked with an edible peel and even edible seeds.
The unripe fruit tastes bitter and is best used for cooking, while ripe ones have this sweet flavor with hints of banana and pineapple; you may also detect other more exotic flavors like mango or apple.
You should note that Jackfruit can be an acquired taste.
Young jackfruits will have spikes on their surface which make them hard to handle, but once they ripen, these disappear, making them easier to prepare
The flesh of this tropical fruit is composed mainly of water (around 92%), making them perfect for dishes where you want a refreshing taste, like our Thai Pineapple Curry recipe.
They also work well when combined with coconut milk, where their texture becomes more like tofu than meat.
But Its taste can also provide an interesting twist in many different dishes!
How can you tell if a Jackfruit is ripe?
You can use three signs to find out. Learn the signs to get the best-tasting Jackfruit.
Firstly, your jackfruit will have a sweet smell, which means it is ripe enough for cooking and eating.
Secondly, the fruit should show some yellow or brown coloring when peeled
Lastly, you need to see if the fruit gives in pressure and creates a “give” sound; this tells you that it’s at its peak ripeness
To tell if jackfruit is ripe enough, the fruit should feel heavy for its size and have an even distribution of colors from white, yellow, or brown on the inside. If the skin has dark spots, then it means they are extra sweet!
The smell of jackfruit depends on the ripeness, as with its flavor. Unripe fruit will have a strong and unpleasant aroma, while ripe ones emit a sweet scent that resembles bananas or pineapple.
Suppose all these three things are true, then congratulations! You’ve found yourself a perfect specimen of jackfruit ripe for picking up and utilizing into one of our recipes, such as BBQ Jackfruit Bites or Vegan Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Slaw Pico de Gallo!
How to prepare Jackfruit
Young Jackfruits are not easy to peel due to their spikes, but these disappear when they mature, making them easier to handle.
When using them for cooking, cut the jackfruit into small cubes and boil until it becomes soft. After this, rinse well in water to remove any dirt.
If you want something that’s refreshing like our Thai Pineapple Curry recipe, mature unpeeled Jackfruit works perfectly because their consistency resembles tofu more than meat when cooked while still maintaining its texture.
But if you’re looking for a meatier texture, we recommend that the jackfruit be cooked with some coconut milk or soy sauce to give it more flavor. You can also add other vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, or carrots as your creativity sees fit!
There is an appropriate way of preparing every dish, so read all our recipes carefully and get inspired by new ways of cooking this tropical fruit!
How to cut Jackfruit?
Cutting a Jackfruit can be very challenging due to the size of the fruit. They can be enormous (up to 100lbs). They also contain a sticky resin that can stick to the knife and make it difficult to slice through.
We found this great video on Youtube that walks you through the process step by step.
What are the Nutritional Benefits of Jackfruit?
As mentioned before, jackfruit is mainly composed of water, making it a perfect choice for dishes that require something refreshing, like our Thai Pineapple Curry recipe.
It also has high amounts of micronutrients, including vitamin C, B-complex vitamins (especially folates), potassium, and magnesium.
Additionally, the fruit contains significant amounts of dietary fiber; this can help in weight loss by reducing hunger and controlling blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels. The soluble fibers will keep you satiated longer, while the insoluble ones have been shown to lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol by binding with bile salts found in food particles.
Jackfruit are rich sources of antioxidants such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin) and polyphenols (flavones like quercetin).
In comparison with other foods, jackfruit is a great source of protein. It contains about six grams per cup.
The fruit also has high amounts of dietary fiber, which makes it easy to digest while being rich in vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent choice for those who need more calcium or potassium in their diet. Jackfruit is also gluten-free!
Is Jackfruit a good meat substitute?
Jackfruit is a great substitute for meat because it usually has a similar texture and consistency to tofu but also retains its own flavor.
It is readily available and far tastier than Tofu.
Where can you buy Jackfruit?
The best way to purchase Jackfruit is by picking it up at a local fruit market! Make sure that the fruits are ripe and have a sweet scent.
A more convenient option would be buying them frozen. This can be done online or in any store where they sell canned goods.
You can also find fresh jackfruit but make sure you buy them from an ethical source that only sells produce grown without insecticides, fertilizers, or genetic modification.
You can purchase jackfruit on Amazon, and we’ve listed some good options below.
Popular Jackfruit recipes
BBQ Jackfruit Bites:
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12-14 appetizers
• One 25oz can of jackfruit in water, drained, and chopped into small pieces. • ½ Cup vegan BBQ sauce (we recommend using our Homemade Vegan BBQ Sauce Recipe) • ¼ tsp garlic powder • Pinch sea salt or to taste
Take a large bowl; add the prepared Jackfruit. Put together the BBQ sauce with vinegar, ketchup, garlic, and pepper. In a nonstick pan on medium heat, mix all ingredients until they are well combined. Cook for about 15-20 minutes. Make sure that you stir now and then so that it doesn’t stick to one side. Scoop out onto a paper towel-lined cookie sheet and let cool for about 15 minutes, then serve
Thai Pineapple and Jackfruit Curry:
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: Makes four servings, can be doubled or tripled for more people.
• One medium onion, diced • Four garlic cloves, peeled and minced • Two tablespoons grated ginger root • Three inches fresh turmeric root, sliced into rounds ¼-inch thick – if you don’t have fresh Turmeric, use ½ tsp ground Turmeric instead. • Five whole cardamom pods (if using preground spices, then increase to two teaspoons) • 1lb of Jackfruit and 1 tin of Pineapple chunks
• One-inch fresh cinnamon stick • Pinch of cayenne pepper • Two teaspoons garam masala • Five dried bay leaves (or one tablespoon dried thyme) • Fresh ginger, peeled and grated to taste – I like using about four tablespoons for two cups of sauce or so; this is completely up to personal preference though! You can also use powdered ginger if you don’t want too much texture, but it doesn’t have as strong an effect as some might prefer.
If using frozen Jackfruit, thaw it by letting it sit in the fridge for a day or two. You can use frozen Jackfruit if you’re making this dish during seasons when jackfruit is not available fresh, but note that thawing will take longer and may not work as well (since freezing tends to break down the cell walls)
Drain jackfruit and pat dry with a paper towel or clean kitchen cloths. Cut into small cubes about ¼-inch thick. Set aside
In a deep saute pan, add three tablespoons of coconut oil – we use organic cold-pressed here. Fry onion until browned, then toss in garlic cloves, grated ginger root, bay leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and salt over medium heat, often stirring, so they don’t burn too quickly). Fry for about five minutes, then add in all the spices and fry until fragrant. Next, toss in your jackfruit cubes and Pineapple chunks, stirring to coat them with the onion mixture.
Add coconut milk or cream (preferred)
If you’re using fresh bay leaves, add four of them now instead of five dried ones. You can also use both if you want an extra hit of flavor!
Bring it to a boil, then simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes before serving hot over rice or grains like quinoa, barley, etc. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve as is or over steamed vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc.… Enjoy this one-pot meal that’s great for cold days, too, because there are plenty of delicious flavors to keep you warm!
Jackfruit Tacos Recipe:
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Servings: Makes 12 tacos. It can be doubled or tripled for more people.
• One small onion, diced • Two cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• Three tablespoons tomato paste (preferably roasted) • Four cups shredded cooked jackfruit or one 25oz can in water drained and chopped into small pieces. • ½ Cup vegan BBQ sauce, plus some for topping tacos if desired • ¼ tsp garlic powder
In a deep saute pan, add three tablespoons of coconut oil – we use organic cold-pressed here. Fry onion until browned, then toss in garlic cloves over medium heat, often stirring, so they don’t burn too quickly). Fry for about five minutes, then add the spices and fry until fragrant. Next, toss in your jackfruit cubes and Pineapple chunks, stirring to coat them with the onion mixture.
In a separate bowl, whisk together BBQ sauce and tomato paste. Pour this over your jackfruit mixture and stir until everything is coated (remember to include pineapple as well). Let it simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes covered.
Pour into tortillas or taco shells of choice with desired toppings such as lettuce, avocado slices, etc… Enjoy!
Jackfruit Burger Recipe:
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Servings: Makes six burgers.
Jackfruit Burgers are easy to make and taste great!
• One cup mashed, cooked jackfruit (you can use canned) • ½ Cup chickpeas/garbanzo beans, finely chopped and blended until smooth in a food processor • ¼ tsp onion powder • ¼ tsp garlic powder • A few dashes of chili seasoning mix if desired
In a bowl, mix the jackfruit with chickpeas until it becomes sticky. Add onion powder and garlic to taste, then shape six burgers out of your mixture. Place on an oiled pan or top of foil (sprinkle some salt if desired) and cook for 15-20 minutes over medium-high heat.
Serve as is or place in lettuce leaves, burger buns, etc…with all your favorite toppings!
Jackfruit Nachos Recipe:
Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
Cook Time: None – assemble when ready to serve
Servings: Makes six servings/six to eight appetizer servings. It can be doubled or tripled for more people.
• One small onion, diced • Two cloves garlic, peeled and minced • Three tablespoons tomato paste (preferably roasted) • Four cups shredded cooked jackfruit or one 25oz can in water drained and chopped into small pieces. • ½ Cup vegan BBQ sauce, plus some for topping if desired
Toss these ingredients together with your hands until they are evenly distributed on the tortilla chips, then top them off with any of your favorite toppings! Be creative…we used guacamole, salsa verde, and black beans here but feel free to get really wild – use what you have on hand to create a custom nacho recipe!
Jackfruit is a fruit that’s been around for quite some time, but it’s still relatively unknown to many people. It originates in India and Southeast Asia and has grown popular due to its ability to replace meat as an ingredient in dishes like tacos or pulled pork sandwiches. This article provides information about the taste of jackfruit, where you can find it, how to cook with it, and more! We hope this post will help introduce you (or your friends) to one more delicious food item out there waiting for you to try! If nothing else, share this blog on social media, so others have access to all these great facts about Jackfruit- we think they’ll appreciate them just as much as we do!”