What Is Jackfruit, the New Meat Substitute on Menus

What Is Jackfruit, the New Meat Substitute on Menus?

Perhaps you’ve seen jackfruit appearing on menus as a vegetarian burger option in the burger area. Also, it may have been on the shelves of your local grocery shop in the form of yellow bulbs packaged in Styrofoam trays or in cans. Alternatively, on social media, where cookery videos demonstrate how jackfruit can be used as a meat substitute in anything from hotdogs to nachos to pulled pork. Nevertheless, you may be wondering: what precisely is jackfruit? And what do you do with it while you’re cooking? We’ve taken care of everything.

What exactly is jackfruit? And what is the flavor of the drink?

Jackfruit, which is native to southern India, Sri Lanka, and the rain forests of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, has been utilized in many Asian cuisines for hundreds of years and is still in use today. It is the biggest fruit that can be found on a tree and may weigh up to 100 pounds when fully ripened.

Depending on the kind, jackfruit may be green or yellow on the exterior with a firm, bumpy skin. The inside is made up of tasty fleshy yellow bulbs that are each filled with a seed. When ripe, these bulbs have a sweet, fruity flavor and a thick texture that is comparable to that of pineapple when cooked. When they’re not quite ripe, the bulbs don’t have a distinct flavor of their own; instead, they’re well suited to soaking up the flavor of any sauce you choose to serve with them. Comparatively speaking, unripe jackfruit has a stringy, meaty texture that is comparable to that of beef or pig when compared to ripe jackfruit. A significant part of the reason why jackfruit is such a popular meat substitute is because of its texture, which, along with the fruit’s neutral, almost bland taste, allows it to absorb the flavors of whatever it is cooked in, making it a versatile ingredient.

The fruit of the jackfruit is cooked in a variety of ways in the areas where it is grown. In India, the ripe fruit is widely served as a preserve known as chakka varatti, which is typically cooked in big containers with spices such as cardamom and ginger and other ingredients such as jaggery and ghee. Jackfruit may also be prepared as a spicy stir-fry meal known as kathal ki sabzi, which is commonly eaten with hot chapati or chapatti. In Indonesia and Malaysia, jackfruit is sliced and cooked in stews with coconut milk and tamarind, as well as other spices and herbs such as lemongrass, turmeric, cardamom, ginger, and galangal, among other ingredients.

Ripe jackfruit is palatable raw, and it is also often used in desserts and other sweet foods. This fruit may be found either sliced or finely chopped in the Filipino dessert halo-halo and the Vietnamese dessert soup che, both of which are sweet soups.

What is the best way to get jackfruit?

In many supermarket shops, you’ll find jackfruit in a variety of preparations. Only specific periods of the year will you be able to buy fresh fruit, depending on where your grocery shop imports it from. However, August and September are generally your best bets for finding the finest selection.

You don’t have to be concerned if the entire jackfruit is unavailable (or seems to be too daunting) since many retailers offer ripe jackfruit in bite-size portions or bulbs, which are accessible in styrofoam packing and plastic wrap. Raw jackfruit packaged in brine, water, or syrup may be found in the canned foods section of the supermarket. Frozen ripe jackfruit bulbs are less frequent than fresh jackfruit bulbs, but it’s still worth looking in the freezer section of the grocery store where the other fruits and vegetables are kept.

Your local Asian grocery shop will have the biggest selection of jackfruit goods, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, Amazon carries both canned and dried jackfruit. Alternatively, fresh jackfruit may be ordered over the internet, but be cautious since some individuals have claimed that the fruit comes overripe and rotting.

What is the best way to prepare jackfruit?

Unripe jackfruit may be substituted for meat in meals that call for shredded, crushed, or pulled meat. Pulled jackfruit is particularly popular because of the fruit’s naturally stringy texture, which makes it an excellent pulled pork alternative. Using your hands or two forks, gently pry the raw jackfruit apart, then combine it with your preferred spice combination (barbecue or fajita spices work well) and sauté it before putting it on buns with a slaw or in tacos, burritos, or tamales (these are filled with jackfruit and drizzled with a bright and fresh cilantro sauce). Cooked pulled jackfruit may be served as a light entrée or beginning when seasoned with taco seasoning mix and served with tortilla chips.

Braised and slow-cooked foods, as well as saucy ones, lend themselves to jackfruit. Toss it into your favorite chili recipe, braise it in beer, or blend it into your favorite ragù for a unique take on spaghetti bolognese. For these meals, you may either pluck the jackfruit or chop or slice it instead, if you like a chunkier texture.

Because it can be used in both sweet and savory recipes, jackfruit is a versatile ingredient to have on hand. Fruits such as ripe jackfruit may be consumed in the same way as mango: spooned over sticky rice, blended into a smoothie, or added to plain yogurt for a healthy, sweet-flavored option.

In case you haven’t had the opportunity to try jackfruit yet, consider this your signal to go to the grocery store and get yourself some. When it comes to using jackfruit in your cuisine, the possibilities are endless, whether you want to braise it in a hearty stew or serve it up fresh in a dessert. It’s a versatile ingredient that’s simple to deal with no matter how you choose to cook it.

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