Jackfruit: the delicious vegan-friendly alternative to pulled pork

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  • Here’s how to cook jackfruit, the meat replacement everyone’s talking about. If you haven’t tried any jackfruit recipes yet then you’ve got to give one of our delicious recipes a try.

    This all-natural ‘veggie answer to pulled pork‘ can be found in many vegan recipes. It has a meaty texture and subtle flavour that works perfectly as the base to loads of different sauces.

    Despite it being relatively new to us, jackfruit was cultivated in India around 6000 years ago. This fruity favourite is also grown in South East Asian countries like Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. It likes warm climates, so can also be grown in some southern parts of America too.

    If you’re wondering how to cook jackfruit, how to prepare it and whether it’s good for you, read on. Here’s everything you need to know about how to cook jackfruit and more.

    How did jackfruit get its name?


    There are reports that the fruit got its name from the Portuguese word for it, ‘jaca’, a translation of the Southern Indian name: chakka pazham.

    How do you prepare jackfruit?


    The way you prepare jackfruit depends on whether you buy a young or old fruit, or choose to get it in a tin.

    A ripe jackfruit will have a yellowish, spiky skin and can be eaten just like any tropical fruit, as breakfast, a snack or dessert. Once you’ve got your hands on one you’ll need to cut into it and remove the seeds. These can be tough so it’s best to use a sharp paring knife. Then simply scoop out the flesh, leaving the skin behind and enjoy!

    The young jackfruit is the kind you might be looking for if you’ve been searching for recipes that use it in place of pulled pork. It’s the young, green jackfruit with the fibrous consistency that imitates meat. It’s most commonly found already prepared in tins, which makes it perfect for a quick meal fix. If you get your hands on a green jackfruit, they’re a little trickier to prepare, as they are filled with a white resin that’s so sticky it stains everything it touches!

    What is the difference between jackfruit and durian?


    If you were looking at a jackfruit and a durian side by side you might not immediately know the difference, as their external appearance is almost the same, however they are individual fruits.

    Durian has a rougher, more spiky skin and has the nick name ‘stinky fruit’ because of it’s smell. The fruit gets its distinct, very pungent odour from the hydrogen sulphide inside it. Better sticking to jackfruit we think!

    How does jackfruit grow?


    Jackfruit is the largest fruit to grow on trees in the world, with some of the fruits reaching a whopping 100 pounds at times. They grow out on short branches, and from the trunk itself sometimes, which is when they get to their heaviest, since there’s less chance of them snapping off a branch.

    What are the benefits of eating jackfruit?


    Although jackfruit isn’t the best protein substitute for vegan alternatives to meat, it does come loaded with a whole host of other benefits. It’s rich in things like Vitamin C and Magnesium, which is thought to possibly reduce the risk of many health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease.

    One cup of this lovely stuff contains just 155 calories when raw, so is also useful if you’re trying to stick to a low calorie plan. The same quantity also contains 2.4g protein, 2.6g fibre and 39.6g carbohydrates.

    How does a jackfruit taste?


    You might be surprised to find that jackfruit doesn’t really have too much of a ‘taste’. It has a very mildly sweet flavour, with a hint of tropical fruit. Some people describe it as having a pineapple or mango flavour – but the subtlety of the flesh is what makes it great for cooking into sweet or savoury dishes, as it takes on all the flavourings of sauces or seasonings so well.

    How to cook jackfruit: recipes


    There are lots of things you can make with jackfruit. You can make chips out of the flesh by roasting it, cook it up into jam and even process it into flour.

    If you’re looking for jackfruit recipes to make right now however, we can help! We’ve been busy developing a couple of real staple meal ideas which use this tropical ingredient as their main focus.

    Jackfruit recipe: pulled pork
    Jackfruit recipes
    Jackfruit pulled pork is a great vegan twist on this classic American recipe. The fruit has a fab fibrous texture that holds the sauce really well. We’ve gone for using tinned jackfruit in this recipe, to make it really easy. You can buy the tins of fruit from Amazon!

    Get the jackfruit recipe: pulled pork tacos

    Pulled jackfruit hoisin pancakes

    Anything you can do with shredded meat you can pretty much do with jackfruit! This Chinese classic is delicious when made with jackfruit, and ready in no time at all.

    Get the jackfruit recipe: Hoisin pancakes