You probably all know by now that I love the unusual and unusual food recipes, given that I am ever so slightly quirky, whimsical and often laugh( when) I really shouldn’t…Oops.
Given to coming up with some unusual foods recipes, which even make me baulk at times, however, more often than not and I know the saying says ” We eat with our eyes” But you miss some damn good food and recipes by bypassing that bit… just close your eyes and go for it…
One unusual food recipe came about from a request from one of my readers who were looking at alternative food sources and asked me if I had a recipe…
Do I have a recipe???? Haha
I have for you what is called the Wonder Tree… The Jack Fruit which I have growing in my garden here and it is now being touted as a very viable alternative to meat…
Classed as the poor man’s fruit and left to rot in many places it is now being given high priority and getting much publicity…
I spent time in my kitchen recently cooking it… and I don’t mind admitting I was pleasantly surprised how cooking changed the texture drastically…
It is used as an alternative to pulled pork by many and it does indeed look and have the texture …Awesome… cooked before the fruit ripens gives it an entirely different taste and texture to the ripe fruit… It is indeed a wonder Fruit…
Thailand is a major producer of the jackfruit, they are often cut, prepared, and canned in a sugary syrup (or frozen in bags/boxes without syrup) and exported overseas, frequently to North America and Europe. Made into chips which are very moreish …They are also used in various dishes and curries around Asia…
Just be aware that when you find a jackfruit recipe for a savoury dish it means green or raw Jackfruit many recipes do not say this as they wrongly assume that you know this.
Why wonder tree?
This is because every part of the tree has its own use. The fruits are eaten, the leaves are fed to livestock, and the wood is greatly valued for the manufacture of wood products because of its termite and fungus proof properties and the roots used in natural medicine to treat fevers, asthma and diarrhoea.
How to prepare the Jackfruit… If I am using green Jackfruit like the recipe below then I just take one from my tree, if I want the ripe arils I generally buy them ready prepared.
Those of you who have prepared your own Jackfruit do know that it has a latex sap…
I have heard and quite recently…my lips are sealed…lol, some horror stories when one doesn’t know how to prepare this amazing fruit.
What you need:
An old knife and cooking oil…lots of it…
Firstly, coat your gloved hands and a long, sharp knife with cooking oil. A spray cooking oil works well — to protect against that stubborn latex sap.
Cover the work surface with something disposable….lots of newspaper.
Cut the fruit in half lengthwise and then lengthwise again into quarters; the cut skin and core will release the sap. Re-grease the knife after each cut.
Cut out the solid white core and discard any fibrous filaments around the fruit pods.
If you do get ooze on your hands, don’t worry – just put some oil on your hands, and wash them in warm water, it will be gone in no time!
Easy when you know how…
I also just prefer to oil my hands as when I use gloves they are guaranteed to stick to the latex…I probably don’t oil them enough…But I prefer oiled hands…
I have seen a few recipes lately where raw/green jackfruit is not stated and also the fact that you need to use my steps to cut the jackfruit or you will have latex everywhere.
On the markets here you can buy it ready cooked so the first step is done and all you need to do is then add your aromatics and finish cooking much easier but as I have a tree I needed to learn how to do it with minimal mess.
In Asia, jackfruits ripen principally from March to June, April to September, or June to August, depending on the climatic region, with some off-season crops from September to December, you may also find a few fruits at other times of the year.
My tree in my garden has started to produce fruit and to stop the squirrels helping themselves I will be covering the fruits in plastic bags… But as you can see they are growing nicely and there are a lot of little babies as well.
The jackfruit’s flesh is very sweet and aromatic and tastes like a combination of banana, mango and papaya.
Because of certain similarities in appearance the oval shape and spiky exterior, some people mistake the jackfruit for Durian which is another exotic fruit; however, they are very different fruits.
The ripe jackfruit is eaten as a fruit but unripe jackfruit is prepared as a vegetable. Young jackfruit is used in stews or curries, boiled, roasted; or fried and eaten as a snack. The seeds can also be eaten as a snack after being boiled and then roasted.
Jackfruit is also becoming a popular alternative to meat for vegans, vegetarians and anyone wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle as when cooked the texture is similar to pulled pork.
Today I will be making a spicy jackfruit salad which in Thai is called Tam Khanun or Tam banun it is made by pounding boiled jackfruit with chilli paste and then stir-frying.
First step over and that was cutting the Jackfruit…I can guarantee if you use an oiled knife and grease your hands the latex doesn’t stick…You do have to keep re-greasing the knife though but any which attached itself came off easily with the cooking oil…
My jackfruit slices are now simmering gently on the stove…
Once they are tender and cooled down enough for me to remove the outer skin I will be doing so…
Ingredients for Tam Kanun:
- 400 gm green, young Jackfruit
- 100 gm minced pork (optional) if vegetarian or vegan.
- 5 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- 10 Cherry tomatoes cut in quarters.
- 3- 6 tsp Chilli paste ( depending on your taste)
- 2 spring onions sliced
- 5 dried birds eye chillies fried
- 1 tbsp fried garlic.
- 1 tbsp coriander
Once cooked drain the jackfruit well, pound in a pestle and mortar and set to one side. I had heard cooked this looks like pulled pork and it does…
Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the garlic until it is nicely browned add the chilli paste and stir-fry for a minute.
Add the minced pork ( if using) and stir-fry until it is cooked 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and the jackfruit stir-fry to combine well add the kaffir lime leaves and remove from the heat.
Serve with sticky rice and the fried garlic, chillies, spring onions and coriander as garnish.
This is the first time I have made or eaten this dish… I was very pleasantly surprised if I hadn’t cooked it and it was put in front of me I would never have known it was Jackfruit…Truly ☺ What do you think??
Tam Kanun Spicy Jackfruit Salad… we all loved it and I would definitely make it again.
The ripe Jackfruit arils (pictured) below are eaten here with sticky rice just pushed into the centre.
They also make a lovely ice cream which if you swop the whipping cream for soy milk is suitable for vegans.
Jackfruit Ice Cream.
- 300 gm of the ripe arils (as above)
- 10gm sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 120 gm coconut milk
- 200 gm whipped cream.
Chop the jackfruit and put in a pan with the sugar cook until the fruit turns to pulp about 30/40 mins depending on how ripe your fruit is. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Place the cooled mixture in the blender with the salt, vanilla extract and the coconut milk and blend until smooth… Chill overnight in the fridge.
Next day whip your cream and fold the jackfruit mix into the whipped cream and place in your ice cream maker following their instructions.
If you are not using an ice cream maker then put in the blender and pulse 3 times.
Put into an airtight container and freeze for 6 hours.
And don’t forget any questions or recipes you want me to find for you please ask…
Have you enjoyed your read? If so let me know in comments I do love to hear from you it makes my day…
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Have a lovely week xx