There are a lot of foods out there that can substitute for meat in recipes – mushrooms, seitan, eggplant – and one of them happens to be a fruit. What?? How can a fruit be meaty and savory, you ask? The answer is: it can when it’s jackfruit.
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that’s a relative of figs, mulberry, and breadfruit. The seeds are surrounded by a fleshy coating that is sweet when ripe, but savory when unripe. Breaking down a fresh jackfruit is a lot of work, but you can also buy it frozen or canned, so all the hard work has already been done for you. Just be sure to buy the one in brine rather than syrup if you want to make savory dishes.
Jackfruit may be new to many of us, but it’s been used as a meat substitute in Asia for many years because of its meaty texture. It also happens to be healthy, with lots of fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. To learn more about jackfruit, its health benefits, and how to prepare it, see Have You Tried Cooking With Jackfruit Yet? Get Started With These Recipes! You’ll get recipes like Moo Shu Jackfruit, Pan-Fried Jackfruit over Pasta with Lemon Coconut Cream Sauce, and Jamaican (Ital) Curried Jackfruit. Then, get ready to get your fruit on with these 10 delicious recipes starring jackfruit.
1. Jackfruit Pot Pie
This Jackfruit Pot Pie is the plant-based pot pie of your dreams. If you’re craving a creamy, warm jackfruit and veggie filling encased in a delicate puff pastry crust, you must make this recipe. Your stomach will be so incredibly happy. Trust us.
2. Jackfruit Philly Cheesesteak
In this Jackfruit Philly Cheesesteak, the jackfruit is seasoned with a spice rub, cooked with caramelized onions, and then simmered in gravy for maximum flavor and tenderness. Then it gets piled high on heroes, topped with vegan cheddar, and broiled just long enough to melt the cheese. This sandwich is meaty and delicious, but we had you as soon as you saw the picture, didn’t we?
3. BBQ Jackfruit
Open a can of jackfruit or two and you can have a delicious meal with minimal effort. This BBQ Jackfruit couldn’t be simpler. It’s made in a slow cooker, so all you have to do is add the ingredients, turn it on, and come home to a meal that’s both healthy and yummy.
4. Super Simple Fiesta Jackfruit and Polenta
You’re going to love the way this funky fruit works perfectly as a replacement for shredded meat. This Super Simple Fiesta Jackfruit and Polenta is packed with savory and cheesy flavor. Jackfruit is cooked with salsa and served on a slice of polenta with plenty of vegan cheese and fresh cilantro. Yum!
5. Spicy Korean BBQ Jackfruit Tacos with Sesame Carrot Coleslaw
These Spicy Korean BBQ Jackfruit Tacos with Sesame Carrot Coleslaw are the kind of tacos you’d expect to come across at a foodie festival – and they’re every bit as amazing as their name sounds. There’s a medley of flavors and textures at work here, and each serves to enhance the other. Spicy jackfruit, creamy sauce, and crunchy coleslaw — what more could you ask for?
6. BBQ Jackfruit Buns
Steamed buns are a staple on any Chinese dim sum menu, and jackfruit makes the perfect filling! These BBQ Jackfruit Buns are meaty, juicy, and tender, and the jackfruit absorbs the BBQ marinade perfectly. Stuffed in soft and fluffy dough and dipped in soy sauce – this is pure dim sum heaven!
7. Jackfruit Ropa Vieja
Ropa vieja is a classic Spanish dish that means “old clothes.” This Jackfruit Ropa Vieja gives the classic dish a makeover by using this recipe round-up’s eponymous fruit. The jackfruit is cooked until browned and then added to a flavor-packed pan of sofrito, onion, celery, carrots, and peppers. It all simmers in a savory tomato sauce and salty olives until it’s ready to serve. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also a colorful dish that’s as fun to look at as it is to eat.
8. Jackfruit Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce
These Jackfruit Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce are going to be your new favorite dish. Young jackfruit is infused with flavor from a yummy marinade and then cooked until crisp. Then, it gets dipped in a spicy peanut satay sauce for a world of flavor. Serve over rice and vegetables, or eat it with a fresh, crispy salad!
9. Jackfruit Banh Mi Tacos
Turning a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich into a taco is an act of genius. But even the work of a genius can be improved upon, and the result is these entirely plant-based and gluten-free Jackfruit Banh Mi Tacos. Tender jackfruit is coated in a sweet and sour teriyaki sauce, topped with crunchy, tangy pickled veggies, creamy Sriracha mayo, and enrobed in a soft corn tortilla. Now that is one epic Vietnamese taco.
10. Slow Cooker Pulled Jackfruit Jambalaya
This Slow Cooker Pulled Jackfruit Jambalaya is going to have everybody asking for a second helping. Jackfruit, cauliflower, rice, and lots of bold spices are all added to a slow cooker and hours later, you get to come home to a delicious meal with all the work done for you. Perfect!
Wow! Who would have thought that a fruit could be so savory? Try these recipes because it’s always fun to have another food that’s both unique and delicious!
Lead image source: Jackfruit Banh Mi Tacos
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