I thought I would be ambitious and try the craze I hear my vegan friends talking about… Jackfruit tacos! At a whopping 9 lbs I found this bright green monster at my local grocer. I let the mystic jackfruit sit on my counter for 3 days, hoping for it to turn more yellow (more ripe). On day 4 I realized I was avoiding my kitchen. Why? The odd smell the jackfruit was putting off was freaking me out! It’s a smell really hard to describe and I don’t mean that in a good way. I, being the unexperienced jackfruit consumer, thought well… maybe it’s bad already? Let’s cut into it and see whats going on.
Now there are plenty of jackfruit prepping and cooking tutorials, but I am all about YOLO and just wanted to jump in! I greased up the largest knife I could find with some coconut oil and started to tackle this hunk of bright yellow fruit. Cutting it in half was fairly easy, but pulling the fruit pods out proved more difficult than I could’ve imagined. And look at the size of those seeds!!
Once I got some of the fruit and seeds out, I cut the skin off only and started to cut it that way to see if it was easier. It was a little easier but it is still like wrestling someone!
The sap in these things is ridiculous. Its a milky color and becomes more sticky the more you mess with it. In retrospect I would follow others recommendations to wear gloves and protect your counter before cutting into a jackfruit. This is a sticky sappy mess. Think Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation!! That level of stickiness! This is by far the wildest fruit I’ve ever worked with.
Ok, now let’s talk taste. These gorgeous bits are such a pretty color. They put off a sweet aroma and taste like Heaven! The jackfruit in total was 9lbs and I would guess I pulled about 3lbs of fruit out. I’m sure I could’ve got more, but to be honest.. I was exhausted!
I’d say I saved about a half a pound of seeds for later use. I’ve heard people say, ‘don’t let the seeds go to waste”, so at least I heeded this advice!
Now for the cooking. I made my own taco seasoning from a recipe on allrecipes.com. Check it out here: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/46654/taco-seasoning-ii/
In a jar I combined: 6 tsp chili powder, 5 tsp paprika, 4 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 2 1/2 tsp onion powder, 2 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper. I left out the cornstarch because I ran out-oops! Then I gave the jar a shake shake shake!
I set my burner to medium high heat and added what I guessed to be a pound of jackfruit to my skillet. I put a lot to the side to eat raw because wow the stuff is good! I added 7 tsp of the taco seasoning mix I just made and 1 cup of veggie broth. It really seemed to absorb the spices and I didn’t want it to burn so after about 2 minutes I added a second cup of veggie broth. I simmered the jackfruit, stirring continuously for 5 minutes.
Then I removed the skillet from the burner and got out my potato masher!! I put that thing to work shredding the jack fruit. I would suggest using 2 forks instead to pull apart the fruit. I think that would’ve done a much nicer job.
Here is the finished product! I added some living lettuce, black olives, and Tofutti- vegan based sour cream. I was feeling like treating myself so I used flour tortillas *gasp*. Fun fact, I’ve never liked sour cream but I love Tofutti!
A day later I decided to roast the seeds. I set the oven at 400F, lined a baking sheet with aluminum foil and baked for 20 minutes until soft enough to pierce with a fork.
The inside is soft and reminds me of the consistency of mashed potatoes. It is odd, but I dig it!
Jack fruit certainly gave me a run for my money. It was a fun learning experience and I’m happy I tried it. Remember the stink I mentioned earlier that I couldn’t take anymore? Definitely was coming from the jackfruit’s skin. I had to throw my trash out immediately. Other than the smell of the skin and the sap, this would’ve been a perfect experience. I don’t mind working to pull the fruit out. Although, I’m pretty sure that could’ve counted as strength training.
I have yet to try canned jackfruit. So if you have tried both fresh and canned jackfruit, I would love to hear which you prefer and why. Comment below!
Peace, love, and light