Jackfruit is the new vegan pulled pork. If you haven't tried it, we're going to tell you everything you need to know about the taste and texture. We're also going to share some downright delicious vegan recipes you won't want to miss.
Let's get started...
What Does Jackfruit Taste Like?
Jackfruit is probably unlike any fruit you've had before. When fresh, it's tropical, sweet and tart with a combination of fruit flavors like mango, pineapple and banana, though it's almost candy-like.
Young green jackfruit is different. It's super sour with less tropical flavor and usually needs a good dose of sweetener when you're cooking it.
Native to India, this fruit looks like something you'd expect a dinosaur to hatch from. It's large and oval with a spiny skin and an interesting flesh that's both creamy and flaky.
The inner flesh looks like it's made up of little pods like artichoke hearts. They're very moist and tender, and their fibrousness makes them ideal for mock pulled pork as they take on the same shredded texture.
Does Jackfruit Really Taste like Pork?
The truth is that there are many different opinions on this. You'll find that some people attest to a pulled pork flavor, but because jackfruit is so often made into a vegan version of pulled pork, it may be that the two are forevermore entangled.
The texture is what really makes jackfruit so like pulled pork. The seasonings for a savory, "meaty" flavor are pretty easy to nail, so you can absolutely say that jackfruit may closely resemble pulled pork.
How Do You Cut and Eat a Jackfruit?
If you buy a whole jackfruit, you may wonder what the best way of getting into it is. For this you'll need a knife big enough for the job—this is a really big fruit. It doesn't have to be huge, but a standard cutting knife (not a small paring knife) will be necessary.
You can start cutting into it lengthwise from one end to the other and split it open the rest of the way down with your hands. Or you can cut it into thick rounds and remove the "pods" (the part you'll eat). Take out the seeds, too, and save them for roasting and eating.
Once you have the deseeded sections of the edible flesh, you can eat them as they are or save them for the fabulous vegan recipes coming up in just a moment.
Can You Eat Canned Jackfruit Raw?
You can eat canned jackfruit raw and straight out of the can, but you'll probably find it tastier if you season it. That's the most common way of eating canned jackfruit, whether raw or cooked.
Canned jackfruit comes in brine or syrup. If you're looking to use it in a recipe, go for the fruit in brine as the syrupy version is sweet.
What Can You Do with Jackfruit?
Now it's time for those recipes we promised. They'll show you how to turn jackfruit into vegan tacos carnitas and "pulled pork."
Mock meats, step aside. Jackfruit is the ultimate vegan carnitas ingredient.
Here's what you'll need for these tacos:
- Canned jackfruit
- Seasoned salt
- Chili powder
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
We'd be willing to bet that this is going to be one of your new favorite sandwiches.
Here's what you need for jackfruit "pulled pork" sandos:
- Canned green jackfruit in brine
- Red onion
- Barbecue seasoning
- Vegan barbecue sauce
- Coleslaw mix
- Vegan mayo
- Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- Maple syrup (optional)
- Salt and pepper
Jackfruit is one cool-looking fruit. It's sweet and tart and some say it even tastes like pulled pork, but for the most part, the pulled pork quality is in the shreddy, tender texture of the fruit's flesh. You can eat it raw or cooked, and we definitely suggest cooking it to try instead of mock meats for vegan sliders, tacos, chili and anything else that would benefit from that famous shredded texture.