Hello, everyone, welcome to The Dish, I'm Natasha Ho, this is your two minute tip to help you cook better food. And this week I want to talk about jackfruit. This is another question that came into the Facebook group. And so sharing it here so I can answer your questions about working with jackfruit.
I think jackfruit has come more into the Western culinary scene recently, but it originates in South Asia. It's been used in South Asian food for, obviously, since the beginning of time they've been eating it.
It's this really huge tropical fruit. And by huge, I mean super huge. Most of them are 20 to 50 pounds. They can get up to like one hundred pounds, absolutely enormous.
And it has different qualities based on when the fruit is harvested, whether you're eating it when it's young versus when it is completely ripe. The actual texture of the jackfruit, it's something kind of like chicken or pork as opposed to your normal piece of fruit.
And when it's young, it has a very neutral flavor. So it's really easy for it to take on the flavors of different spices and seasonings, and it can just be a vehicle for picking up that flavor. So you kind of think of it in the same way that tofu is really easy for it to pick up flavors and kind of carry those. And it doesn't have necessarily a lot of flavor on its own. So it works great as an alternative or a substitute for meat. If you were trying to eat meatless or reduce the amount of meat that you're eating, a great vegan or vegetable based option or plant based option.
When it's ripe, though, it does become like a fruit. It is a very sweet and it can work in dishes the same way you would use it in fruit. In desserts or smoothies, those kinds of things. It pairs really well with other fruits, especially tropical fruits. It's in the family of breadfruit and fig. You can mix it with other things like mango, pineapple, other kinds of tropical fruit.
When it's young, that young, unripe jackfruit is really what you want to pick up if you're looking for it to be more of that plant-based alternative. And you can usually find that in cans or sometimes in the frozen food section, and you'll just want to make sure, because sometimes it'll have salt on it for preservative, to clean it really well and then you can mix that with really strong flavors. So think of things that are bold, spicy, tangy flavors. Those are the things that are going to carry really well with the jackfruit and really make it kind of have that impression of being a meat alternative or kind of a meaty addition to the dish that you are making.
So that's what you need to know about jackfruit and how you can integrate that into your food, whether you want it as a savory or a sweet option. I'll see you next time, bye.
I'm Natasha Ho, a trained chef and avid traveler. I've studied culinary traditions from cuisines around the world, and I help food lovers learn how to cook a wide variety of meals that are consistently delicious so they can have more fun, ease and joy in their kitchen.