I’ve heard so much about Jackfruit and how it’s supposed to be awesome. I went in search of fresh Jackfruit. I wasn’t sure what the ingredients were like in the can versions (in brine) and if it was gluten free. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with making things myself and thus avoiding chemicals and gluten.
What is a Jackfruit? According to Wikipedia:
I went to T&T, Galleria and Foody’s, but to no avail. Instead, I found the elusive Jackfruit right on Spadina, north of Dundas on the west side in a small fruit mart. It was $14/lb, rather expensive really, but I had to see what the talk was all about.
We took it home and chopped it up:
I peeled away the lighter colour parts and only left the bright yellow ‘flesh’. I removed the seeds, though I read they could be cooked like beans after. I suppose I could have saved them, but there’s always next time. I don’t think you can eat the flesh raw. It had an incredibly sticky feeling. Kind of like a dry mango/banana thing. Yes, so descriptive. I set about making the most delicious tomato based marinating sauce you’ve ever tried.
Marinating sauce: 2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 cup white onion finely chopped
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 can of tomato paste
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp Italian spice
1 tbsp Poultry spice (Rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram)
1 tbsp salt or 1/2 of Himalayan salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp Cayenne
1/2 tbsp Paprika
1/2 tbsp Chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp Organicville BBQ sauce
1 1/2 tbsp molasses
1/2 tbsp agave
1 drop of liquid smoke
6 cups of water
Use a dutch oven heavy pot for this kind of cooking because you’re going to need it to keep in heat like a slow cooker. On medium heat add the oil, garlic and onions, cook until tender. Add 1 cup of water and the jack fruit. Simmer and stir, trying to break apart the jack fruit until the water is almost gone. Add the tomato paste from the ingredient list and the rest of the list items minus the 6 cups of water. The water you will need throughout the cooking. I suggest adding about 1/2 a cup each 15 minutes or as needed. You will need to keep an eye on this pot and stir every so often to avoid burning the bottom. I kept the pot on medium heat, adding water, stirring, breaking apart the jack fruit for about half an hour. The sauce became rather thick.
This picture here is just after I started adding the sauce items. I realize I should have been breaking apart the jackfruit more so. Cooking it will do so, but it also might soften the fruit too much to be stringy in a bad way. No one likes that.
You can pour the final product over rice like a curry, or have it in a pita, a sandwich, anything you like. It’s a very different texture, from what Mat told me, I couldn’t chew at this point. Let me know what you think.