How To Properly Prepare Jackfruit

Updated: Sep 25

Whether you've bought canned jackfruit or fresh jackfruit, it can be confusing to prepare. If it's not done just right, the taste and texture are sure to be off and likely ruin an entire dish, so learning how to prepare jackfruit properly is key.

What is jackfruit? Well, if you're plant-based or vegan, you've probably used jackfruit as a meat substitute. When cooked and prepared correctly, jackfruit has a meat-like texture and can taste like anything you season it to be. In most recipes, jackfruit is pulled, so that's how I will instruct you.


Benefits of Jackfruit

How to Properly Prepare Canned Jackfruit

How To Properly Prepare Fresh Jackfruit

 

Benefits of Jackfruit

Jackfruit is richer in many vitamins and minerals than fruits like apples, apricots, bananas, and avocados. Jackfruit is especially rich in vitamins C and B and contains folate, niacin, riboflavin, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants. Additionally, jackfruit has many health benefits, such as:


  • Preventing cancer

  • Preventing heart disease

  • Preventing cataracts

  • Preventing macular degeneration

  • Preventing constipation

  • Preventing stomach ulcers

  • Preventing diabetes

  • Preventing high blood pressure

  • Preventing sun damage (1)

How to Properly Prepare Canned Jackfruit

Unfortunately, although jackfruit is delicious when appropriately prepared, a can of jackfruit is often expensive. Local to me, jackfruit is $4.99 for a 10.6 oz - box of jackfruit. When I traveled to shop for cheaper stuff and a better selection, I found 20 oz. cans of jackfruit in brine for less than $4. Of course, I stocked up. Next up was to learn how to prepare it properly so I could get past the texture. That has always been my biggest struggle with jackfruit, but I finally got it.


Canned jackfruit usually comes in brine or syrup. I prefer brine because the jackfruit does soak up all the sugar, making the jackfruit taste sweet and not as healthy due to the added sugar. The good thing about canned jackfruit is you don't have to cut it yourself. The bad thing about canned jackfruit is you have to rinse and soak it to get either the brine or syrup off the jackfruit. Let me explain:


Ingredients:

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

Gather your ingredients, preferably organic: 1 can of jackfruit and water.


Step 2: Open & Rinse

Start by opening the can of jackfruit and thoroughly rinsing it several times to get all the brine or syrup off.


Step 3: Soak

After you've thoroughly rinsed the brine or syrup off of the jackfruit, next you will want to fill up a big bowl with water and soak the jackfruit in the bowl for 3-4 hours at least; I soaked it overnight.


Step 4: Drain & Release

After you've soaked your jackfruit for at least 3-4 hours, drain your jackfruit and place all the jackfruit pieces on a plate between paper towels to help release some of the water it soaked up.


Step 5: Prepare Your Jackfruit

Next, after you've drained the jackfruit and released some of the water it soaked up, you'll take one piece of jackfruit at a time, squeeze it onto a paper towel, releasing whatever water remains before taking a fork and shredding the piece of jackfruit. Be sure to remove any seeds or hard pieces you may come across during this step.


Step 6: Season & Fry

After you've successfully shredded each piece of jackfruit, you can season it (without sauce) and cook it; I usually fry it in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 5 minutes on high heat.


Step 7: Add Sauce & Simmer

After you've fried it, you may add any sauces you plan to use. It's typically best to let the sauce simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes to really bring out the flavor. I usually wait on the sauce because the frying process helps release the remaining liquid and improves the texture.


How To Properly Prepare Fresh Jackfruit

Fresh jackfruit usually comes whole in its natural form and can generally weigh about 10lbs. when bought at the store. The bad thing about fresh jackfruit is that you have to understand how to pick your jackfruit and cut it correctly; this is why I usually pay extra for canned jackfruit. Let me explain:


Materials & Ingredients:

  • Fresh jackfruit

  • Gloves

  • Parchment paper or something to line the cutting area

Step 1: Gather Materials & Ingredients

Gather your materials: gloves, parchment paper, and your ingredients, preferably organic: fresh jackfruit.


Step 2: Pick Your Jackfruit

Start by picking the correct jackfruit in the store. Your jackfruit should be soft; gently push your fingers into the jackfruit; if it leaves a slight indent, it's perfect. It will even smell sweet when it's perfectly ripe. If none of them are ripe, that is fine; just wait to prepare it until it is, or you'll have quite the difficulty.


Step 3: Line Your Cutting Area

When you're ready to prepare your fresh jackfruit, line the cutting area with parchment paper or saran wrap. Jackfruit has a naturally sticky latex resin that will make a huge mess when cutting, so be prepared.


Step 4: Rinse

After your cutting area is lined with parchment paper or saran wrap, rinse your jackfruit thoroughly before cutting it.


Step 5: Put on Gloves

Next, after thoroughly rinsing your jackfruit, you will put on gloves to avoid touching the naturally sticky resin from cutting a fresh jackfruit.


Step 6: Cut the Jackfruit

After you've put on gloves, you will start to cut the jackfruit. To do this properly, you will first cut the fresh jackfruit in half lengthwise. Feel free to do that 2-3 times to get 4-8 lengthy pieces of jackfruit.


Step 7: Remove the Core & Seeds

After you've cut your jackfruit at least in half, you will then cut out the solid core on the inside of the jackfruit and remove all the seeds and hard pieces.


Step 8: Cut into 1 Inch Pieces

After you've removed the core and seeds, cut up the jackfruit into about 1-inch pieces. You can freeze the portion you are not using now, as all jackfruit types freeze well.


Step 9: Release & Shred

After you've cut the jackfruit into 1-inch pieces, take one piece of jackfruit at a time, squeeze it onto a paper towel, releasing whatever liquid remains before taking a fork and shredding the piece of jackfruit.


Step 10: Season & Fry

After you've successfully shredded each piece of jackfruit, you can season it (without sauce) and cook it; I usually fry it in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 5 minutes on high heat.


Step 11: Add Sauce & Simmer

After you've fried it, you may add any sauces you plan to use. It's typically best to let the sauce simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes to really bring out the flavor. I usually wait on the sauce because the frying process helps release the remaining liquid and improves the texture.


⚠️ Warning: If you have a latex allergy, jackfruit may not suit you. Jackfruit is a potential trigger for those with latex-fruit syndrome who have cross-reactivity due to the similar proteins in natural rubber latex and certain foods like jackfruit. If you have a known latex allergy, it is important to be professionally evaluated for the possibility of food allergies to fresh fruits like jackfruit.


What's the easiest way you've found to prepare jackfruit?


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