Jackfruit has opened up new ways to create vegan recipes. I love that it’s gluten-free and is a simple substitution for meats in your old favorite recipes. You can make a great BBQ with it, but it’s great in soups, stews, and so much more. I have some Instant Pot Jackfruit Recipes and lot of jackfruit information to get you started!
You might be here just to learn more about jackfruit or you might be here because you found my easy jackfruit recipe for Vegan Instant Pot Jackfruit White Bean Chili. Either way you’re in the right place!
If you only want recipes with no reading just scroll to the bottom of the page.
What Is Jackfruit and Where is It From?
Jackfruit is a fruit that’s native in India and can be grown in any tropic or subtropic climate. It grows to be huge and a single one can weigh dozens of pounds.
Since it doesn’t have a strong flavor, it’s great in strong flavored recipes like in a bbq sauce, curry, or even a Mexican spiced dish.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to buy and break down a 15 to 50 pound fruit to make jackfruit recipes. You can buy it canned or get a smaller piece of the fresh fruit that’s been cut before you buy it.
One thing to know is that you want to use unripe jackfruit in savory dishes so do not buy it ripe or canned in syrup.
Could You Be Allergic to Jackfruit?
Are You Allergic to Birch Pollen? This may seem like a weird question, but many people who are allergic to birch pollen are also allergic to jackfruit.
Here’s an article from The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology where you can get more information that’s science-based.
Why Cook with Jackfruit?
With so many allergies it’s always nice to have a filling main that’s nut-free, soy-free and gluten-free. It’s a great meat replacement and once cooked and shredded it mimics shredded chicken or pork.
It’s a super easy way to veganize some of your old favorite recipes. I’ve used it in a Tom Yum soup, in Pad Thai, vegan BBQ, and keep trying it in new recipes.
Where Can I Buy Jackfruit?
You can get canned and fresh jackfruit at most Asian markets and some Indian stores as well. But canned is also available in Whole Foods and even Trader Joe’s.
You will usually find the canned jackfruit in the canned fruit section. Be sure to loo carefully to see if it’s young or ripe, and if it’s in brine or water rather than syrup.
When buying canned jackfruit be sure to note that you are looking for young, unripe jackfruit and not the ripe version
If you live in a small town you can always order unripe jackfruit online at Amazon.
What Kind of Jackfruit Should I Buy?
Unless you are making a dessert or looking to eat sweet jackfruit, do not buy the canned version that’s in syrup.
Most vegan recipes are using unripe jackfruit which isn’t sweet. It’s the kind that’s used in BBQ Jackfruit, which is what most people cook first.
Honestly, I think using canned is easier than breaking down a fresh jackfruit. I would encourage you to at least cook with the canned version the first time you cook with it.
What Kind of Canned Jackfruit Should I Use?
These recipe uses canned unripe jackfruit and be sure to read the label carefully, because you want the young jackfruit in brine and not the one in a sweetened syrup.
We’re using an unripe jackfruit and it’s not sweet at all. That’s why it’s great for savory main dishes.
What Is Jackfruit Good For?
The way jackfruit breaks apart to resemble shredded meats makes it perfect for jackfruit pulled BBQ, and shredded Mexican taco fillings.
It really can be used to replace any shredded meat in a recipe. Just know that it doesn’t have a strong flavor and does best with lots of sauce or spices.
How Do I Make Jackfruit pulled “pork” BBQ?
It’s super easy to try making your own jackfruit BBQ. Get a can of young jackfruit in brine and a jar of your favorite vegan BBQ sauce.
Open, drain, and rinse the jackfruit. You can either put it in a pan on the stove, in your Instant Pot, or in your slow cooker with the sauce.
If you are using your Instant Pot add the mixture to a pyrex bowl, cover with foil, and place on the IP rack with a cup or 2 of water in the bottom. Cook on high pressure for about 10 minutes.
Or you can add about 1 cup of water and cook it all in the liner of your electric pressure cooker. Your IP will not come up to pressure unless there is enough water. Cook on high pressure for about 10 minutes.
What Does Jackfruit Taste Like?
Ripe jackfruit tastes fruity and reminds many people of juicy fruit gum. The unripe version has been described as having the flavor of pork or heart of palm.
Personally, I find the taste fairly mild. In the recipes I’ve made with it the flavors of the sauces or the spices definitely come through.
The Nutritional Value of Jackfruit
Jackfruit is full of magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, and other antioxidants which is a great addition to your diet. The one thing that may surprise you is that it is very low in protein.
But don’t stop that from making jackfruit recipes, it’s delicious and if you want to protein up your meal you can add in some beans or quinoa.
Can I Use Fresh Jackfruit?
You can use fresh jackfruit but it takes more time and effort on your part.
The video below shows an unripe jackfruit being peeled and cut. You can see that the unripe fruit is harder to cut. Remember that you can always buy prepared jackfruit on Amazon.
How Do I Cut Fresh Jackfruit?
Here’s a video that shows you another way to break down a whole jackfruit. Note that this is a ripe jackfruit. You can tell because it’s skin is darker, softer, and no longer green. Also it will smell fruity.
Can I Eat Jackfruit Seeds?
You can eat mature jackfruit seeds, but you must cook them first. It’s important to make sure jackfruit seeds are cooked according to a recipe’s direction as they can be poisonous if not cooked properly.
The mature seeds come from ripe jackfruit and are hard like nuts.
Here is an article on how to cook jackfruit seeds link from Friedas: https://www.friedas.com/how-to-cook-jackfruit-seeds
They are used in Indian cooking. They taste similar to chestnuts and you can roast or boil in water.
Note: If you are using canned young jackfruit you are cooking all of it, so you do not need to do anything special to the immature seeds.
What Can I Make with Jackfruit Seeds?
I haven’t made any vegan jackfruit seed recipes yet, but these are on my list:
Where Can I Buy Fresh Jackfruit?
You can get fresh jackfruit at Indian or Asian markets. You will find them in the produce section. Be sure to ask if you are looking for unripe jackfruit.
You can buy them whole, but remember some of them weigh up to 100 pounds! In my Asian market, Li Ming’s, they usually have it cut into smaller pieces.
Remember to look at the outer skin to see if it’s ripe if you want to eat it like a fruit. It will be green and hard if it’s unripe, and that’s what you are looking for to make vegan meat-style recipes.