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Try these meaty, vegan jackfruit recipes for a healthy twist to your plant-based recipes.
The jack of all fruits, AKA jackfruit, could very well be the vegan’s dream food. It’s amazing how meaty this tropical fruit is when young and unripe! Taste-wise, jackfruit is essentially a blank canvas to work with and texture wise, it mimics the feel of shredded/pulled meat. Packed with vitamins, minerals, potassium, fibers and scores of other anti-inflammatory benefits, the jackfruit should be a staple in the plant-based kitchen. To help you get started, here are ten mind blowing vegan jackfruit recipes to try.
A Few Facts About Jackfruit
Before we delve into the recipes, it’s worth The fruit appears to have originated in India, where it has been cultivated there for the past 3,000 to 6,000 years and where it is a vegetarian food staple used in curries and many other dishes known as kathal. It grows abundantly in tropical climes so it’s all over South East Asia. If you have traveled in that region, you may have come across jackfruit crisps/chips, a popular snack made from dehydrated and sweetened jackfruit. We also have jackfruit trees here in Hong Kong actually! You may have seen the large, bruised fruits by the roadside in the more leafy areas of the New Territories. It can be mistaken for a durian or a soursop though they are not directly related. Last fun fact: the jackfruit is the largest tree fruit on earth!
Where To Buy Jackfruit In Hong Kong
While you can find ripe, mature jackfruit with yellow flesh at most Hong Kong supermarkets, you actually want young, unripe jackfruit with pale white flesh in order to use it as a meat substitute and for all the recipes below. The easiest way to buy it is in brine in a can. Jackfruit is a very new product outside of Asia. There are very few non-Asian brands on the market and only one organic one that is widely available online: Native Forest’s BPA-Free Organic Young Jackfruit. Unfortunately, this is not available in Hong Kong. You can find brands of canned young jackfruit like Chao Koh or Aroy-D at most Thai and Indonesian grocery shops around Hong Kong (almost every neighborhood has one, usually near or in the wet market). They are inexpensive though they are not organic, and usually include some basic preservatives like citric acid and calcium chloride.
1. Bulgogi Jackfruit
Jackfruit stands in for beef in this simple but delicious Namely Marly take on bulgogi, the ultimate Korean barbecue dish. Ingenious!
Photo courtesy of Namely Marly
Get The Recipe: Crockpot Bulgogi Jackfruit
2. Jackfruit and Black Bean Wraps
As wrap lovers, we were all about this hearty, meat-free take from Quite Good Food. Paired with a simple slaw ‘dressing’, this is a great meal on the go or a great light lunch alternative.
Photo courtesy of Quite Good Food
Get The Recipe: Jackfruit and Black Bean Wraps
3. Jackfruit Fish-Free Tacos
This vegan take on pescado perfection from Keepin It Kind tastes just as good as it looks. And no need to scrape off the mayo from your fish tacos, the recipe includes a deliciously spicy Ancho Chili Cashew Cheese. Hello vegan taco night!
Photo courtesy of Keepin It Kind
Get The Recipe: Jackfruit Fish-Free Tacos
4. Larb Jackfruit
We are huge fans of larb, the Isaan Thai/Laotian dish usually made with ground meat. Herbivoracious‘ vegan recipe substitutes in jackfruit and combines it with a dressing packed with chili heat, puckery lime juice and fresh herbs served over lettuce leaves or cabbage. Our tastebuds are salivating in anticipation!
Photo courtesy of Herbivoracious
Get The Recipe: Larb Jackfruit
5. Jackfruit Carnitas
A Green Queen original, chef Anthony Damico’s Jackfruit Carnitas are a great alternative to pulled pork, without the guilt of meat or drama of slow, slow cooking. Smoky, juicy and served with piquant pickled onions, the eerily-similar-to-pulled-pork texture and flavor will leave you in disbelief.
Photo courtesy of Anthony Damico
Get The Recipe: Jackfruit Carnitas AKA Vegan Pulled Pork
6. Jackfruit Crab Cakes
A testament to just how versatile jackfruit can be,One Green Planet‘s meaty crab cake recipe is the real deal! Serve these lumpy golden brown patties with its vegan tartar sauce accompaniment, throw in some lemon wedges, and you’re good to go! (Hot Tip: We like to drizzle a little Sriracha on top of ours)
Photo courtesy of One Green Planet
Get The Recipe: Jackfruit Crab Cakes
7. Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip
The perfect dip for game day or your next family holiday party gathering, Vegan Yack Attack offers up this cheesy, spicy, creamy bowl of goodness that takes only five minutes to prep and 30 minutes to bake! #HostessWithTheMostess
Photo courtesy of Vegan Yack Attack
Get The Recipe: Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip
8. Pulled Jackfruit Enchiladas Verdes
This vegan take on traditional pork enchiladas are what our foodie dreams are made of! One Ingredient Chef lets us in on his secret move: sautéing the jackfruit in a little soy sauce to develop the flavor. Combined with some corn tortillas and homemade enchilada sauce, this is a dinner winner!
Photo courtesy of One Ingredient Chef
Get The Recipe: Pulled Jackfruit Enchiladas Verdes
9. Maple Cinnamon Delicata Squash Salad with Vegan Jackfruit Bacon
When the warmer weather calls for a light and refreshing meal, this yummy salad from Sweet Simple Vegan is our go-to, especially because of founder Jasmine’s jackfruit bacon topping. The tender, fleshy jackfruit soaks up the flavors of the smoky, pepper-maple mixture marinade for an unbelievable replica.
Photo courtesy of Sweet Simple Vegan
Get The Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Delicata Squash Salad with Vegan Jackfruit Bacon
10. BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw
One of our absolute favorite healthy food bloggers, Minimalist Baker, serves up these yummy barbecue jackfruit sammies (that’s Food Channel slang for sandwiches). Tender in texture, big in flavor, and crunchy thanks to slaw, this satisfying and simple recipe uses only 10 ingredients!
Photo courtesy of Minimalist Baker
Get The Recipe: BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw
Lead photo courtesy of Keepin It Kind.