Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mexican Jackfruit Filling

So I finally went on a jackfruit adventure. I was intrigued by said fruit when I saw the pulled jackfruit BBQ sandwich on Chow Vegan because it looked so much like actual meat. If you've hung around this blog for any length of time you know I have no problem with fake meat or trying to recreate meat dishes. I loved meat but gave it up for a variety of reasons I won't get into here. OK, back to the jackfruit. First off, when it comes out of the can it smells pretty bad--about as bad as one might expect from something called "young green jackfruit in brine." When cooked, it reminds me of artichokes. I wonder if they are related. Like Chow Vegan, I wasn't really crazy about the taste until the next day after it had been sitting in the fridge. So, my advice is to make this a day or two in advance and let the flavours soak in. So, in the final analysis, it was pretty good but did not blow me away. The look is spot on, and the taste and texture is pretty good. Of course, jackfruit has no protein, so serve it with refried beans or something.

Serves 4-6
- 1 can young green jackfruit
- 1 onion, quartered
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- water
- 1 cup salsa (or more)
- spices to taste

1. Rinse jackfruit, squeeze dry, and place in a pot. Add in onion, garlic, spices, and orange juice, and enough water to almost cover the jackfruit. Bring to boiling, cover, then simmer until jackfruit is tender enough to shred with a fork--about 1.5 to 2 hours.
2. Remove jackfruit from pan and shred with two forks. Put in a frying pan and add in one cup of salsa. Bring to bubbling and simmer, stirring frequently, until salsa has reduced a bit. Add more salsa if you find the taste too weak, or of jackfruit is too dry. Cook until salsa has reduced and jackfruit is drier.
3. Season to taste and serve in burritos, tacos, etc.

Here is the jackfruit after being shredded. Freaky.