Jackfruit isn’t something you’ll necessarily find in your local grocery store, but hit up an Asian, Indian, or Caribbean market and you may find it fresh or canned; it’s readily available on Amazon.com. It’s high in protein, potassium and vitamin B, making it great for a meatless meal.
We first heard about it after vegan chefs Heather Goldberg and Jenny Engel of Spork Foods sent us a recipe for their Peanut Ginger Jackfruit Noodles. As they note, “…you can think of looking at every ingredient [in this recipe] as a potential source of nutrients when going meatless!
Peanut Ginger Jackfruit Noodles Recipe
1 can (19-ounce) young green jackfruit, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons organic rice vinegar
1 tablespoon palm sugar or organic evaporated cane sugar
2 tablespoons tamari
2 teapoons fresh ginger, finely grated
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon neutral tasting high heat oil (safflower)
½ cup organic smooth peanut butter
¼ cup coconut milk, plus about ¼ cup water as needed
¼ cup organic tamari
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons palm sugar or organic evaporated cane sugar
3 tablespoons organic rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely grated
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 package (16-ounce) brown rice spaghetti noodles
¼ cup crispy shallots (hânh phi)
1. Cut each piece jackfruit into 6 pieces and place in a large bowl. Add rice vinegar, sugar, tamari, ginger, garlic powder and chili flakes and toss to coat. Marinate for 10-20 minutes, for best flavor.
2. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Add jackfruit and all marinating liquid. Cook for about 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add noodles and cook according to package, about 7-8 minutes. Strain.
4. While noodles are cooking, in a 4-quart pot, add peanut butter, coconut milk and about ¼ cup water. Whisk until uniform. Add tamari, maple syrup, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice, ginger and garlic and whisk. Cook sauce for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
5. Toss the warm noodles with the peanut sauce and top with cooked jackfruit and crispy shallots. Serve warm.
Why We Love It
From Goldberg and Engel: “Now may be the time of day that abstaining from meat is the hardest because dinner is supposed to be a hearty and satisfying experience. There are an incredible amount of meat-free dinner ideas that you may not even realize you’re already incorporating into your diet like a bean and rice burrito, many dishes at a Thai, Ethiopian or Indian restaurant and more. The reason you don’t miss the meat with these choices is because when you incorporate beans, grains and veggies into your meal, you feel full and satisfied. There’s also a ton of fiber in these types of dishes, and fiber keeps your digestive system functioning so that’s always a bonus!”
Jackfruit Fun Facts from NPR
- It is the largest tree fruit in the world, capable of reaching 100 pounds.
- It grows on the branches — and the trunks — of trees that can reach 30, 40, 50 feet.
- In countries like India and Bangladesh, where the jackfruit was once widely cultivated, it has fallen out of favor.
The name “jackfruit” most likely emerged from what the Portuguese called it,“jaca,” which was probably a version of a name used in southern India, “chakka pazham.” Jackfruit has other names, too: kathal in Bangladesh, kanun in Thailand and nangka in Malaysia.