So, let me explain something about my eating habits: I do eat and enjoy meat. I also understand and appreciate where my meat comes from and the fact that an animal had to die in order for me to consume said meat.
I personally think that it’s important to have that understanding and accept that fact. No head-burying here. As I work through some of my food relationship issues, I’m also trying to be mindful of my food and my consumption. Eating and chewing slowly, relishing the flavors and textures… Not scoffing it down because I’m super hungry.
Really, I’m just enjoying my food even more than I already do. I think that the other angle that I take of being mindful when it comes to food is taking into account the quality of what I eat. For me, that means a lot of fruit and vegetable and a little bit of meat. Sometimes, that means a heavy meat night usually followed by a meat free night. Usually, it just means I go really heavy on vegetables in a dish and don’t cook as much meat.
Today is a meat free day!
Okay, now onto the topic of this baby:
Picture credit: bobbyvj0
What the hell is that?
It’s a fruit that I grew up eating packed in syrup in cans because my Malaysian mother couldn’t get it fresh in Australia. It’s something that she grew up eating fresh out of the fruit. From this angle, it looks like a billion green bananas packed together, but they’re most definitely not bananas. Let’s zoom out:
Picture Credit: Alex Popovkin
Still confused? For those that are familiar, it looks a little like a durian, the proclaimed “king of the fruits”. For those that are now scared, it most definitely is NOT a durian. Calm down.
This is a jackfruit. It’s a giant-ass spiny, scary-looking dinosaur egg of a fruit that looks like this when you split it open:
Picture Credit: Raelcohen
Each of those yellow bulbs get pulled out and then look like this:
Picture Credit: Carlrubino
The fruit is up top and the seeds that are contained within them are separated at the bottom.
The fruit has a firm, chewy texture – akin to maybe a just under ripe nectarine or mango.
The flavor is sweet and subtle. Definitely, a little tropical with notes of pineapple, mango and stone fruit.
It’s been hailed as a miracle fruit. As the world warms, crop yields from wheat and corn are starting to reduce. Jackfruit has been named as a particularly viable alternative. As the largest treeborne fruit, just 10-12 bulbs gives you enough nutrition to last an entire day. It is rich in potassium, calcium and iron, making it more micronutrient-heavy than your typical starchy staple and it resists many bugs and high temperatures. The timber is also viable as are the seeds.
All that means to you is that this fruit IS a miracle. It gives you a meatless Monday dish that is incredibly reminiscent of a piggy porky Friday. Now, don’t get me wrong. The texture IS different and I’m not going to pretend it’s exactly the same, but it’s a delicious alternative for when you have a hankering for some vege barbecue.
- 2 cans of Jackfruit or 3 cups of fresh Jackfruit
- 1 large onion
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- 1 tablespoon of coriander
- 1 tablespoon of onion powder
- I tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon of chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon of powdered chicken or vegetable bullion
- Stevia or monk fruit to taste
- Bbq sauce to taste
- Drain jackfruit if canned then soak in water to remove any brine. If using fresh, rip into strips and set aside.
- Saute onions over medium low heat until soft then add garlic. Add jackfruit and saute for a few minutes.
- Once softened and browned, add in all spices and bullion. When aromatic, add in BBQ sauce and sweetener.
- Turn off the heat and transfer to a large bowl or plate. Using two forks, shred the jackfruit until it resembles pork.
- Serve with tortillas, cabbage salad, guacamole and tomatoes.