How to Break Down a Jackfruit

We have cooked with Jackfruit a few times in the past, but we’d always used ready to eat packaged jackfruit. So, when we saw a fresh jackfruit at the Korean market near us, we felt like we had to give it a shot. After bringing it home and breaking it down, we had a few learnings and tips/tricks to share before we get into the process itself (which will be noted in captions under the pictures):

  • Jackfruit is sticky!
    • Wear food grade gloves to keep your hands from getting sticky.
    • If your hands do get sticky, alcohol based hand sanitizer is a helpful way to get the sticky juices off.
    • A little bit of oil spread on your knife will help repel the juices and keep your knife from getting all gummed up.
  • Most of the Jackfruit is usable, but needs a very different method of treatment, so working in a particular order is good for efficiency:
    • The tendrils (the stringy parts that sort of hold the fruit pods in place) have little intrinsic flavour, and they can take on any spices you add to them (a little like tofu). Further, they mimic the texture of pulled pork nicely but need to be boiled for about 45 minutes before use.
    • The seeds can be eaten too, and they remind us a little bit of chestnuts. They also need to be extricated from the fruit pods and boiled or roasted before use.
    • The fruit pods can be eaten raw or cooked, so we work with those last. They have a muted sweetness, which is delicious on its own…but also adds a good bit of depth and dichotomy to spicy dishes.
Slice your jackfruit into wedges so you can remove the cores (inedible) in the next step.
Cut off the cores from each of your wedges. Then, use your hands to pull out the fruit pods, and set them aside. Pull out the tendrils next, and place them in a large pot.
Boil your tendrils for about 45 minutes to make them tender. Then, drain the water, rinse, and you’ll be ready to use them.
Remove the seeds from your fruit pods, and either roast or boil said seeds. At this point, your fruit pods are ready for consumption or to be used in another dish.
We prefer to slice our fruit pods and use them in conjunction with our boiled tendrils, as this gives a great meaty consistency to any dish while also building a very unique flavour profile.

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