I’ve been pretty familiar with jackfruit since you do see it quite often in Brazil. Except back home we call it jaca. It’s this huuuge fruit that grows in trees. I remember loving going to the botanical garden in Rio de Janeiro and walking around looking up at the beautiful jaca trees. Always very careful though since the jackfruit can get quite big. Can you imagine if one of those land on you?
Jackfruit is a delicious and sweet fruit. Whenever you walk close to a jackfruit tree, you can even smell its sweetness. I love it!
So when I started seeing meat alternatives made out of jackfruit, I became beyond excited for many reasons. First, it’s an actual natural and healthy alternative in the sense that it’s a fruit and not a science experiment – like in the case of many common meat alternatives. Second, I get absolutely fascinated with how simple ingredients can completely transform into something else. Like magic! And third, well whenever I see something that is typical in Brazil I get excited :).
From a nutritionist perspective, here’s little FIY when you want to have jackfruit as a pork/chicken/crab substitute. Jackfruit is, well a fruit. Although it has fiber and amazing vitamins and minerals, its protein amount is not that high. So keep that in mind when you balance out your dish. This is actually the main reason why I added chickpeas.
Having said that, this recipe is not only delicious but so easy and quick to make. You can have a meal ready in 20 minutes or less. It is also plant-based (vegan friendly) and gluten-free. And it is really inexpensive to make. Even with organic ingredients!
Shredded Jackfruit Recipe
- 1 can green jackfruit in brine ( I get mine in Trader Joe’s)
- 1 can chickpeas (rinse and drain)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (organic without salt)
- 1 small purple onion chopped
- 4-5 garlic cloves minced
- Handful fresh parsley
- Handful green onion chopped
- 2 TBSP green olives chopped
- 1 TBSP oregano
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- Rinse and drain jackfruit and use your clean fingertips to shred the jackfruit pieces. Add to a medium bowl and mix with parsley, green onion, green olives, oregano, turmeric, garlic powder, smoked paprika, a little salt, and drizzle some olive oil. Set aside.
- In a medium pan over medium high heat, cook onions and garlic with a little olive oil until it softens.
- Add to the pan the can of tomatoes, followed by the chickpeas, and the seasoned jackfruit.
- Cook for a few minutes just until everything heats up. Try it and tweak spices if needed.
- Enjoy with rice, quinoa, or as a stuffing for a pie.