Jackfruit: The Vegetable Meat and Native Food’s New “BBQ Jackelope Sandwich”

I dropped by Native Foods today for lunch and imagine my surprise when I saw a new menu item, The BBQ Jackelope Sandwich! (I was also dismayed to see that it replaced my current favorite, the Bistro Steak Sandwich, but that’s another story). The new Jackelope Sandwich is made from slow cooked jackfruit, smothered with smokehouse BBQ sauce and topped with Asian salad.

jackfruit

What? You’ve never heard of jackfruit? Well, you’re in for a treat. A healthy, all natural, vegan treat!

The jackfruit grows in tropical locales on tall, evergreen trees. Pricky and green in its unripened state, which is when it is perfect to use as a meat substitute (it is yellow and sweet when ripe). It is cultivated in India, Ceylon, southern China, Thailand, and other countries with hot, humid climates.

Jackfruit

The jackfruit is not cultivated much in the United States, and though attempts have been made in Florida and Hawaii, it is rare to see a jackfruit tree in this country.

jackfruit

But, how does it taste? The unripened jackfruit has a taste and consistency similar to chicken when it is cooked. It can be shredded or cut into chunks, and can be slow cooked for extra flavor. Because of its cultivation in Asian countries, it is frequently used in curries. The one other time I ate jackfruit was at the Bohdi Tree, a vegan Asian restaurant in Huntington Beach.

The jackfruit is nutrient rich, especially in vitamins C and B complex. It has small amounts of vitamin A, plus potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron. It is also high in dietary fiber.

So you don’t have a jackfruit tree in your backyard? No worries. In this country, jackfruit is most frequently available in cans and is sold at Asian and Caribbean markets. Because of it’s moderate popularity, I’m not sure if it is available at supermarkets like Whole Foods.  There are a few online sources, including Amazon.com. Make sure to look for unripe (or young) jackfruit in brine.

Recipes? I’m sorry to say that I have never cooked with jackfruit (yet!). I have done my research for you though. Here is a video from Melisser Elliot from Everyday Dish TV with her Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos.

Here are two recipes from Clean Green Simple, Carolina Pulled “Pork” Sandwich, and Jessica’s version of the Jackfruit Carnitas.

Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day! has a recipe for Carnitas sandwiches (Cadry reviewed the book and made the sandwich, you can check her post out here).

I have to say that a long time ago I used to love carnitas. I will definitely try one of these recipes!

jackfruit

So, how did I like my BBQ Jackelope sandwich from Native Foods? Well, I liked it a lot. The texture is amazing (unless you’re a vegan who gets freaked out by food that feels too “meaty”). The flavor of the jackfruit was a little overwhelmed by the sauce which was a little too spicy. I say that as someone who would put Sriracha on everything, so if you aren’t into spicy food, this particular sandwich might not be right for you. The Asian slaw (which is on the sandwich itself), helps to cool it down and adds a satisfying crunch. I will order it again.

Jackfruit

Have you ever tried jackfruit? What did you think?

Joining the Pin It Party!

I excited that I’m joining Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean and a lot of other bloggers in a Pin It Party today! We are all choosing five of our posts, new or old, to share.  Here are some of my favorite recipes and workouts. I do hope that you will find something to pin.

pin-it-party

 

Asparagus, Avocado and Quinoa Salad with Mango Lime Vinaigrette. Vegan.  This salad is delicious, easy to prepare, and looks elegant enough for a dinner party.

Asparagus-Salad - Pin it Party

 

 Two Workouts: Get Your Vanity On & Learn to Function  Two workouts in this post, one to hit all those “vanity” muscles, to help you look toned and fit, the other a totally functional workout, to get your body ready for sport or life.

Vanity Workout - Pin it Party

Tempeh Tacos. Vegan & Gluten Free.  So easy and delicious, these tacos are spicy and quick to make.

Tempeh-Tacos - Pin it Party

Adding Tempo Training Runs to Get Faster Plus 3 Workouts!  When you don’t have a lot of time, this Fast & Furious workout will work you out thoroughly in about 20 minutes (plus you will also find two tempo training workouts!)

FF Workout - Pin it party

Rice Salad with Cream Tarragon Dressing  Years after the restaurant that served it closed, I finally was able to recreate my favorite dish.

Rice Salad - Pin it Party

 

I hope that you have found something worth pinning today. Bloggers, there is still time to join the party! Check out Lindsay’s post with the guidelines and link up! Or, you can share one of your favorites posts in the comments.