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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

How to Eat a Jackfruit


Jackfruit 1

Photos taken at the San Gabriel Superstore - San Gabriel. Can you tell how big it is? Jackfruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world and can weigh up to 80 lbs.

Jackfruit 2

How about now?

Jackfruit 3

A few months back my youngest aunt stopped by with a section of jackfruit for me.

Jackfruit 4

I could already tell by the smell and the color that it was super sweet.

Jackfruit 5

Jackfruit have lots of these tendrils holding the meat. Just pop it out.

Jackfruit 6

Then remove the seed.

Jackfruit 7

Eat at room temperature or chilled. Doesn't the remaining shell and tendrils look like a shag carpet? :P

Jackfruit 8

There's a bit of a mucous coating the fruit so be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

September 10, 2008 Update: My mom says Vietnamese don't waste anything. The jackfruit seeds can be boiled and eaten. They supposedly taste starchy like potatoes. The jackfruit "tendrils" are bland but edible, so braise them in meat dishes.

My Vietnamese jackfruit recipes:
Goi Mit Non Tom Thit Heo (Vietnamese Green Jackfruit Salad with Pork and Shrimp)
Hot Mit Luoc (Vietnamese Boiled Jackfruit Seeds)
Thit Heo Kho Mit (Vietnamese Braised Pork with Jackfruit)
Tropical Fruit Cocktail Delight

You can see jackfruit on the tree in my Mekong Delta - Vietnam virtual tour.

I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Herb Blogging, a world-wide food blogging event created by Kalyn's Kitchen celebrating herbs, vegetables, or flowers.

If you would like to participate, see who's hosting next week. WHB is hosted this week by Ulrike of Kuchenlatein.

1 year ago today, on Sundays...I still watch out for and give my cans to the little old Chinese man who digs through the recycling bins.


  1. Never had Jackfruit. Looks like roasted garlic when cut :)

  2. wow... looks so sweet... i can just imagine its' sweet scent... try eating them frozen, it's so refreshing... :)

  3. The grocery near me has small ones frozen and the canned ones. The frozen ones' flesh is much more yellow inside than in your pictures - I guess they weren't very ripe? The canned ones are ok, but a bit rubbery.

  4. I used to have jackfruit growing up in Brazil. My dad grows it. I never bought it here though.

    Colbat Dragon:
    Canned ones??? No,no,no...don'y go there.....

  5. I didn't know jackfruit could get that dark, I'd figure it was rotten if I saw one like that:)

    What should I look for at the store if I ever pick one up? And if I just get a green one, do I let it sit out on my counter until it gets dark like the one your aunt brought you? I don't think I've seen them like that in stores.

  6. that looks so good! i miss eating jackfruit. we never bought a fresh one but there are always fresh frozen.

  7. Whoa, I haven't had to peel/unravel jackfruit before -- and I wouldn't know how if I just picked one up myself. Thanks for the pic: now I have some ammo to deal with it.

  8. I would have thought the same thing as marvin about the color.

    I've been picking up jackfruit these last couple of weeks. Before now, I hadn't had it in years!

    And you're right about the "sap". It's so sticky! It left a sticky, almost greasy residue on my knife that has proven quite difficult to remove!

    BTW, my friend said you could boil the pits and eat them like beans. I've never tried it.

  9. Marija,
    Haha. It's hard to describe the taste, but it's definitely sweet and nowhere near garlic in flavor.

    That's good too.

    There's actually several varieties of jackfruit. Some are yellow. Some are slightly smaller.

    I didn't know jackfruit grew in Brazil. That's cool! My mom's house in Vietnam has one in the backyard too.

    I have no idea how to pick a jackfruit. I simply don't eat that much! If you find it, I'd look for the ones that are already cut up so you get just a section. Or go to the strip mall where I buy Quang Tran Chinese sausage in El Monte, look for the white van near the doctor's office. They sell them already cut and peeled even.

    I'm so used to eating canned that I really don't mind. I don't think I've ever bought them frozen.

    I'm not sure about the picking out part, but at least now you know how to get to the seed.

    Diane of WoRC recommends oiling your hands and knife, but I don't want an oily residue on my food. Maybe just oil the knife but not your hands? I didn't know the seeds were edible!

    Nope, the stinky fruit is durian. Spikier.

  10. They sell jackfruits whole and broken down at the various Vietnamese shopping centers around here.

    Annie likes them deep fried.

    What do you do with the shell and tendrils after you're done? Do they have any other uses?

  11. Nate,
    Deep-fried jackfruit? That's the first I've heard of that! Does she batter them like fried bananas I wonder? The tendrils are edible but tasteless. I just toss both into my compost bin.

  12. Yes, exactly like fried bananas. They're a favorite in Malaysia.

  13. Great photos! I've never seen or tasted this but it's very intriguing. I had no idea they could be so large either, very informative!

  14. great photos! i've never known what to do with jackfruit but now i'm ready to go!

  15. Great post on jackfruit!

    One more thing - it was suggested to me in both Indonesia and the Philippines that you have a little food in your stomach before consuming jackfruit. Otherwise, you might have a stomach ache.

  16. Nate,
    Ah, OK, I could see that as a pretty good dessert.

    I knew they got large, just didn't know they got to 80 lbs large!

    I've always just eaten them plain.

    Ahem. That's because jackfruit alone will make you gassy. :P

  17. OMG my MIL made me open one with her and there was so much sticky stuff that we had to wipe as we cut. also she told me that her mom told her to dunk the fruit into sea salted water right after and it's supposed to kind of make it better somehow. i think it just made it taste a little better a la mango with salt on it. also, she did say that same thing your mom did about boiling the seeds. i'm curious now!

  18. Jin,
    Yeah, all that mucuous is a pain to deal with. My mom never said anything about dunking the fruit in salt water. Feel like it would make it less sweet? The boiled seeds are chestnut-like.

  19. Thank you for this info, I just moved into a new home in Zambia & it has a Jackfruit tree pregnant with fruit! I didn't know it was edible @ first so I had just been letting the fruit rot:(. But now I know :) so I can't wait for the next ripe fruit so I can taste it!


  20. Rue,
    Letting jackfruit rot! Oh my mom would be devastated if she heard someone had a whole tree and didn't know what to do with it. Hope you're enjoying it now!

  21. Jackfruit seeds are enjoyed in Indian cuisine as well! We don't waste anything either. The fruit is just awesome!


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