I am a jackfruit virgin no more. Jenn from one of my favorite blogs ever, Veganize It...Don't Criticize It! and author of Veganize This!, has initiated me into the wonders of this fruit, and I just have to say that whoever first thought of using it as a meat substitute must be some kind of genius.
I was super excited to receive my copy of Veganize This! and have been flagging all the recipes that I want to try, which is pretty much all of them. Unfortunately for me, Jenn's book arrived just at the time that I embarked on a temporary gluten-free phase, and since the majority of her recipes are based around seitan, I'm going to have to wait a while to make a lot of them. Fortunately though, she also has some amazing looking recipes using jackfruit as a seafood substitute.
I'd been wanting to try a jackfruit recipe for quite a while now. I've seen a lot of recipes online, for everything from Chow Vegan's BBQ Pulled "Pork" sandwiches and Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos to the recipe on Jenn's own site for Jackfruit Crab Cakes, which is also included in her book. I made some vegan crab cakes recently, so I decided instead to make Jenn's recipe for Vegan Black Cumin Crab Tostadas over Cabbage Salad with Lime, Mint, & Wasabi Dressing. Oh yeah. How could you not want to make something with a description like that? So many of her recipes have titles like something you would order in the kind of fancy restaurant where they make you wear a jacket, and there are separate waiters to fill your water, fold your napkin, and hand you sculpted pats of butter with fancy little silver tongs.
I have to confess that I didn't have any black cumin, so I just used regular cumin. That might have fundamentally changed the flavor of this recipe, but it still turned out great, so I'm not too worried about it. You mix cumin and some other spices together, then coat the jackfruit with the spice mix, and pan-fry it until browned and slightly crispy. I should mention that these type of savory recipes make use of the young, green jackfruit that is packed in water or brine. When the jackfruit ripens, it becomes yellow and sweet, and is usually canned in syrup. That is not the kind of jackfruit you want to use for this type of recipe.
It amazed me how much the jackfruit actually did resemble jumbo lump crabmeat, or pulled pork shreds for that matter. You have to pull apart the chunks of fruit into these smaller pieces, and the texture is very similar to canned or jarred artichoke hearts.
|Jackfruit lump "crab" meat|