Jackfruit! ???? One of my isolation challenges was to spend some time considering and using Jackfruit in our meals. It is something I have only come to even notice on the supermarket shelf or to cook with in the last couple of years and even then I have not cooked with it often.
It comes in a can so is isolation friendly, it is also affordable, sustainable, and it has a crazy texture that when torn up looks not dissimilar to pulled pork. All good reasons to spend some time experimenting!
With most of us trying to mix up our diets and include more exciting vegan and vegetarian meals, Jackfruit is a really interesting option.
I have mainly used Jackfruit in ways that mimic pulled pork with sticky, smokey barbecue sauces. You add it to a pan of sticky barbecue type sauce and it heats through and is easily shredded which makes it a great vegan alternative in pulled pork Bau buns, Asian style Hoisin duck pancakes, sliders etc. These are all delicious options but today I was looking for something lighter and fresher and also something that would allow plenty of flexibility to use ingredients that I already had in the refrigerator and pantry.
I have tried to write this recipe so that you too can use what you have available and still come up with a delicious salad to make you feel good, and potentially to try and enjoy something new.
My favourite part of this salad making process today was the discovery that I could pre shred the jackfruit and add it to a pan of medium hot oil and have it became quite crispy and delicious. This is definitely a trick I am going to use again with jackfruit.
Feel free to double or triple the amount of toasted chilli nuts as these will be a delicious addition to any salad or grain dish.
FEELGOOD CRUNCHY JACKFRUIT SALAD
Enough for four people – probably.
- 2 cans of Jackfruit – drained and shredded into a bowl.
- 1 cup of nuts and or seeds – I used a mix of peanuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
- 1 tablespoon of Asian Chiu Chow Chilli Oil, or oil and 1 tsp of chilli flakes or Sriarcher sauce.
- 1/2 cup of any fresh herbs you have available – try for Asian flavours such as – coriander, Vietnamese mint, lemongrass, finely shredded kafir lime leaf, mint, (I even used a little parsley just to bulk it out!)
- Approximately six cups of mixed vegetables – SUCH AS – some shredded greens, lightly steamed broccolini or broccoli, shredded carrot, celery, kohlrabi, radishes, capsicum, sprouts……..Try for a mix of colours and textures.
- You could also add some Asian canned ingredients like water chestnuts and bamboo shoots…
- 1-2 spring onions or some finely sliced red onion.
- Optional avocado.
- 1 or 2 limes or lemons to squeeze over when you eat your salad.
- Extra chilli oil and sesame for people individually dress their salad if they like at the table.
The aim of the dressing is to find a balance of sweet, sour, salt and spice flavours. This is meant to be a dressing that packs a flavour punch
- 1/2 Cup juice and or rice wine vinegar – I used a mix of lime, lemon and orange juices and rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of Tamari or soy sauce.
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 clove of garlic
- Hot chilli either fresh or approximately 1 tablespoon hot sauce such as Sriarcher – to taste.
- 2 tablespoons of sweetener ( I used coconut sugar)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Salt if necessary
Start by toasting the nuts and or seeds in the chilli oil so that they can cool off before putting them in the salad. I recommend doing this slowly in a medium oven at approximately 170’c so that they can be come extra crunchy but not burnt. I have used approximately one cup of nuts as I want them to be an ingredient in the salad not merely a garnish (and for the salad to have real crunch). Also as a vegetarian salad they offer extra energy.
Next, make the dressing so that those flavours can meld together. I think that you can work with the sour – citrus vinegar component, which can be varied according to what you have. You need to taste and check to balance sweet, sour, salty and spicy – it will taste strong and delicious when it is correct.
Then into a large bowl chop and shred all your salad vegetables.
Chop your fresh herbs and mix these into your vegetables.
Heat a large pan with a couple of tablespoons of oil and when hot add your shredded jackfruit and allow it to brown and crisp.
The components of the salad can hold until you are ready to serve.
Make sure before you put it all together to hold back plenty of nuts and Jack fruit to garnish your salad.
Mix all the ingredients together with the salad dressing and turn out onto a platter and scatter over extra nuts and Jackfruit.
Serve with slices of lemon or lime and extra chilli or sesame oil if people want to add at the table.
Although the crunch will diminish with time this is still a salad that will make great leftovers for lunch the next day so don’t hesitate to make plenty of it. Ed was definitely disappointed when I said there was no more!
I hope that you will try and enjoy this salad.