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A while ago, I went to one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago called Ruxbin. It's a fantastically small, cozy place where you experience exotic flavors, like smoked octopus, black fermented chickpeas and JACKFRUIT. When I say a while ago, I mean about a year...but I could not, would not forget the jackfruit. It was unlike anything I've had, mimicking pulled pork in texture. The dish was jackfruit tacos and it's seriously been on my mind since. Sadly, it's taken me this long to make my own attempt at creating a similar dish.
I was especially motivated to create this dish because of my food allergy to pork. Usually I swap out pork for another protein except turkey (yes, another food allergy) and call it a day. But pulled pork is truly a texture I miss, and jackfruit, when cooked, does offer a similar mouth feel.
Finding fresh jackfruit may be an issue for some (well, most in our part of the world), so you may want to get canned in your local Asian market (order on-line for those in remote locations). Canned jackfruit is definitely the way to go if you're pressed for time or want to take a short-cut. I like the brined jackfruit (lower right picture) versus the syrup packed jackfruit (left).
If you go on-line and type in health benefits of jackfruit, you'll see a magnitude of benefits; however, it can be misleading and inaccurate. Various websites tout 'healthy skin, boots immune system, increases energy, prevents anemia, strenghten bones, maintains healthy vision, relieves constipation, & lowers blood pressure,' Using my natural medicine database, a comprehensive database of natural medicines speaking towards the efficacy, claims, use and drug/nutrient interactions using science based evidence, I looked up jackfruit.
may have a sedative effect
can attenuate increases in blood glucose after meals
has zero interactions with food and lab tests
cross-allergenicity: jackfruit might cause allergic rxn in individuals sensitive to birch pollen
might lower blood glucose levels - if diabetic, adjusting dosage may be necessary
evidence suggests extracts of jackfruit have antibacterial effects
anti-diabetic effects: jackfruit leaf extract taken orally may attenuate postprandial % increases in blood glucose in patients with diabetes
some antifungal activity found
evidence suggests jackfruit, particularly the seeds, exhibit immunostimulative effects (enhances immune system)
(findings from Natural Medicines, search: Jackfruit, obtained 4/17/17)
Now that you know a bit more about jackfruit and it's potential health benefits, onto the recipe!
10 oz jackfruit (canned: drain, rinse, pat dry)
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne
kosher salt, pinch
4 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 small onion, diced
1 pablano, seeded & small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. mustard seed
4 tsp. tomato powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 lime, half cut into wedges, remaining half juiced
Garnish: lime wedges, lettuce chopped, onion (raw) diced, carrot and daikon shaved, cilantro fresh
1. Toss jackfruit, paprika, salt, cayenne and salt in a bowl until the jackfruit is fully coated
2. Heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil in saute pan and add the jackfruit, cooking on medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Turn down to low heat for another 30 min with a lid.
3. At this point, you can do one of two things. You can either use another saute pan while the jackfruit continues to cook or you can grab another saute pan and prepare the remaining ingredients. In your heated pan, add the remaining coconut oil. Once hot, add the onion, pablano, garlic, spices and lime juice. Cook until soft, combine with jackfruit, & adjust seasoning until your palate is satisfied.
4. Serve over heated tortillas (corn preferably) with garnish