We always like trying new, exotic fruits and veggies, which is why Fresh Market is one of our fave stores. When we saw this alien looking pod, "Jackfruit",we knew we had to make something out of it.
When ripe, Jackfruit tastes kind of like pineapple, but more subtle. It's flesh is often used by Vegans as a meat substitute because when cooked, it can be shredded like pork. In fact, Jackfruit tacos are next on our list to make!
So we purchased a wedge and decided to make a dip that would normally use pulled pork as an ingredient. FYI, the wedge shown above was $9. Wonder how much a whole Jackfruit would cost? Whoa. An average Jackfruit tree produces around 100 to 200 fruits per year, some reaching 100 lbs per fruit!! Man...if I lived in Bangladesh (Jackfruit is their national fruit) I'd be growing lots of these trees!! If you can't find fresh Jackfruit, some stores sell it canned (in brine).
Anyway...There are several videos on YouTube with instructions on how to cut a whole Jackfruit, but we only got a wedge. The inside is stringy. You pull out the orange flesh, remove the seed and then pull the flesh apart into smaller bits. The seeds can also be eaten, but those are prepared differently so we just put them aside for now.
There are several ways to cook Jackfruit, we put our pieces in a small saucepan with a mixture of 1/2 cup veggie broth, 1/4 TSP minced garlic, 1/4 TSP chili powder and 2 TBSP of BBQ sauce (just enough to coat the fruit, not submerge it), and we simmered it on medium heat for about 8 minutes with the lid on. You know it's done when you can shred it like pork. We used Mountain Q Select Bourbon BBQ Sauce, purchased at Pepper Palace in Downtown Asheville but it can also be found on their website.
You can see it really looks like shredded pork! And tastes delicious! We're looking forward to experimenting more with this great meat substitute, but for now, happy to share our recipe for Jackfruit BBQ Dip with you!!
INGREDIENTS: (of course all cheese can be subbed for Vegan)
2 cups cooked Jackfruit (instructions above)
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 Cup shredded Cheddar (3/4 cup to mix, 1/4 cup to top)
Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, mix cheeses and celery, then mix in the Jackfruit. Transfer to a oven safe dish, top with the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded cheese, and bake for 20 minutes.
Serve warm with Roots & Branches crackers!!
**This can be made into a Buffalo Dip by subbing BBQ sauce with Buffalo sauce. Another idea is to add a couple TBSP of ranch dressing to the cheese mixture for a little more zest! And the Jackfruit in sauce would make a great taco filling!!