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There is very little better than trying something new. If you are constantly looking for new fruit to try, you may have come across the jackfruit. You might be interested in how this fruit tastes. If you are interested in this or are just wanting to try it, you might want to learn how to cut a jackfruit, as it can be difficult for people who have never seen it before.
Table of Contents
What Is A Jackfruit?
A jackfruit, for those unaware, is a tropical tree fruit that is grown in Asia. The scientific name for jackfruit is Artocarpus Heterophyllus, which is quite a mouthful. Speaking of being a mouthful, the jackfruit is the largest known tree fruit to man and can weigh up to 40 pounds or more.
While fresh, wild jackfruit can be large and heavy, a lot of grocers or supermarkets will have these prepared for you in slices, either in a can or a pouch. You can also buy them peeled to save you the effort of doing it yourself. The rind can be difficult to get off as it is a thick and dumpy rind similar to that of a watermelon. Inside the fruit is a stringy flesh that can be eaten raw and enjoyed, or cooked in a large variety of dishes.
What Does A Jackfruit Taste Like?
The most interesting thing about jackfruit, and why so many people want to try it, is that it changes its flavor based on how ripe it is. While being similar to other fibrous fruits, if eaten unripe the jackfruit will have a very different taste than if you were to eat a ripe jackfruit.
Unripe jackfruit has a very neutral flavor and can be used as an alternative to meats such as pork or chicken. The flavor can be easily changed with some sauce or marinade making it easily used as a substitute. This does not mean it can be unnoticeable from actual meat. Anyone will be able to tell that it is not meat. However, if you are fine with eating it and knowing it is jackfruit, the firm texture easily soaks up sauce making it very well and evenly flavored.
Ripe jackfruit has the complete opposite flavor of unripe jackfruit. The ripe green jackfruit is very sweet and can be easily compared to having the flavor of similar tropical fruits such as mango and pineapples. The jackfruit can easily be thrown into any smoothie and be right at home as long as it is ripe enough to be sweet.
Preparing And Cutting Jackfruit
While jackfruit has very delicious flesh on the inside, the outer layer is a thick rind that can be covered in sap. This is common with a lot of tree fruits and jackfruit is no exception. Because of this, it is very helpful to prepare before cutting it. You will be thankful in the long run as this will minimize your cleanup time by a lot.
Worksurface And Knife Preparation
The most important thing you can be to properly prepare is to ensure that you have enough room to work in. This can be done by moving a few things around on your counter so that you have ample space, or by doing all of this on a dining table instead as they typically have lots of room.
Once you have a nice amount of room so that you can work without being squeezed, you will want to prepare the area. To do this, you can use anything of your choice but plastic wrap will work the best. This is so that the sticky sap will land on the plastic wrap instead of on your table or counter. When it comes to cleaning up, you can simply throw away your protective layer instead of having to clean everything.
Secondly, while your counter is safe from the sap, your hands are not. While it is completely optional, it is best to wear latex gloves so that you avoid getting any sap on your hand. This will also help you properly grip the fruit and your knife, ensuring you do not slip and hurt yourself. If you are not in possession of latex gloves or you do not want to wear them, you can also coat your hands in oil.
The sap found on a jackfruit is oil-soluble which means it can easily be cleaned off with oil. As well as being good for cleaning sap, oil can be used to prevent it from sticking to a surface in the first place. The types of oil you can use all depend on what you have available. While you can use whatever cooking oil you want, I would recommend avoiding those with strong flavors such as sesame oil or peanut oil. This is because you might touch the flesh with the oil and then ruin the flavor. Flavorless oil such as grapeseed oil and coconut oil are ideal for this.
Along with coating your hands in oil, it can be very helpful to use more oil to coat your knife. Simply rub oil on the knife with a paper towel to evenly spread it. There are other ways to apply oil but this is the easiest. Your oiled knife will cut the jackfruit easily, without the sap sticking to the knife and causing you to struggle with cutting.
When it comes to cutting a jackfruit, there are several methods of preparation and how you can cut them depending on what your end goal is. It can be quite easy and nice to cut them into cubes if you wish to add them to a fruit salad or use them as an alternative to meat in a cooked dish. However, before you cut them, you have to get past the rind first and take care of the jackfruit seeds.
To start, you will want to cut a segment from the end of the jack fruit vertically. This is ideally going to be an inch or two away from the end as you want to remove the smaller part of the fruit so that your slices can be somewhat even. Make sure you place the jackfruit on a cutting board and keep it firmly gripped to ensure you do not slip and cut yourself. Alternatively, you can half the jack fruit vertically and separate the two inner halves manually with your hands. The only caveat is that this can be quite messy.
After you have made your initial cut, it is time to repeat this process by cutting slices that are around 1 1/2-2 inches thick. This should be continued along the entirety of the fruit until you have around 6 slices.
Once you have your even slices, you will want to remove the core from each slice. The yellow parts of the fruit are the edible flesh and the rest is meant to be discarded. To remove the core, insert your knife into the border where the core meets the flesh and work your way around until it can be popped out.
Now that the core is removed, it is time to get the flesh separated from the white pulp. This can be done by cutting a vertical slice into your round slices so that you can unravel it into a long line of fruit. Once you have this done, grip the yellow pods and pull them off of the rind.
When the yellow pods are isolated from the white pulp and the rind, you can use your fingers to remove the seeds. This can easily be done with your fingers but it is important to not only remove the seed, but the seed covering as well. Raw jackfruit seeds are not edible, yet if you boil or roast them they can be a nice snack. Place them into a bowl on the side if you wish to do this.
As you coated your surface in plastic wrap, you can simply bunch that up and throw it in the trash. The same can go for your latex gloves as they are disposable. When it comes to cleaning your knife, wipe it down with a paper towel first and then apply oil to it again. The oil will help remove any leftover sap. After applying with oil again, wash the knife with dish soap.
If any sap has gotten on a work surface or something in your kitchen, liberally apply oil to the area and wipe it down with a towel before washing it with dish soap and warm water.