What on earth is Jackfruit, and what's it doing in my sandwich?

Pulled Jackfruit – the star of our NEW vegan dish

We’re really excited to unveil our brand new Vietnamese Banh-Mi Sandwich; a toasted Hobbs House bakery baguette, stuffed with pulled jackfruit, pickled veg, cool vegan mayo and spicy Sriracha, served up with our new house coleslaw – and guess what? It’s 100% vegan!

But hang on a sec, what’s this jackfruit you speak of? Well aside from being the national fruit of Bangladesh (handy to know for your local pub quiz, right?) it’s a large melon-looking fruit that tastes somewhere in between mango, pineapple and banana when ripe.
However, the unripe, or ‘young’, jackfruit has a wonderfully satisfying and chewy texture, which unlike its’ spongey friend tofu, really does mimic the consistency of meat. It’s also amazing at taking on flavours or marinades making jackfruit a great substitute for pork, chicken or fish, which is low in calories and high in dietary fibre – bonus.

Pop in to your local BTP from 3rd May onwards and sample our Vietnamese Banh-mi for yourself – we’d love to hear your feedback by email, or on the socials @BTPCafes.

Want to try jackfruit at home? Here are our top tips:

  • Make life easy, and buy it in tins from large supermarkets, health food stores, or Asian supermarkets
  • Make sure you buy young jackfruit in water, not the ripe stuff
  • Marinade it, or use a spice rub before you cook it, just like you would with any slow-cooked meat

And here’s how to turn your new favourite ingredient into a Vegan Banh-mi sandwich of your own at home:

Young Jackfruit in water – 1 × 400g tin
Sunflower oil – 15ml
Water – 300ml
Smoked paprika – 1 tsp
Ground cumin – 1 tsp
2 Limes – juiced and zested
White wine vinegar – 40ml
Caster sugar – 40g
Salt – ½ tsp

For the Jackfruit
1. Drain the tin of jackfruit and pat the pieces dry with kitchen towel
2. Finely slice the jackfruit; both the fleshy fruit and the seeds can be used
3. Sprinkle the jackfruit with the smoked paprika and cumin, ensuring an even coating all over.
4. Heat the oil in a pan and add the jackfruit. Cook until it begins to brown slightly, like searing meat
5. Turn down to a low heat and gradually add the water, simmering until the water is fully absorbed and the fruit is soft and falls apart
6. Cook out until all the water has evaporated, taste and season with salt and pepper to taste

For the Pickled Veg
1. Whisk together the caster sugar, lime juice and zest, salt and white wine vinegar
2. Peel and finely slice carrot, red onion and cucumber pieces into little matchsticks (or ‘julienne’ if you’re feeling fancy
3. Put the sliced veg into a small Tupperware container and add the lime pickle juice.
4. Put the lid on, give it a good shake and allow to marinate for at least 5 minutes

To serve
1. Toast your favourite baguette / roll / bread
2. Stuff with the warm jackfruit mixture
3. Top with your finely sliced pickled veg, fresh coriander, vegan mayonnaise and as much sriracha as you can handle!

Perfected the recipe? Why not try making Peking ‘duck’ pancakes, or a Jackfruit ‘tuna’ melt?