Everyone's talking about...Jackfruit!

Ok, not everyone, but lots of nutrition geeks, veggies and vegans. It's the new rockstar of meat substitutes, even finding it's way into some tasty takeaways like GBK's Jack-in-a-bun.

But wait...it's just fruit! How can it possibly be a meat substitute? Actually not just fruit, it's the largest tree fruit in the world and it can reach up to 100 pounds in size. Not only that, it's also packed full of fibre, vitamin C, B6 and magnesium. It's also reasonably low carb at 19.5g per 1/4 can (see below).

With my interest well and truly piqued, I thought I'd better check it out. I started with a can of Biona's Jackfruit. The only ingredients are the jackfruit, sea salt, water and lime juice.

It didn't look quite as pretty as the picture of the whole fruit but that's fine, it's come all the way from Sri Lanka after all! Plus, I wouldn't have had a clue how to prepare it from the whole fruit anyway. I tentatively nibbled on a corner of one of the chunks and these are my first impressions:

Taste: very salty and a little limey.

Texture: like very tender pork or chicken.

Smell: hard to describe but not horrible, just a bit fruity.

So what did I do with it? Well as the days are getting a little cooler, I fancied something cottage pie-like. So just for you (ok, just for me) I've created:

Vegan Jackfruit Cottage Pie

(serves 4)



2 tbsps olive oil

1 red onion (diced)

1 large purple carrot (diced)

1/2 yellow pepper (chopped)

1 cup sliced button chestnut mushrooms

2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)

1 tbsp tomato purée

1 tsp bouillon powder

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt (to taste, the Jackfruit is already quite salty)

400g can of jackfruit (drain off the liquid and pull the chunks apart to make smaller, it should look a little like pulled pork)

150ml passata

1 cup of water


250g baby potatoes with skins left on

400g can of butter beans (drained)