Today I want to write about a new trend in health food – the jackfruit! Now, growing up in Malaysia, I knew it as sweet, yellow, sticky-but-waxy “inner fruit” from a large fruit with tough skin… like the durian but without the thorny exterior! The inner fruit had large seeds, which you could boil and eat as a healthy snack, by the way!.
However, recently (and especially in the West), there’s been a trend of cooking the outer flesh of the massive jackfruit, as a meat alternative!
It doesn’t quite taste like much on its own, but it has an interesting “meat-like” texture which chefs are enjoying experimenting with. It’s been used in curries, as a fried food, and in burgers! Best of all, it has been found to contain many nutrients!
To demonstrate, may I call your attention to my recent finding… Behold: the jackfruit burger – more or less a meatless “pulled pork” cooked in a tangy barbeque sauce!
Jackfruit meat is all health-conscious land! You can even buy it pre-packaged for cooking at home.
However, I’d strongly suggest you get the fresh version, if you’re in parts of the world that grow jackfruit. Don’t get me wrong though! I’m digging what some chefs are doing with this new material, and as always, I’m always up for a good meat alternative!
This particular burger was found at Eugen’s in Konstanz (read my post on it here). I pretty much could eat this every. single. day. No joke. Till next time…
N.B.: Many thanks to Google Images for the photos of the jackfruit!
Here’s a wonderful fact about Indian savoury snacks: they are mostly gluten-free! A lot of them are made from rice flour, chickpea flour or mung bean flour! Many Indian savoury snacks are variations of “muruku” – a crunchy, spicy, savoury cookie, if you like! Muruku is usually made in “strings,” which are either cropped short or twisted into cookie form. The smaller ones are often mixed with freeze-dried peas and peanuts.
A BIG WORD OF CAUTION: Muruku made solely from rice flour should be all right for celiacs (as they often have their own mills), but watch for muruku made from chickpea or mung beans. They are often milled in wheat mills. Check with the vendor – stress test them to see if they really know their stuff. If in doubt, leave it out!
Below are some examples of muruku I currently have at home!
Most muruku is cheap, averaging between RM5-10 per bag, so they are likely made with cheap oil (canola, palm, etc.). So they might not be the healthiest snack, but hey…
Sometimes you gotta live a little.
Some other words of caution when buying muruku: They are often made by small-time sellers without proper packaging, so ask, ask, ask! Ask the seller if she or he knows exactly how it was made. Make sure they don’t mix in wheat flour into the muruku mix to save cost. Or…. they might be fried in oil that was used to fry wheat products. Finally, sometimes, MSG is added to the nuts. Again, if in doubt, leave it out. With these cottage industry products, it’s actually better to stick to bigger brands that will likely have dedicated facilities because of larger production lines.