How to Cut Jackfruit in 8 Easy Steps

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jackfruit cut in half

Native to the western coast of Asia, Africa, and South America, jackfruit is a delicious fruit that’s finally becoming popular in the United States. Jackfruit is one of the largest fruits in the world, weighing up to 40 pounds or more. Under its thick, bumpy rind, you’ll find bulbs comprised of a stringy flesh. You can cook this meat or eat it raw.

When ripe, these pods taste sweet, like a banana. However, when used for savory dishes, the fruit is typically underripe, a bit more firm and has a meatier texture. In fact, jackfruit has recently become popular as a meat substitute for those looking to cut back their meat consumption. When you cook the stringy pods, the fruit becomes almost indistinguishable from pulled meat, such as chicken or pork. Add your favorite seasoning and use as you would any other pulled meats.

While you can find peeled and cut jackfruit in cans and jars on supermarket shelves, it tastes even more delicious when eaten fresh. Unfortunately, it is a bit of a hassle to cut the fruit as its large, a little unwieldy, and full of sticky sap. Here’s how it’s done.

How to Tell if a Jackfruit is Ripe

Jackfruit

Jackfruit is ready to be harvested when the color of the fruit turns fully yellow from green. In fact, jackfruit becomes more yellow as it ripens. Think of it as similar to a banana that slowly turns yellow as it ripens. Another way to check if it’s ripe is to give it a scent test. When ripe, the fruit emits a pleasant smell. It also becomes soft to touch. If you’re harvesting for savory purposes, try to grab it when it’s a bit more green, with only a hint of yellow.

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How to Cut Jackfruit

Jackfruit

Cutting open a jackfruit is no easy task. At over 40 pounds, the fruit is pretty heavy and unwieldy. Plus, it’s covered in a thick outer skin and contains sticky sap that makes everything messy. It’s pretty challenging to cut a jackfruit, but can be done in under an hour when you have the know-how. Here’s how to cut a jackfruit in eight easy steps:

  1. First you’ll need to allow the fruit to fully ripen. Unfortunately, jackfruit is not ready to cut right after harvesting. You may have to allow an additional few days to allow the fruit to fully ripen on your countertop. Use the guide above to determine when the fruit is ripe.
  2. Make a wooden wedge about three-quarters of an inch thick and a foot long. Widdle one end into a point. Drive the wedge through the top of the fruit. This will make a crack on the fruit. Cut completely around the fruit from the cracked point, essentially cutting the jackfruit in half. Place one hand on the wedge and the other on the opposite end of the jackfruit and pull it apart. It will eventually split into two halves.
  3. Apply cooking oil to your hands and knife to prevent the sticky sap from sticking to your hands and utensils.
  4. Next, split the fruit into quarters. To do this, cut one half down the center and pull it apart. Repeat with the other half.
  5. Then, cut and remove the top layer of pulp that’s surrounding the bulbs. You can’t eat this part of the fruit. You’re looking for the bulbs that resemble large pieces of corn.
  6. Using your oiled hands, loosen the bulbs from the fibrous layers that surround each bulb.
  7. Next, separate each bulb and use the oiled knife to remove it from the fruit.
  8. Cut into the bulbs to expose the large, white seed inside. Remove the seeds from the bulbs and set aside.

You can then eat the fruit as-is or cook it in boiling water to use in a variety of dishes.

How to Store Jackfruit After It is Cut

Jackfruit

After you cut a jackfruit, you shouldn’t leave it at room temperature for more than a couple of hours. Instead, place the jackfruit in a sealed container and store it in the refrigerator. Finish it within a week for the best results.

If you’re considering cutting open a jackfruit on your own, use these tips to get you started. This delicious fruit can be used in a variety of ways, from adding it to a fresh fruit tray to enjoying in savory dishes and smoothies. It may seem like a complicated process, but with a little time (and fortitude), you’ll be well on your way to cracking it open and enjoying the fruit within.