In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to preserve jackfruit ?” and discuss the different techniques of preserving jackfruit.
How to preserve jackfruit
Jackfruit can be preserved by methods such as refrigeration, freezing, dehydration and pickling.
Jackfruit has a high content of water and sugar. Since both water and sugar causes fast spoilage, most preservation methods rely on removing the water content by either sun-drying or dehydration. Pickling can also be used to preserve jackfruit.
Edible parts of a jackfruit
Jackfruit contains a rind, fleshy bulbs and seeds. The bulbs and the seeds are edible and highly nutritious. Jackfruit is best consumed fresh. However, due to the large size of jackfruit, preservation is necessary to avoid wastage.
Since cutting and cleaning jackfruit is a bit of a hassle, freshly cut raw jackfruit can be purchased at some supermarkets.
Preserving jackfruit bulbs by sun-drying or dehydration
Freshly cut jackfruit can be preserved for up to seven days in a refrigerator or up to a month in a freezer. The fruit must be stored in an airtight container or plastic wrapped. Freshly cut jackfruit will last only for about three days if kept at room temperature.
To preserve jackfruit bulbs :
- Remove the seeds and any white fibres.
- Slice the bulbs into thin pieces.
- Sun-dry or dehydrate the bulbs to remove moisture.
- Store in an air-tight container for up to a month.
Preserving jackfruit seeds by sun-drying or dehydration
Jackfruit seeds can be preserved either as whole seeds or in powdered form. Jackfruit seeds have high water content so the first step for preserving is sun-drying. If the weather does not allow for sun-drying, the seeds must be dehydrated until the moisture is lost.
Preserving whole seeds
Whole seeds of jackfruit can be sun-dried and kept at room temperature.
- Wash the jackfruit seeds with water and remove any fruit tissue.
- Dry the seeds using a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Sun-dry the seeds for around two days.
- Sun-dried seeds can be preserved at room temperature for up to two weeks.
Jackfruit seeds can also be sun-dried and then frozen in the following method.
- Dry the jackfruit seeds in sunlight.
- Boil the seeds.
- Freeze the seeds in an airtight container.
Preserving jackfruit seeds in powdered form
Jackfruit seeds can be preserved as a powder in the following method.
- Dry the jackfruit seeds in sunlight.
- Boil the seeds, allow them to cool and then peel off the outer covering.
- Dice the seeds into small pieces.
- Roast the seeds in medium flame and then allow them to cool down.
- Grind the seeds until they form a fine powder.
The powdered jackfruit seeds can be preserved in an airtight container at room temperature for up to six months.
Jackfruit seed powder is gluten-free, highly nutritious and can be mixed with wheat flour in baking.
Preserving jackfruit by pickling
Raw jackfruit can be preserved by pickling. If done correctly, pickling enables jackfruit to be stored for at least a year .
To preserve jackfruit by pickling :
- Cut and clean a raw jackfruit and remove the seeds.
- Add rock salt to the bottom of a ceramic or glass jar as the first layer.
- Add the cut-up jackfruit as the second layer.
- Keep adding rock salt and jackfruit layer after layer until the jar is three-quarters full.
- Tightly close the jar and keep it in a cool, dry place for at least 2 weeks.
Care must be taken not to allow water to enter the jar during preparation and storage as it may cause spoilage.
Using pickled jackfruit in cooking
Pickled jackfruit can be used in a variety of dishes such as curries, fritters and stir-fries.
Pickled jackfruit must be soaked in water for about three hours before being used in cooking. The water must be changed at least every thirty minutes. This is done to remove excess salt from the jackfruit.
Cooking and preserving cooked jackfruit
Ripe jackfruit has a sweet taste and can be eaten fresh. Ripe jackfruit can also be incorporated into baked desserts, ice creams and drinks.
Unripe jackfruit is commonly used to make curries or salads in South Asian cuisine. In western cuisine, unripe jackfruit is used as a meat substitute in many vegan dishes.
Cooked jackfruit can be refrigerated and reheated when needed. Three common methods of cooking jackfruit in South Asian cuisine from Sri Lanka are as follows.
- Jackfruit curry with coconut milk (Known as “Kiri Kos” in Sinhala)
“Kiri Kos” curry is prepared from partially ripe jackfruit. The cut-up bulbs and seeds of jackfruit are cooked with coconut milk and spices. Jackfruit curry can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days.
- Jackfruit curry (Known as “Polos” in Sinhala)
“Polos” is prepared from raw jackfruit. Raw jackfruit is cooked with coconut milk and plenty of spices. This curry can be preserved for about five days when refrigerated in an airtight container.
- Jackfruit and coconut (Known as “Kos Mallum” in Sinhala)
“Kos Mallum” is prepared by mixing boiled jackfruit with scraped coconut and spices. This is used as a side dish and it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days.
In this article, we answered the question “How to preserve jackfruit?”. We discussed the different methods used to preserve jackfruits such as dehydration and pickling. We also discussed cooking with jackfruit with examples of a few traditional jackfruit dishes from South Asian cuisine.