Growing in popularity here in New Zealand, unripe jackfruit has a fibrous texture that lends itself well to curry and even plant-based twists on pulled pork. Here I’ve used unripe, canned jackfruit, marinated and baked to create tender, moist, slightly oily chunks of jackfruit with a sharp, salty and pleasingly smoky flavour. Does it taste like fish? No. But its texture, flavour and even colour is a great stand in for smoked fish, and it also works well in salads.
Look for young/unripe jackfruit in water or brine in the canned fruit section at the supermarket. I like to bump up the smoky flavour with a little liquid smoke, but if you don’t have it you can just use more smoked paprika. Use your choice of mild, medium or hot curry powder to suit your taste for spice.
1 can unripe jackfruit (565g), drained
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp liquid smoke (optional – if omitting, use 1 tsp smoked paprika)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
1 cup basmati rice
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely grated/chopped
thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, finely grated/chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
¼ tsp salt
2¼ cups boiling water
1 can brown or black lentils (400g), drained and rinsed, or about ¾ cup freshly cooked
Assorted sliced vegetables: tomatoes, cucumber, carrot or celery
Lemon wedges for squeezing
Handful of chopped coriander or parsley
Chop each chunk of jackfruit into 3–4 smaller pieces and discard any seeds you come across. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over the jackfruit. Use your hands to rub it in and break up the jackfruit a little. Set aside to marinate for around 30 minutes if you can.
While the jackfruit is marinating, rinse the rice and set aside to soak in plenty of cold water for 15–30 minutes.
Bake the jackfruit at 235°C (or 220°C fan bake) for 20–25 minutes, giving it a stir halfway through cooking, then remove from the oven. You’re looking for it to have dried out a little, but still be juicy and with a little colour around the edges.
To make the kedgeree, heat the oil in a saucepan that has a lid, over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the curry powder and salt, and cook for another minute or two.
Rinse and drain the rice, then add it to the saucepan with 2¼ cups of boiling water. Stir to combine, then cover with a lid. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes, until the rice is cooked and the liquid has evaporated. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit, with the lid on, for another 5–10 minutes. Remove the lid and use a fork to gently fluff up the rice.
Add the jackfruit and lentils to the rice and gently stir to combine. The heat of the rice will warm the jackfruit and lentils through. Assemble kedgeree on a big serving platter, or individual plates, by spreading out the spiced rice and topping it with coriander or parsley, lemon wedges, and sliced fresh vegetables to complete the meal.
Recipe and Images Amber Bremner