The texture and seasoning make these Jackfruit chicken nuggets the perfect plant-based substitute for crispy southern fried "chicken" nuggets. We know you'll really enjoy this vegan and gluten-free nuggets recipe. A weeknight winner with the kiddos and adults alike.Jump to Recipe
What Does Jackfruit Taste Like?
We get asked all the time does jackfruit really taste like chicken and the answer is yes and no.
- Yes, the unripe fruit has a really neutral flavor; like that of tofu. Both don't taste like much of anything in the beginning. However after we season the young jackfruit and fried it really does take on the taste and texture of chicken. Young jackfruit is also referred to as green and/or unripe when it's young.
- The ripe fruit is completely different and absolutely does not taste like chicken; it's a sweet fruit that puts you in the mindset of honeydew, banana and maybe something floral.
Definitely give both a try. You will not be disappointed. As a sweet fruit to add to fruit salad or using the canned jackfruit as a meat substitute for shredded BBQ sandwich, pizza topping or jackfruit pot pie vegan recipes.
What is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family. When eaten ripe and raw, the taste of jackfruit is sweet and similar to honeydew, pineapple, melon, and banana. Its a unique and delicious flavor that doesn't taste exactly like anything we have ever had before.
When it’s unripe, it has more of a neutral flavor. It is increasingly being used as a plant-based meat alternative because of the young, unripe fruit's ability to soak up flavor well and “meat-like” texture when cooked.
When cooked jackfruit takes on the appearance and texture of pulled meat. Use it in any dish calling for braised or pulled meat in preparation of anything from bowls, barbecue nachos or jackfruit Chick'n Nuggets.
Is Jackfruit Gluten-free?
Most definitely yes; jackfruit is gluten-free, in its young state it's often preserved in brine (a salt water solution). However, be careful of prepackaged and/or frozen jackfruit with flavoring which can contain gluten.
How To Buy Canned Jackfruit
We like to use Trader Joe’s canned Green Jackfruit in Brine; however, Amazon sells a brand called Native Forest Young Jackfruit in a 14 oz can. Note that Native Forest contains 840g of sodium as compared to Trader Joe's 300g of sodium per can. You also want to make sure that you are careful with frozen varieties, you do not want to buy the ripen and sweet version of Jackfruit which can also come in syrup for this recipe. Ripe Jackfruit is sweet and delicious but not a great substitution in meat replacement dishes
Nutrients in Jackfruit
The nutritional makeup of jackfruit is 90% carbohydrate; however, its a good source of Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. Jackfruit is unique in that it does contain some protein. However compared to other meat substitutes its on the lower end of amount of protein per serving. There is a small amount of protein present in the fruit and seeds, However, it makes a great low-calorie, low glycemic meat replacement, a good source of fiber, potassium and antioxidants.
Say hello to your new favorite recipe, Fried Jackfruit Chicken nuggets.
How To Make Jackfruit Fried Chicken (Vegan + Gluten-Free)
- deep fryer or air fryer
- Large Pot or Dutch Oven
- Paper Towels
- 2 20 oz Green Jackfruit in brine Drain brine off and rinse (We use the Trader Joe’s brand)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup Vegetable oil or any oil suitable for frying at high temperature
Vegan Buttermilk Mixture
- 1 cup Almond milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Apple Cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon hot sauce optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup Gluten-free flour
- 1/4 cup Cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon Baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika, Salt, Onion, Thyme and Garlic powder each
- 1/4 teaspoon Chili powder
- Drain brine, then rinse jackfruit and set aside
- Prepare buttermilk bath. Mix almond milk, apple cider vinegar and hot sauce (optional). Set aside for 10 minutes to form buttermilk while you prepare coating.
- Mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, seasonings and spice in bowl.
- Preheat oil on medium high heat.
- Add jackfruit to buttermilk mixture and let soak for 20 minutes.
- In a large resealable plastic zip lock bag add flour mixture and wet jackfruit pieces, their will be buttermilk leave in bottom of bowl. Shake until evenly coated.
- Heat oil over medium heat. Test with a pinch of flour and if it sizzles, its ready.
- Add nuggets in small batches to oil being careful not to overcrowd pan. (Overcrowding can lend to streaming instead of frying for a crispy crust). Turn occasionally, Cook until golden brown about 5 minutes. Keep the temperature of the oil up as you continue frying batches.
- Remove nuggets with strainer and place on paper towel to drain excess oil.
These nutritional figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe.
More Vegan Jackfruit Recipes To Put Into Heavy Dinner Rotation
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