Jackfruit-Stuffed Cucumber Timbales Recipe

Cucumbers are great and I don’t eat enough of them — they’re very refreshing and cooling. They are special in Ayurvedic medicine for reasons I don’t really understand, maybe because they have a soothing-cooling effect. They go really well with jackfruit, which isn’t sweet even though it’s a fruit. Lots of people use jackfruit as a vegan “pork” but I think it’s better used in cold salads like this one.

I came up with this recipe based on a similar one from Jazzy Vegetarian and combined it with a recipe I saw on Pinterest.

Everyone thought these were delicious and could not get enough of them — hollowed out fresh cucumbers stuffed with flaky, savory jackfruit, roasted walnuts, and delicate caper puree. A fun way to eat your salad and (savory) fruit in a little drum shape.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 large cucumbers, peeled
1 can jackfruit in brine, drained OR 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
3 green onions, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning or seasoning of your choice
1 tablespoon capers (rinsed), green olives, or pickle relish
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2/3 cup vegan mayo such as Vegenaise or Just Mayo

DIRECTIONS:

Peel the cucumbers and cut them into 3/4 inch slices, set aside.

Toast the chopped walnuts in a dry pan on medium heat for about five minutes, keeping an eye on them. Once they begin to release a nice fragrance, toss them and roast for a minute more. Turn off heat and then them sit.

Drain the jackfruit and combine jackfruit, roasted walnuts, green onions, Old Bay or other seasoning, capers, and mayo in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times until everything is minced and blended but not all the way into paste.

Hollow out the seeds cucumber rounds on one side with a small spoon so the filling can sit in there. Stuff with the jackfruit blend and serve as an appetizer or in the place of a salad.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 17 October, 2013: Tofu and Jackfruit Creamy Seafood Chowder

Jackfruit reminds me of seafood, specifically crabmeat, more than anything else. That’s why I used it to sub for crabmeat in sushi in this recipe from a few days ago. It’s a texture thing — young jackfruit has a texture that is disturbingly chicken-y/crabmeat-y. Nevertheless, this recipe is just as good with the jackfruit omitted.

This would be a nice soup for people who cannot or won’t eat seafood. It is easily made gluten-free by using non-wheat flour as a thickener.

Vegan Creamy Seafood Chowder

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups chopped onion
1 cup carrots, chopped
1.5 cups celery, chopped
1 teaspoon nori flakes or kombu powder (grind any dried seaweed, I used kombu squares, to a powder in a food processor and use as salty seasoning)
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning or 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
2 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup young jackfruit, shredded (optional)
2 cups firm tofu, crumbled by hand
8 cups vegetable broth (I use broth cubes and water)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons flour (I used chickpea or gram flour to make this gluten-free)

DIRECTIONS:

Sauté the onion in oil in the bottom of a large soup pot on medium high heat until translucent. Add kombu powder and Old Bay seasoning, carrots, and celery and sauté 3 more minutes. Add broth, potatoes, jackfruit, and tofu. Bring to a boil and as soon as it boils, turn heat down to medium and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes or more (depends on how big your potato and carrot chunks are) until potatoes and carrots are tender. Scoop out 2 cups of soup into a blender and food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast and 2 tablespoons of flour to the blender soup. Blend until it is a smooth purée and pour back into the large pot of soup. Stir until soup thickens, about 2 minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 16 October, 2013: Fat-Free Jackfruit and Cucumber Salad

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INGREDIENTS:

1.5 cups jackfruit chunks (I used a fresh one that I sliced up and boiled in water for 10 minutes, you can also buy it in tins, make sure to get water-packed and not in sweet syrup)

1 cup chopped, seeded cucumber, do not skin

1 tablespoon chopped green onions

1/2 cup shredded or julienned carrots

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning (or 1 half teaspoon paprika and 1/2 teaspoon celery salt)

Additional salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a blender or food processor, combine the jackfruit, Old Bay seasoning, and salt. Pulse a few times until just barely chopped. Transfer the jackfruit mixture to a small bowl and combine with cucumber, carrots, and green onion.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 15 October, 2013: Jackfruit Crab-meat Salad Sushi Rolls

I was actually shocked to find there were no jackfruit crabmeat sushi recipes online yet. As far as I know, I am the first to attempt a jackfruit sushi maki. Jackfruit, which is often used for vegan pulled pork, reminded me way more of crabmeat the first time I worked with it. I don’t miss seafood so much anymore, however, these rolls are very seafood-like. They’re very much like the sushi rolls with imitation crabmeat in spicy mayonnaise so popular in American sushi restaurants.

vegan jackfruit crab salad sushi maki

vegan mock crabmeat salad sushi rice roll

vegetarian sushi no dairy no meat crab sushi jackfruit

INGREDIENTS FOR 2 ROLLS:

About 3.5 cups cooked sushi rice
2 nori sheets
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

1 cup boiled jackfruit (I was able to find a fresh one) or jackfruit from a can (get it in brine, not syrup)
1 tablespoon vegan cream cheese
2 teaspoons chili sauce or Sriacha
1 teaspoon dulse flakes or ground up kombu (or any seaweed powder)
Salt

DIRECTIONS:

Make the crabmeat salad by boiling peeled, seeded jackfruit chunks for 10 minutes. Alternately, buy prepared jackfruit in brine. Strain the jackfruit and allow to cool if you boiled it. Fork mash the cooled jackfruit and place the jackfruit in between 3 or 4 paper towels. Roll the jackfruit in the paper towels to get the moisture out. This is an important step if you want to make it into sushi maki because otherwise the salad makes everything too wet to roll.

Transfer the dry chunks of jackfruit to a food processor with onion, cream cheese, chili sauce, and seaweed flakes or powder. Pulse until jackfruit is smaller but do not completely puree. Transfer the jackfruit crab salad to a small bowl.

Mix vinegar and sugar together and microwave for 30 seconds so sugar dissolves. Add vinegar/sugar to cooked sushi rice, mix until incorporated.

On a clean surface, make inside out rolls.

Roll in sesame seeds and cut with a serrated knife.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 27 June, 2013: Jackfruit Stir-fry

vegan jackfruit stir fry

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups shredded jackfruit, raw or cooked in boiling salted water for 7 minutes and drained
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced (I used dried shiitake mushrooms rehydrated in water)
1 carrot, julienned
1 zucchini, sliced on the diagonal
2 cups bok choy, chopped

CHINESE WHITE SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vegan Worchestershire or soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon white wine
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

DIRECTIONS:

Chop all vegetables and set them aside in bowls or on a cutting board like I do somewhere near the cooking area.  Prepare the white sauce by stirring all ingredients together in a small bowl.   Heat a large pan or wok until oil shimmers (very hot) and add vegetables, tossing them around until the bok choy wilts slightly, about one minute.  Turn the heat down to low and add the sauce.  Stir fry is done once the sauce thickens, about 30 seconds to one minute.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 26 June, 2013: Cold Jackfruit Not from the Sea-food Salad on Bread

not from the sea-food jackfruit salad

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups shredded jackfruit, raw or boiled for 7 minutes in salted water
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper (I used organic roasted red bell pepper from a jar)

1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon dill or sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon sugar or agave (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Combine cooled jackfruit shreds with all other ingredients, chill before serving.  I ate it on a piece of bread and also rolled into a tortilla.  Makes about 3-4 sandwiches worth.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 25 June, 2013: Jackfruit Barbecue Tacos

vegan jackfruit bbq taco

INGREDIENTS:

I cup shredded jackfruit per taco (I boiled mine in salted water for 7 minutes, however, it is fine raw)
1/2 cup lettuce per taco
1 tortilla
1 tablespoon prepared barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon chopped onion

DIRECTIONS:

Boil seeded, skinned jackfruit chunks in a pot of 8 cups of water with 3 teaspoons salt for 8 minutes, drain, allow to cool and then shred the flesh. Mix the shredded jackfruit with barbecue sauce and use as taco filling with any ingredients of your choice!

One strange fruit… Jackfruit!

I seriously never would have tried jackfruit if it wasn’t for Daily Vegan Lunch. I have been forced to expand my repertoire to come up with new and creative lunches. So instead of cutting freaky looking jackfruit a wide berth in the Korean grocery store, I bought one!

I first heard of jackfruit in vegan cuisine being used as veggie meat in a vegan pulled pork recipe somewhere on the internet. I looked for it at the Korean grocery store but found only the sweetened tins of jackfruit that supposedly do not work at all for vegan pulled pork. About a week later I saw actual jackfruit sitting in a bin. This is what it looks like in the wild:

jackfruit tree

and this:

more jackfruit

Jackfruit tree is related to the mulberry (who knew) and grows in tropical lowlands. They are cultivated in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, the Philippines, across Africa, and in the Caribbean. Their fruits can be up to 80 pounds!

This is what I brought home from the store:

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Then I cut it — there are giant seeds that are edible but I did not eat them.

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So I was dying of curiosity at this point and I tried a piece. Maybe it was just the one I bought, but jackfruit is very bland and weirdly sticky. Kind of like… chicken. That is why jackfruit is so disturbing. It should be called chickenfruit or porkfruit. The flesh is decidedly porcine. Not stinky, disgusting, like bloody and veiny animal flesh, just MEATY in the weirdest way. It’s kind of like an artichoke or heart of palm yet it shreds like chicken. The reason? Jackfruit is mostly fiber and no fat. Animal flesh has zero fiber and huge amounts of fat: like jackfruit in reverse. Zero fiber and huge amounts of fat are why animal products cause so much disease.

The plant fibers are what give jackfruit its weird, meaty texture.

I cut the rest up, taking the seeds and the hard outer skin off:

jackfruit, chopped

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1/4 of a jackfruit is enough to feed a small army! Basically, jackfruit convinced me nobody ever needs to eat meat again. It tastes eerily like meat, it is overwhelmingly full of cancer-fighting fiber, and one of the damn things could probably feed 20 people for a week!