Many of us may be familiar with jackfruit or langka only when eaten ripe. This fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, which can weigh about 55 kg each. With its aroma, this fruit is difficult to miss. I remember that whenever a jackfruit ripened in our backyard, children in our neighborhood would gather around. They would be given the task of separating the meat or pulp from the seed. Jackfruit flesh is starchy and fibrous; it can be a good source of dietary fiber.
Jackfruit is widely used in cooking in South and Southeast Asian regions. You can use the fruit either ripe or unripe; its seeds can also be cooked by boiling, baking, or roasting. With the milky sweet taste, the seeds can be compared to Brazil nuts, they say. Ripe jackfruit is naturally sweet with strong aroma. It is commonly used in making sweets. In the Philippines, you can see this fruit as ingredient in our local desserts, such as halo-halo and turon. Sweetened langka combined with tapioca is also commonly served in Philippine fiestas. In Vietnam, this fruit is seeded, dried, and sold as jackfruit chips and used in making a sweet, dessert soup .
How about the unripe one? Well, it is the star in this recipe. The white pulp of unripe langka is usually cooked as a vegetable in coconut milk. It can be shredded, seasoned, cooked, and served as an alternative to meat. The texture is similar to pulled pork; it is not really meaty, but it is not fruity either. Young jackfruit can also be cooked with meat, shrimp or smoked pork.
Ensalada is the Spanish word for salad. Hence, this recipe can be literally translated as jackfruit salad. Langka ensalada is a tropical salad made of boiled unripe jackfruit with tomato and coconut cream. How would it taste? Why don’t you try our recipe? Enjoy!
- ½ k. unripe langka (jackfruit) sliced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 5 medium size tomatoes sliced
- 1 thumb size ginger, sliced into strips
- 7tbsps. Calamansi juice
- 2 tbsps. Sugar
- 2 cups coconut cream (first extract or kakang gata)
- 1 bird eye chilli, sliced spring onion chopped for garnish water for boiling
- Boil the jackfruit in water with salt until cooked
- Drain and combine with onion tomatoes and ginger. Allow to chill
- When sufficiently chilled, place in a bowl and combine with rest of the ingredients.
- Toss garnish with spring onions and serve immediately.