Jackfruit is becoming more popular and easier to find in more local stores. But it’s not yet a commodity that you can expect to be available whenever you want some.
If you can find yourself a fresh fruit or you can buy packaged jackfruit in bulk, you’ll want to find a way to store it so that you don’t have to waste a single morsel.
Can you freeze jackfruit? Yes, you can freeze jackfruit. The amount of time and effort you’ll have to put into the freezing process will depend on whether your jackfruit is raw, cooked, or packaged. It is easier to store jackfruit in smaller pieces. It will freeze well for up to one month.
In this article, the process for freezing any type of jackfruit is outlined step-by-step. We’ll also answer some of the most common questions about jackfruit so you’ll be prepared for everything.
Can You Freeze Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a dense, meaty fruit that is not nearly as juicy as some other fruits, which means it’s a perfect candidate for freezing. Whether you have fresh, raw jackfruit, cooked jackfruit, or even packaged or canned jackfruit, it can be frozen.
There are two general types of jackfruit: soft and crisp. Soft jackfruit has very soft arils that are perfect for freezing or drying. Crisp jackfruit has, as you can imagine, firmer and more crisp arils.
While these will freeze well retaining their nutrition and flavor, the freezing process does compromise the crispness. When your jackfruit is thawed for use, the arils will resemble soft jackfruit in texture.
Can You Freeze Raw Jackfruit?
Some specialty stores or farmer’s markets do import whole jackfruit, making it possible for you to buy an entire fruit or a pre-cut section of the fruit.
Even one-quarter of a jackfruit can be more than you’ll need to prepare for a single large family meal. So preparing raw jackfruit for freezing is a great way to store the leftover fruit safely.
You can store an entire, unblemished jackfruit in your freezer. However, it is not ideal. Freezing such a large fruit is difficult and it takes up a lot of space in your freezer. It’s more efficient to cut your jackfruit before freezing it.
How to Cut Jackfruit
A whole jackfruit of often around 20–40 lbs. You’ll want to have a few large bowls for the flesh and waste, as well as a reliable, sturdy knife.
Jackfruits are very large and they have a thick skin. But they’re not very hard, so you don’t need an extremely sharp or high-quality knife.
In fact, the sap can damage your knife, so using one that you’re not overly concerned about having some damage to is a good idea.
Jackfruit secretes a latex sap liquid when it’s cut so the process can be a bit sticky. It’s a good idea to prep your surface area with a large silicone mat that’s easy to clean or lay out some newspaper.
To prep your knife and make it resistant to the sap, coat it with a thin layer of cooking oil, like grapeseed or coconut oil.
Wearing kitchen gloves will also protect your hands from the very sticky sap. If you don’t have kitchen gloves, you can use oil on your hands as well.
If you have a latex allergy, be extra careful around the sap. You are likely to react to it just as you would react to any other latex product.
To cut your jackfruit, follow these steps:
- Start by slicing halfway through the jackfruit, starting from the stem and working your way to the bottom. You will need some pressure, but it shouldn’t require too much muscle power.
- Flip the fruit over and follow your knife cut from the bottom of the fruit, working your way back up to the stem so that it cuts nicely in two. You will probably have to pull the two halves apart from each other to separate any remaining inner strands of fruit flesh.
- Next, cut each half once more vertically so that you have quarters.
- Inside you’ll see a white core, which you don’t eat, along with large yellow kernels or pods called arils held in place by white pith-like tendons called rags. They will each have a seed as well, which you can keep and separate out.
- Remove and keep all the yellow fruit arils and seeds and discard the core and peel. You can boil and eat the rags like a vegetable, but most people stick to the arils and the seeds.
How to Freeze Raw Jackfruit
If you have individual arils of jackfruit, you want to keep them individual throughout the freezing process.
This way they won’t freeze into one lump that is difficult to deal with when you’re ready to enjoy your fruit.
To accomplish this, simply follow these easy steps:
- Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Spread out the jackfruit arils over the baking sheet, keeping them separated and in a single layer so they don’t overlap each other.
- Place the entire baking sheet in the freezer for 1–2 hours, until each aril is individually frozen.
- Transfer the frozen jackfruit to a freezer-safe bag, laying it flat so that the arils can be spread out into a single layer. Even though they’re already frozen, you want to keep them as flat as possible to keep them from sticking together in a clump while in your freezer.
- Stack multiple bags on top of each other if necessary, but try not to crush the jackfruit underneath other heavy items.
When you’re ready to use your jackfruit, you can take out as many individual pieces as you need.
Or you can defrost the entire bag if you’ll be able to use it all. It’s important that you don’t refreeze jackfruit after it’s thawed.
Can you Freeze Jackfruit Seeds?
Jackfruit seeds are encased in a white, inedible, and soft shell or covering that you’ll want to remove before freezing your seeds.
There are a few different options for peeling your jackfruit seeds:
- You can cut your seeds into quarters, halves or simply chop the top off and peel the outer layer.
- You can take a paring knife and score around the outside of the seeds in 2 directions, making an X pattern, and then peel the seed.
- Or you can boil the seeds whole for up to 20 minutes and then rub or scrub the peeling off.
Once your seeds are peeled you can simply transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container and put it in your freezer. It’s a good idea to store them in single-serving portion sizes so you can thaw and use an entire package at once.
Can You Freeze Cooked Jackfruit?
Cooked jackfruit freezes very well, even if it’s prepared in a sauce, such as BBQ sauce or a curry dish.
For best results, transfer your cooked jackfruit, with or without a sauce, into a freezer-safe Ziploc bag.
Press it flat against your counter so that it’s no more than a half-inch thick and spread out evenly. Remove as much air as possible as you seal the bag.
Freeze the jackfruit flat at first and, once it is frozen solid, you can stand it up to save space in your freezer.
Can You Freeze Packaged Jackfruit?
You can freeze packaged jackfruit very easily. A vacuum-sealed package can go directly into your freezer unopened.
If you open it first and are only freezing the leftovers, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag and try to remove as much air as possible before freezing.
A can of jackfruit can also be frozen, but never freeze any canned item in its original, sealed can or jar. You must break the seal first, for safety, and transfer the jackfruit to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or container.
Related Questions About Jackfruit
What Does Jackfruit Taste Like?
The flavor of jackfruit evolves as it matures on the tree. If they’re picked when they’re not quite ripe and they’re still a bit green, even if they continue to spend time ripening, the flavor will be mild.
The longer the jackfruit ripens on the tree, however, the sweeter the fruit becomes, developing a very tropical fruit taste.
Most people compare a fully ripe, fresh jackfruit to a cocktail or smoothie of tropical fruits – as if a pineapple, mango, and banana were all blended into a single fruit.
Green jackfruit is often what you’ll find in packages or cans. With the milder flavor, it will soak up the tastes of any sauce it is made with, making it a very believable meat substitute in a traditionally meat-based dish such as pulled pork.
What Does Jackfruit Smell Like?
In its whole form, some people find the smell distasteful, like very mild durian fruit.
Once it has been cut open, however, a fresh jackfruit smells very tropical, with sweet aromas similar to cantaloupe or banana. The more mature the fruit is, the fruitier it will smell.
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