Trader Joe’s GREEN JACKFRUIT & recipe for Pulled BBQ Jackfruit


My DIY Pulled Jackfruit on Aloha Bun with coleslaw

Jackfruit is a tropical fruit, popular with vegetarians as a “meat substitute”. When cooked it can have the texture of “pulled meat” such as pulled pork or chicken or ropa vieja. It doesn’t have much taste but it easily absorbs flavors and sauces and it’s quite good cooked up with BBQ sauce as “pulled jackfruit”. Trader Joe’s carried a pouch of PULLED JACK FRUIT IN SMOKY BBQ SAUCE in a green foil pouch (see below) but it got discontinued. Alot of people liked it and I did too, despite not being vegetarian. TJ’s does sell this can of JACKFRUIT so you can make the same thing fairly easily yourself, just mixing this can of jackfruit with your favorite BBQ sauce. A can is only $1.99 too!

How does one use Trader Joe’s Green Jackfruit in Brine, you ask? It takes on a “meaty” texture, and, much like tofu, absorbs the flavors of sauces. Our favorite preparation involves cooking jackfruit in barbecue sauce, where it eventually shreds like pulled pork, ready to be piled on a warm Honey Wheat Hamburger Bun and crowned with crunchy cabbage.

UPDATE: This is in stores again.

what it looks in the can; frankly not too appetizing, yet!
after cooking the Jackfruit; Now it looks pretty good!

https://www.traderjoes.com/home/recipes/pulled-jackfruit-sandwich

HOW TO MAKE PULLED JACKFRUIT MINI SLIDER BUNS: After opening the can, dump the liquid out and put the fruit into a colander. Rinse the jackfruit thoroughly and drain it. To get the texture, I just used my fingers and crushed up the jackfruit piece by piece. The seeds you can mash or crush or leave as is. Sauté the jackfruit in a pot in some EVOO (or butter) for about 5 minutes on low heat, stirring it gently. Add your favorite BBQ sauce (1/2 cup per can?) in. I used the SRIRACHA ROASTED GARLIC sauce, a good match. Cover the pan and simmer on very low heat for about 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so and making sure it doesn’t burn. It will be thick when done. Turn off the heat and let it rest for about 10 minutes. When you are ready to assemble the sandwiches, put a scoop of the jackfruit on†o the bottom half of a TJ’s ALOHA BUN (or brioche roll). Top with some coleslaw and the top half of the bun. Enjoy! A bit messy to eat but quite tasty! 1 Can served 2 of us easily with the fixings.

Directions as per TJ’s website

(note I liked it without the water, or just a few tablespoons)

  1. Prepare Pulled Jackfruit: Drain jackfruit and pat dry. Partially shred jackfruit chunks into smaller pieces. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add jackfruit and sauté for five minutes. Add BBQ sauce and water to pan and stir to evenly coat jackfruit. Cover pan and simmer on medium-low heat, 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally and pulling jackfruit apart as it becomes tender.
  2. Prepare Tangy Cole Slaw: While jackfruit cooks, in a large bowl, toss cabbage blend with mayonnaise and apple cider vinegar to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside. 
  3. Prepare Sandwiches: Place a scoop of pulled jackfruit on the bottom of a bun. Top with diced onions, coleslaw, and bun top. Eat and repeat until satisfied!

Trader Joe’s ORGANIC POLENTA (tube)


Trader Joe’s ORGANIC POLENTA; cooked; ready to heat and serve. Gluten Free.

Ingredients: Water, Organic Corn Meal, Salt

Just in case you are not yet familiar with Polenta, it’s simple and delicious. Polenta is inexpensive, healthy, gluten free, and vegetarian. Its just coarsely ground corn. That’s it. This Organic Polenta from Trader Joe’s comes in a plastic tube. Its been precooked which save you about 45 minutes. It’s ready to slice up into 1/2″ slices which you grill up into crispy fried polenta rounds. This is really yummy and cheap. This is why polenta has been a staple of Italian “cucina povera” for centuries, very similar of course to “grits” here in the US. TJ’s tube of cooked polenta is convenient, shelf stable, and is only $1.99. One tube can easily make a dinner for two. We love it as an alternative to pasta. I recommend you pan fry it as being the best way to serve this. The package also says you can bake it. Any way to get it crispy. Please don’t consider microwaving as it also says on the package!. For polenta to be tasty it is best as crispy as possible, as this way it gets a really nice chewy “meaty” texture.

As shown in the first picture is how I made the polenta into dinner recently. I sautéed the slices in olive oil plus a little butter to help it brown better, for maybe 10 minutes a side – note, this is double the recommended time of 4-5 minutes on the package. Trust me, you want to get this very golden brown and delicious. I flipped it over and put a bit of mozzarella on each slice which melted as the other side cooked. When it was ready to serve, I plated it up and spooned over tomato sauce, in this case TJ’s Roasted Garlic Marinara sauce which is quite good by the way. I grated some extra cheese, Asiago all over. This made for a delicious Italian dinner along with a little salad and crusty bread. Dinner for two for about $4 bucks.

I always like to keep one of these shelf stable packages of TJ’s polenta in the pantry as it can make an easy, fast dinner for those times when you have “nothing” to eat in the house. A tube of this and a jar of sauce and you have dinner in 10 minutes. Not to mention Polenta’s perfect for Meatless Monday’s. Would I but this again? Yes I buy this regularly, its an excellent cheap TJ product and a great staple to have in your pantry.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/fried-polenta-5535085

PS DIY PAN FRIED GRITS – might be worth the little extra effort (cook the grits, let cool, cut into slices) not to mention even cheaper

Trader Joe’s ORGANIC BAKED TOFU


RAVE

How about this for a review? Though I am not vegetarian, I buy this all the time. This is a terrific tofu product for anyone. It seems to be one of the more popular products Trader Joe’s sells. I often notice shoppers grabbing 2 or 3 packages, and throwing them in their cart. Sometimes its even sold out. Clearly there is a reason TJ’s BAKED TOFU is this popular. ORGANIC BAKED TOFU is an excellent, tasty, very versatile and healthy food. Its high in protein and an excellent “meat substitute” that one can use this in many ways, for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

BAKED TOFU as the name implies is tofu that’s been backed after being marinated. Baking tofu removes most of the water in it and gives it a very pleasant, firm, and well nicely satisfying “meaty” texture, which is why its great for non-vegetarians as well as vegetarians or vegans. Again, I’m not vegetarian but I buy this all the time because its so good. This can make a very good substitute for a meat protein like say, chicken? In fact this can be used as a “main” protein in many dishes. This is terrific for use in an Asian Stir Fry. It can be eaten on its own as the Main. You can eat this just As-Is, cold or room temp, with a nice sauce or dressing such as their Sweet Chili Sauce or Sriracha Ranch Dressing, or Spicy Peanut Dressing…. or make up your own. As you can see from what I did with it, it can still be cooked (see pic below). I sometimes grill it, which I think improves it’s flavor even more. There are two flavors available, TERIYAKI and SRIRACHA. Though I am a big fan of Sriracha sauce I find the Teriyaki version is my preferred of the two versions they have. So if you are trying this for the first time, I suggest trying the Teriyaki version first, then the other. But honestly both flavors are good, do try both at some point and see which of the two you like best. Perhaps you will always buy one of each kind, as I see many people do!

What I did with it here (pictured below) is just cut it into slices and sautéed it in a non-stick pan with some Toasted Sesame Oil for about 5 minutes a side until it was golden brown. I then added Soy Sauce and a little raw Sugar (the two basic elements of Teriyaki sauce) and a good deal of fresh black pepper and cooked that for a few minutes more until the sauce has cooked in and thickened a bit. Basically I wanted some more Teriyaki flavor and some sauce. Fresh Garlic (and fresh ginger) would be great to add too, of course for even more flavor.

If I had added more soy sauce and sugar and cooked it down, that would have made more Teriyaki sauce. I think thats one good way to make it. This can be served with that sauce on the side or spooned over. You can use almost any sauce, prepared ones at Trader Joe’s such as Teriyaki, Dumpling Sauce, SoyYaki, Sriracha, Green Dragon Sauce, or even Sriracha Ranch Dressing. Serve the tofu along with some rice, a vegetable, and salad and you have a great tasty, healthy, fast, easy dinner.

If that’s too much work for you, you can just open the package up and just slice it into cubes and throw it on top of a bed of arugula, Power Greens, spinach leaves, etc., and drizzle your favorite sauce or dressing on top, maybe add some peanuts or cashews and voila – you have a nice Lunch or Dinner in seconds.

Roughly I would say one 7 oz. package serves about 2 people, if you serve with above other stuff. So get another package if you are 4.

Some readers report just slicing it up thinly and using in sandwiches, as one might use sliced chicken. As the package says “be creative”.  This would be good with the SOBA STIR FRY KIT. You could also use this, or the Sriracha version, as your “main protein” plus veggies with TJ’s very good  THAI CURRY SIMMER SAUCE for a Thai curry. 

In short I find this is great stuff to always keep on hand in the fridge, and I almost always have a package in mine, as it’s already cooked it has a long BEST BY date (about 5-6 weeks) so its not like a meat product.

Some more uses: cut into strips, sprinkled with more seasonings (chili powder and garlic powder), stir fried, then added to lots of veggies in an asian stir fry.

A 7 oz. package has gone up in price now to $3.69 (current price, May 2019, NYC)

RAVE

NYT no-recipe recipe idea. Soba/Tofu and Kimchi
Here’s what to do: Get some firm tofu; some soba noodles; some jarred kimchi. Make a sauce of minced garlic and ginger, some soy, hoisin or oyster sauces, a splash of raw sugar, honey or maple syrup, another of toasted sesame oil, a some red-pepper flakes, all whisked together. Boil water for the soba. Cut the tofu into manageable pieces, and pat dry with paper towel. Heat a good quantity of neutral oil, like canola, in a big sauté pan, then add the tofu in a single layer and fry it over medium-high heat, turning to get every side. Meanwhile, cook the soba. Remove the crisp tofu and toss with the sauce. Serve in a bowl, the hot soba arranged to one side of the tofu and the kimchi to the other, along with the sauce. Oh, man. You could put some roasted asparagus on top. A soft-boiled egg. It’s so delicious.