Do you want to enjoy jackfruit but can’t open a jackfruit without making a huge mess? Then this guide is for you.
Rachel demonstrates how to open a jackfruit in this video, and we’re going to break it all down step by step afterwards so you no longer need to worry about opening a jackfruit.
Ready? Let’s start…
Open a Jackfruit Easily
Jackfruit tastes amazing. A tropical explosion of flavor. The “problem” with jackfruit is that it isn’t the easiest fruit to open and prepare for the table. The skin and core are filled with amazingly sticky latex sap that really doesn’t want to let go of your skin, a cutting board, or your knife. Also, the entirety of the jackfruit isn’t edible: only the crisp yet chewy yellow arils around the seeds can be eaten.
Once you learn to open a jackfruit the easy way, you’ll shrug off these little complaints as no big deal. They are so delicious that the bit of extra work they take to open them is inconsequential. It’s like complaining that you have to walk a half-mile to get to the beach. Stop complaining, silly – just walk! It’s worth it. And really… it is easy once you get the hang of it.
Now here’s a visual step-by-step guide to opening a jackfruit.
Step 1: Secure a Jackfruit
First, buy a jackfruit that has a good aroma but isn’t too soft or blackened. If you’re lucky enough to have a jackfruit tree in your backyard, just go pick one like I did:
That one was overripe but still had some good parts in it. For the demonstration, we used a better fruit I picked from the other side of the tree.
Step 2: Oil Your Knife
You can also oil the cutting board if you like. Jackfruit sap will stick to everything.
Rachel puts oil on a paper towel then wipes it on her knife.
Step 3: Cut the Jackfruit in Half
Once you ave oiled your knife, cut your jackfruit in half.
Step 4: Now Cut it into Quarters
Halve the half!
Step 5: Cut Out the Bad Parts (if any)
Once you have your quarter, look for rotten or soft spots and cut them out.
Our jackfruit had an end that had started to rot. This doesn’t effect the rest of the fruit, which in this case was perfectly ripe. Cut it out and chuck it in the compost!
Step 6: Remove the Jackfruit Core from the Quarters
The core of a jackfruit is inedible and is good only for the compost pile. Cut it out. This will free up the edible portions.
Step 7: “Crack” the Jackfruit Apart
Bend back the rind of the jackfruit, spreading apart the internal threads and arils.
After doing this, Rachel went back and trimmed out a little more of the core portion which was still holding the edible arils.
Step 8: Pull Out the Delicious Jackfruit Arils and De-seed
Firmly grasp and twist out the arils, or cut their bases away from the rind if you find that easier to do.
The jackfruit seeds inside each aril look like a big bean. They can be boiled and eaten like chestnuts, if you are so inclined. Once you take them out, you have finished jackfruit bites all ready for the table.
And that’s it! It’s not all that hard to open a jackfruit when you know what you’re doing.
To clean the sticky jackfruit sap off your hands, rub them in dry rice – then you can later safely cook and eat the rice. No waste! I have also been informed by an Asian reader that gasoline on a rag will quickly de-stick your hands. Just don’t smoke and wash your hands in gas at the same time.
Jackfruit is a delicious and easy-to-grow fruit that doesn’t deserve its “pain in the neck” reputation. You can open them without a huge mess – give it a try and start enjoying the world’s largest fruit!
Additional Resources on Jackfruit:
Growing Jackfruit in North Florida
Growing Jackfruit in South Florida
UF Publication on Jackfruit
Fruits of Warm Climates
This is a must-have book for tropical fruit enthusiasts. Definitive.
A good tutorial. Have you watched “The Fruit Hunter’s” ? It’s a movie you might enjoy.
Thank you. I own the book but haven’t read it yet – it’s stuck back in the states. I will look up the film.
I will soon be 76 years old. I have gardened in the Arizona desert for over 50 years. It has been hard, but rewarding. Since a near heart attack and 2 small strokes, I had given up lately. After reading about your poor finger and seeing how you are bravely going on, I got myself up, and am back at it again. Good luck to you, and thanks for the inspiration.
Florice – thank you. Don’t give up. I would love to see pictures from your gardening at some point. Attack and conquer!
I grew up around jackfruits and mangoes trees. They are super delicious off the tree. I love Rachel’s gentle way of peeling jackfruits. I would use a paper towel and wipe the sap out of the surface each time I quartered it or see it’s bleeding. Delicious fruits are to be handle with care. Great job, Rachel! !!
They are wonderful, for sure. I’ll pass on your comment to Rachel.
i have found dawn dish soap takes the sticky sap off (after all, it cleans the gunk off of birds) 🙂