Jackfruit chicken popcorn is an awesome vegan alternative to regular fried chicken. If you haven't tried jackfruit as a meat substitute yet, then you are in for a surprise! You will only need 7 ingredients to make this yummy vegan dish.
Jackfruit Chicken Popcorn Ingredients
If you already know where to buy jackfruit, then the rest of the ingredients for this recipe are simple!
You only need 7 essential ingredients:
- Young jackfruit. Make sure its young jackfruit and not ripe!
- All purpose flour (You can substitute for gluten free flour)
- Ground black pepper
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Unsweetened plant milk (I like to use almond milk)
- Apple cider vinegar
Add 3 additional ingredients for more flavour:
- Smoked paprika
- Chilli powder
- Cayenne pepper, or seasoning of your choice. I have used spicy peri peri seasoning instead of cayenne pepper before, which I highly recommend!
Add a dipping sauce
Jackfruit chicken popcorn goes great with a dipping sauce. I like to keep it simple and mix the following:
- Vegan mayonnaise
- Any seasoning of choice (again, I highly recommend a spicy peri peri seasoning)
Vegan store bought mayonnaise is easy to find these days. However if you want to make your own, why not check out my vegan mayonnaise recipe here. It's incredibly easy and only takes 5 minutes!
Where to buy jackfruit?
Depending on which part of the world you are reading from, you may be able to easily find fresh jackfruit, canned jackfruit, or both.
Jackfruit grows in tropical and subtropical parts of the world, which includes Malaysia (where I am writing this blog article right now!). Young jackfruit, known as Nangka Muda in Malaysia, can be found in local supermarkets, fresh food markets, and even on Lazada in Malaysia!
If you can't source fresh young jackfruit, then look in the canned section at the supermarket. Canned jackfruit is a great alternative. Using canned jackfruit also makes this recipe a whole lot easier for you by removing 1 extra step (cooking the fresh young jackfruit)
How to cook young jackfruit?
If you are using canned jackfruit, there is no need to cook it. This is because the jackfruit comes in a brine, which makes the jackfruit soft and tender enough to eat. Just make sure to rinse the brine from the jackfruit.
Fresh Young Jackfruit
Alternatively, if you are lucky enough to find fresh young jackfruit, then you will need to cook it first. Fresh young jackfruit is tough and bitter prior to cooking. To cook the jackfruit, follow these steps:
- Bring a pot of water to boil
- Add a vegetable stock cube to the water. This will add more flavour to the jackfruit. This step can also be skipped, just using plain water instead
- Add Jackfruit to the boiling water
- Boil for 15 minutes, or until soft
Further tips on cooking the jackfruit
- Keep the skin and tough inner pieces (that we remove later) on. This helps keep the jackfruit pieces together whilst boiling
- Remove the seeds from the jackfruit after boiling. Its easier once the jackfruit is soft
Does Jackfruit Smell Odd?
Yes! Especially if you are cooking the young jackfruit, it will have a sour smell. Don't worry, this is just as it boils and the smell is gone once you fry it. it also tastes nothing like it smells. I promise!
Tips for making this Jackfruit Chicken Recipe
- Split the flour / dry batter into 2 bowls. This is because the flour starts to clump together towards the end. If you have 2 bowls, then halfway through you can switch to the fresh bowl. This way you have a light powdery batter to work with the whole time
- When cooking the fresh young jackfruit, make sure it's soft. This recipe tastes best with softer jackfruit! If you are using canned jackfruit, you don't need to worry about this step
- Make sure the oil is hot before adding to the pan. This will make sure its crispy!
- These jackfruit chicken popcorn pieces are best served hot! Serve and eat immedately
Jackfruit Chicken Popcorn
- ¼ cup cooking oil (tasteless is best like canola oil) for frying
- 400-500 grams of young jackfruit canned or fresh
- 1 vegetable stock cube optional, refer to recipe
- 2 cup all purpose plain flour use gluten free if required
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Optional (to make it slightly spice & smokey)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika optional
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder optional
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or peri peri seasoning optional
- 1 cup unsweetened plant milk I use almond milk
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup of vegan mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoon Sri Racha or more if you like it spicy!
- 1 teaspoon peri peri seasoning optional
Cook The Young Jackfruit
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Add vegetable stock for additional flavour (this is optional, plain water works fine too)
- Roughly chop the jackfruit into large pieces
- Add the jackfruit to the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes, until the jackfruit is soft
- Drain the jackfruit and leave until it is cool enough to touch (10 minutes). Starting preparing the jackfruit batter ingredients whilst cooling
- Remove all jackfruit seeds, jackfruit skin, and the tough inner piece of the jackfruit. I like to leave a small strip of the tough inner piece to hold the softer, stringy pieces together (refer to recipe for more tips)
- Proceed to step 4 in the Jackfruit Batter
- Add butter milk ingredients to a bowl and set aside
- Add all batter ingredients to a separate bowl and whisk until combined
- If using canned jackfruit, remove from the can and drain. If using fresh jackfruit, refer to the instructions for cooking fresh young jackfruit before proceed to step 4.
- Slice the jackfruit into popcorn chicken sizes. Make sure to remove all of the seeds. The softer pieces resemble chicken more than the harder inner pieces. You may choose to cut off some of the extra hard pieces
- Dip the jackfruit in the buttermilk, and then into the breading bowl. Fully cover with the dry breading. Repeat this process a second time. (buttermilk, breading, buttermilk, breading). You can do this piece by piece, or multple pieces at time.
Frying The Jackfruit
- Heat oil in a frypan. Once the oil is hot, add the jackfruit pieces. Fry on one side for 5 minutes. Use a tong to flip to the next side for another 5 minutes. Repeat this process until all sides are a crispy golden brown. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes in total
- Remove the jackfruit chicken from the pan and place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Allow the jackfruit to cool for 5 minutes before serving
- Serve with some delicous vegan mayo!
- Mix the vegan mayonnaise, sri racha and seasoning (if using) in a small dipping bowl.