Jackfruit: A popular West Coast meat replacement makes its way to Philly (Recipe)

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Jackfruit: A popular West Coast meat replacement. Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on June 12, 2017. (WPVI)

If you take part in 'Meatless Mondays,' or are just trying to eat less saturated fat, there's a new trend in plant-based eating.

It's a growing trend on the West Coast and it's slowly moving east.

It's called jackfruit. It comes from Southeast Asia.

"It's the largest tree fruit in the world," Rich Landau, chef and owner of V Street and Vedge in Center City, said.

Landau says part of the insides of jackfruit can be scooped out and substituted for meat.

"It has that texture, that stringy texture that people associate with meat," Landau said.

He took us inside the kitchen to make jackfruit tacos. And yes, even jackfruit cheesesteaks.

If you don't want to wrestle with cutting the fruit yourself, he says you can buy it pre-cut.

Break it up, marinade, and then throw it on the griddle.

I tried the jackfruit cheesesteak with rutabaga whiz. It was really good!

Then we took jackfruit to the streets of Philadelphia to see what others think, including some self-professed meat-lovers.

Here are some of their reactions:

"Oh, this is great. First time I had something like this."

"It's not exactly the same, but it's good enough to pass."

"Oh wow! That's amazing."

"I like it. Can I take some more?"

Nutrition-wise, it has some protein. And it's a fruit, so it has fiber.

It's also a good source of Vitamin K, B-6 and Vitamin C.

They will have jackfruit on the menu starting Tuesday for happy hour at V Street.

As a bonus, Chef Landau shared his Jackfruit Asado Tacos recipe:

1 can of green jackfruit chunks
1/2 cup slivered onions
1/2 cup slivered bell pepper
2 tsp latin or southwest spice blend
2 tsp ketchup
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 TBLsp neutral oil
1) drain the jackfruit and crush it between your fingers to open it up and make it stringy.

2) add the oil to a large saute pan and heat until almost smoking
3) add the peppers and onions and brown for 2-3 minutes
4) add the jack fruit and the latin spice and continue to brown for another 3-5 minutes
5) remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients to create a glaze

Serve in warm flour or corn tortillas with guacamole, salsa and refried beans.

Top with fresh cilantro and jalapeno.

ONLINE:

VEDGE www.vedgerestaurant.com

V STREET www.vstreetfood.com

WIZ KID www.wizkidfood.com
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