Smoky Jackfruit “Chicken” Salad

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on July 12, 2018

Can you believe we’re more than halfway through the year? I sure can’t. When it hit me that we were 6 months into 2018, I did a bit of a mental check-in on how things have been going so far this year—it’s definitely had its ups and downs. My challenges this year have been mainly with my health, but when our health is off-balance, it tends to drip over into every area of life.

There is always a silver lining, though: my health setbacks have been a huge wake-up call. For the past 5 years, my body has been either pregnant, nursing, or both, and that has without a doubt taken a huge toll on me. There have been times when I’ve neglected my physical, mental, and emotional health. There have been times when I got lazy with vitamins and just stopped caring. There have been times when my anxiety felt out of control. I’ve had a lot of inflammation and allergic reactions. A lot of illness. Things seemed to get worse after I had to take antibiotics for an infection this past winter.

About a month ago, I finally said enough is enough! I needed to stop and listen. Since then, I have committed to taking time for myself to heal. To go to those doctors appointments I’ve been putting off. It’s easy to let things slide when life is busy. Having kids can be all-consuming…they are so needy (for good reason), but wow parenthood can really make you lose yourself if you let it.

If you’re going through one of those life phases where you feel like you just can’t “get it together,” you aren’t alone. This too shall pass. And when it does, you will be stronger and wiser. And don’t lose gratitude for everything that’s going well along the way. Gratitude is definitely an anchor through the challenging times.

 

Meet jackfruit. Have you tried it before? I’ll admit I was a bit scared when I first saw the funky-looking fruit (and cans of jackfruit mystified me!). But after playing around with it for a few weeks, I’ve come to really love it. And I have so many fun jackfruit recipes ideas! It looks like a lot of you have been loving my Chickpea Salad recipe for summer, so I put my thinking cap on and thought about how I could use jackfruit to create another delicious salad dish that can also be enjoyed on bread, wraps, rice cakes, or crackers. And this one is also picnic-friendly! Jackfruit does lack the robust amount of protein you’d find in legumes and nuts, but I find adding hemp hearts (either by mixing them into the salad or adding on top) works great for boosting protein.

I really like the Native Forest brand of canned jackfruit. You don’t need to cook it to soften before use (unlike Cha’s Organics brand). After rinsing and draining it, I slice the spongy, firm core off each piece. If using jackfruit straight from the can, the core is a bit too firm for this recipe. You’ll only want to use the soft, stringy jackfruit that resembles pulled pork/chicken (in the photo below, that’s the stuff on the left!). With a bit of slicing and dicing, you’re ready to roll!

5 from 1 reviews
Print

Smoky Jackfruit "Chicken" Salad

Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

I recently started experimenting with jackfruit recipes, and I discovered that jackfruit makes a fantastic sub for chicken in a traditional chicken salad. My goodness, it’s delicious (and not only is jackfruit delicious, it’s rich in Vitamin C too)! Because jackfruit has such a mild flavour, it takes on all the wonderful flavours in this dish—tangy lemon and dill, creamy eggless mayo, savoury garlic, and smoky paprika. I’ve added fresh vegetables like celery, green onion, and bell peppers to give it a great crunch and loads of fibre. Serve this salad in pieces of Boston or Bibb lettuce, in a wrap or sandwich, or on crackers. To boost the protein, I like adding hemp hearts. You can find canned jackfruit online or in health food stores, Asian grocery stores, and the international section of some chain grocers. Recipe is adapted from my favourite Chickpea Salad.

Yield
4 servings
Prep time
Cook time
0 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can young jackfruit (in brine)*
  • 2 medium (140 g) stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 medium (45 g) green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (67 g) finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) store-bought vegan mayo or 5-Minute Mayo**
  • 1 small (5 g) clove garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons (3 g) minced fresh dill
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons (10 to 15 mL) fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Place the drained jackfruit segments onto a large cutting board. Using a knife, slice off the fibrous core of each jackfruit segment. You’ll only want to use the “stringy” parts that resemble pulled pork. Discard the core and chop the remaining pieces into small 1/2-inch chunks. It should look like shredded chicken and you should have about 1 1/2 cups chopped.
  2. Add the chopped pieces to a bowl and stir in the celery, green onions, bell peppers, mayonnaise, and garlic until combined.
  3. Now stir in the dill and season with the lemon juice, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, adjusting quantities to taste after mixing.
  4. Serve in a sandwich or wrap, on top of a big salad, or with crackers. I love enjoying it with rice cakes and mashed avocado too. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Stir before serving.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 of 4 servings | Calories 140 calories | Total Fat 7 grams
Saturated Fat 1 grams | Sodium Fat 960 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 18 grams
Fiber 1 grams | Sugar 8 grams | Protein 3 grams

Please note the sodium content should be much less than 960mg per serving as the jackfruit brine is rinsed off before preparation.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

Tips:

* I use Native Forest Organic Young Jackfruit which comes in a 14-ounce (398 mL) can. Make sure to purchase canned jackfruit that says “in brine” as opposed to “in syrup” (or simply ensure that it’s unsweetened). Some brands (like Cha’s) recommend cooking it before serving to soften the jackfruit. To do this, gently boil it for 15 minutes and then drain and rinse with cold water. Native Forest brand can be used straight from the can without cooking.

** If you’d like a soy-free version of this salad, be sure to use soy-free vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise makes a tasty soy-free version). Or you can make my homemade soy-free mayo.

Feel free to add finely chopped dill pickle to the mix, too! I like adding about 1/4 cup of chopped dill pickle for a tangy crunch.

In case anyone is wondering, I served the salad on rice cakes with mashed avocado, hemp hearts, and a sprinkle of pink salt. So good! 

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

Previous Posts

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

BeingIsabella July 12, 2018 at 10:34 am

Oooh, this recipe looks fabulous! I feel like that’s my reaction to all of your recipes but it’s true! You are so creative when coming up with new ways to take a twist on classic non-vegan recipes that people love! I’ve only eaten jackfruit plain so I’ve very intrigued to try it mixed with other things. Both my parents who still eat meat like chicken salad so if I can get my hands on jackfruit in the super market I will definitely be making it for them. (I’ve only have the fruit in China lol). Is there anything else you would recommend using if jackfruit is unavailable?

www.beingisabella.com

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) July 12, 2018 at 11:25 am

Well, thank you for all the recipe love! That put a smile on my face. :) This salad is a twist on my chickpea salad and flaked almond “tuna” salad so absolutely try those two out if you can’t get jackfruit. You can find canned jackfruit online or in health food stores, Asian grocery stores, and the international section of some chain grocers. Now that I’m looking for it I’m surprised by the grocery stores that carry it. Just be sure to check whether your canned jackfruit needs to be cooked (to soften it) before use.

Reply

Stephanie July 12, 2018 at 10:42 am

Yum, I never thought to use jackfruit like this! I’m going camping the next two weekends – what a perfect salad to throw together and take with! I bet it would be good with pasta mixed in there too (probably would need to increase the other ingredients for added veggies and sauce).

And I hear ya, as far as not taking care of yourself with two young kiddos, plus getting to the point where “you don’t care anymore”!! I have my vitamins sitting in front of me, waiting to be taken. I always feel SO much better after I take some time for myself – even if I have to let the kids cry for a few minutes, or even let them make whatever mess they are going to make! Cheers to you, mama! You are doing AWESOME!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) July 12, 2018 at 11:22 am

Hey Stephanie, I LOVE your idea of mixing in some pasta! Genius! I am definitely going to try that out.

Thanks for your encouragement too. :) I’m glad I’m not the only one who struggles with this. Have a great time camping!

Reply

Sarah July 12, 2018 at 11:32 am

Glad you’re finding your groove and taking care. Also, this looks SO GOOD! I made jackfruit barbecue pulled “pork” sandwiches before using your OSG2 sauce recipe, and it was divine! 😋👌 But… can we talk about what a pain in the behind preparing the jackfruit is please? Took me a solid 15 minutes for one little can (same brand)! Could it be just me!? 😅 Was it worth it? Questionable. Ok, probably. Maybe I’ll give it another go because time softens even the hardest memories… so they say.

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) July 12, 2018 at 1:21 pm

hah it sure does! I say that all the time when I get fed up with a recipe that won’t work and I say I’m NEVER testing it again all dramatic…then a month or two later I find myself back at it.

As for prepping it, I don’t find it’s too bad, but a good knife definitely helps save time. I found a steak knife actually works great (or anything with a sturdy serrated blade). It helps slice through the core with ease. I hope this helps :)

Reply

Ingrid July 12, 2018 at 11:57 am

Ever since Trader Joe’s started selling canned jackfruit I’ve been experimenting with it in sandwiches, fajitas, and tacos. By far my favorite has been adding it to your original life affirming nacho recipe. I shred it into a pan with some BBQ sauce and sauté it. I then add it as the base layer to the pan before pouring the cheese over top of it. Voila, jackfruit nachos. It was the most requested recipe of 2018 in our house.

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) July 12, 2018 at 1:19 pm

OMG that sounds incredible! Thanks for sharing, Ingrid…I can’t wait to try this (the combo of bbq sauce and nacho dip sounds amazing). The nacho dip is made a lot in this house!

Reply

sarah williams July 12, 2018 at 3:33 pm

Can’t wait to try this! We love the chickpea version so this is a great switch up. I also never have mayo in the house so I just use hummus instead and it’s equally as tasty.
As for health, glad to hear you are taking care of yourself. So important to be able to keep up with running toddlers! :)

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) July 13, 2018 at 6:18 pm

hummus is such a great swap for the mayo! Good call. I’m sure a creamy ranch salad dressing would be delish as well.

Reply

Nicole W. (Oh She Glows Recipe Tester) July 12, 2018 at 5:04 pm
Recipe Rating:

Oh, I soooo get what you are saying about losing yourself when you are a parent! I thought that aspect would ease off as my kids aged, but their needs didn’t go away, they just became more serious! From a broken toy to a broken bone to a broken heart, the path from little children to teenagers is a heartwrencher. Of course, we put them first, but at some point my whole body fell apart from neglect!

Your paragraph about gratitude truly warmed me. Sometimes finding those things to be grateful for seems a challenge, but when I think about it, I see them all around me,
I just have to stop the stressful things from blocking the view. Hmmmm, easier said than done but it is something I can work on everyday.

Thank you for the introduction to jackfruit! I inhaled it again today on whole spelt toast, open faced style. Love it!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) July 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

Oh so true. I’ve been reading The Wisdom of Sundays (a collection of Oprah’s conversations from Supersoul Sundays) and there are so many hidden gems in there. A whole chapter on gratitude too. It’s nice because you can read little snippets at a time and keep coming back to it.

Open-faced toast is the BEST!! I got through university on it alone. ;)

Reply

Carrie W. July 13, 2018 at 9:05 am

Please don’t suggest we eat an exported product from a third world country. I will never eat it for it is not locally produced. Please consider this when you suggest certain food to us. It is important to know what happens to the workers in third world countries who are being forced to grow for export. Their food insecurity heightens because the land is only used for other’s food, not theirs. The workers are controlled by companies that do not have a vested interest in their country, the transnational companies who grow this jack fruit are only concerned with their own profits. Where is the jack fruit grown? It certainly does not grow in the US or Canada. Thank you for listening!

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) July 13, 2018 at 6:24 pm

Hi Carrie,

Thank you for sharing! I would love to learn more. Do you have any resources to share?

Reply

Ām July 13, 2018 at 11:13 am

Angela! Thank you for being you. :) And thanks for your honesty. (we need more of that in the world…people being real!)
Wishing you happiness, peace and good health going forward. <3

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) July 13, 2018 at 6:16 pm

Thank you Ām…that means a lot!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post: