Vegan Jackfruit ‘Saltfish’ Fritters
If you’ve tried Jamaican Saltfish Fritters, you know the amazing flavor it has. But these Vegan Saltfish Fritters will fool anyone thinking this is made with fish! Made with jackfruit, these vegan saltfish fritters are seasoned and fried to golden perfection. Serve this Caribbean staple as part of vegan breakfast, or have it as a snack.
Vegan Jackfruit ‘Saltfish’ Fritters.
Such a classic Jamaican snack when I think about it. I use to love when my Mom made them.
I remember she would whip these up on a Sunday morning, and I would wake up to the aroma of fresh dough frying, and Scotch bonnet pepper in the air.
The thing I remember the most about Jamaican Saltfish Fritters is the saltiness of the fish – in particular, it is salted cod that is often used in the recipe.
I knew that I HAD to recreate something plant-based that would still give me that similar mouth-feel & flavor that I remember because this is one of the most classic dish in Jamaican culture.
What is Jackfruit?
If you’re new to hearing about jackfruit, or you know a thing or two about it, it is one of the most versatile plant-based meat substitutes out there and in this recipe, this jackfruit tastes just like saltfish (or salted cod)!
Jackfruit is from a tropical tree that’s typically grown in Asia, Africa, and South America, and is native to South India.
It has a very subtle sweet flavor on its own that’s not overpowering but can take on spice flavors very well in any dish.
What is Jackfruit good for?
Jackfruit is an amazing plant-based alternative for any meat dish. Many people use jackfruit when they are making soups, stews, or taco dishes. The shredded appearance of jackfruit is very convincing when it’s prepared just like a mainstream meat dish, without many people knowing it’s a plant-based meat alternative.
Is Jackfruit healthy?
Jackfruit is extremely healthy! It is loaded with so many healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as vitamin C, niacin, magnesium, flavonoids, and potassium.
Where can I buy Jackfruit?
Typically, I have been able to find jackfruit (canned or the whole fruit) in any Asian grocery store, but nowadays as plant-based eating has become more acceptable, you can find jackfruit stocked in many grocery stores in the international foods section, health food stores, or ethnic markets.
A FEW NOTES:
- Buy jackfruit in the brine, NOT in the syrup. There are two different types of jackfruit you can purchase: in brine or in syrup. Only buy the canned jackfruit in the brine as it will provide the ‘saltiness’ needed. The jackfruit in syrup is meant for more dessert options and is not suitable for this recipe.
- Can you freeze jackfruit? Yes, you can freeze jackfruit. If you are freezing canned jackfruit, you can store the jackfruit in an airtight container or ziplock bag and it keeps it rather well. I have not frozen jackfruit before, but when you defrost it, you may have a lot more liquid to remove prior to using it.
Here’s what I put in my Vegan Jackfruit ‘Saltfish’ Fritters:
- Young Green Jackfruit: This is where you will get your ‘meatiness’ from. The jackfruit will simulate the salted cod typically used in fritters.
- Unbleached All-Purpose Flour: Unbleached flour has a denser texture which provides more structure to your fritter during the frying process.
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper: If you’re a fan of spicy foods like I am, add this and it will blow your mind (literally because this pepper is HOT!). If you are not a fan of spicy foods, you can leave it out. If you can’t find scotch bonnet pepper, you’re free to use chili flakes here as well.
- Green Onion: Provides a subtle onion flavor without being overpowering like regular white or red onion.
- Black Pepper: Provides depth to the fritter without heat.
- Salt: A pinch to balance out the flavors.
So here’s your recipe on how to make Vegan Jackfruit ‘Saltfish’ Fritters!
Vegan Jackfruit 'Saltfish' Fritters
- 1 500 ml can of young green jackfruit in brine drained well
- 1 1/4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 Scotch bonnet pepper finely chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes)
- 2 stalks of green onion finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup of water
- pinch of sea salt to taste
- Have two large medium-sized bowls available. Open your can of young green jackfruit in the brine and drain all liquid well & rinse.
- Once your jackfruit is rinsed and drained well, empty jackfruit into a bowl and start removing the 'pods' from the jackfruit. Once the jackfruit pods are removed, start shredding the jackfruit meat from the hard core of the fruit and discard the core. Continue the same process until all pods are removed, all jackfruit meat is shredded and all cores are discarded.
- Once you have all the jackfruit meat, place it into a nut milk bag, cheesecloth or a clean tea towel and squeeze all the extra liquid out. You really want to get your jackfruit as 'dry' as possible. If there's too much moisture left in your jackfruit, it will not fry as good and the middle of your fritters can be very moist.
- Empty your squeezed jackfruit meat from your nut milk bag into your other bowl and add your all-purpose flour, Scotch bonnet pepper, green onion, black pepper, salt., and water. Mix all ingredients together well with a spoon until combined into a batter and no flour is visible. The batter should have the consistency of pancake batter. It's ok if your batter has a few lumps. If your batter is too loose, add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour and mix again. If your batter is too thick, add 1-2 more tablespoons of water and mix again. Be sure to not overmix your batter as this may cause the batter to become too hard.
- In the meantime, heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium heat. This is a good time to let your batter 'rest'. Once your oil is heated, drop 1-2 full tablespoons of batter into the oil to form one fritter. As you drop your fritters, do not overcrowd the pan as this will not allow your fritters to fry well. If you overcrowd the pan, it may cause the oil temperature to lower and your fritters will steam rather than cook well on the inside.
- Fry your fritters on one side until golden brown, and flip over to fry the other side. Continue to turn your fritters over if needed to get nice and brown.
- Once browned to your liking, it's time to enjoy your spicy jackfruit 'saltfish' fritters!
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