With a name like "breadfruit," it comes as no surprise that this tropical staple of the Caribbean, South Asia and the Pacific islands has the texture of a starchy vegetable when unripe, just as bananas and plantains do. Unripe breadfruits hold up to high heat well and handle frying, boiling and roasting without losing their texture. Roasting is one of the most traditional preparation methods, when cooked in a fire pit or underground oven. You have numerous options for seasoning when you roast breadfruit, and it pairs especially well with floral and smoky spices, such cardamom, allspice and cumin.
Things You'll Need
- Paring knife
- Pot (optional)
- Food-storage container (optional)
- Mixing bowl
- Shallow baking dish
- Aluminum foil or parchment paper
- Salt and spices
Rinse fresh breadfruit under cool running water, cut off the stem and quarter it. Cut out the core pieces and lay the breadfruit skin-side down in a pot filled with about 1/2 inch of water. Simmer for about 10 minutes and place it in a food-storage container of ice water. Simmering softens the skins and makes them easier to peel.
If you have canned breadfruit, open the cans and drain.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the skin from fresh breadfruit with a paring knife.
Cut the breadfruit into pieces of the desired size. Like potatoes, the smaller the pieces, the shorter the cooking time.
Place the breadfruit in a mixing bowl and drizzle oil over the pieces. Toss to coat and spread the breadfruit out in an even layer in a shallow baking dish lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Season the breadfruit to taste with kosher salt and spices, if desired. Breadfruit pairs well with a wide array of regional seasonings, such as traditional Caribbean jerk and the curry mixes of Southeast Asia.
Place the breadfruit in the oven. Roast the breadfruit for about 30 minutes and stir the pieces in the dish. Roast for another 15 minutes and check the doneness. Fully cooked breadfruit pierces easily with a fork, like potatoes. Canned breadfruit cooks a little faster than fresh breadfruit, but start checking both after 45 minutes of total cooking time.
Remove the breadfruit when it reaches the desired tenderness.
Tips & Warnings
- Ripe breadfruit loses its shape and texture when you roast it, basically turning to mush.
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