Sold in bags in Malay vegetable stalls, unripe jackfruit, or nangka muda, is pale green, firm and tart. As it ripens it turns yellow and becomes easier to separate into lobes of crisp-textured flesh.
Serves 4–6 | Cooking time: 30 mins | Preparation time: 20 mins
- 1 kg (2 lbs) unripe jackfruit (nangka muda), skin discarded
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 2-1/2 cups (625 ml) thin coconut milk
- 200 g (7 oz) fresh prawns, peeled
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons dried prawns, soaked in warm water until soft
- 2 stalks lemongrass, tender inner part of bottom third only, sliced
- 6–8 red finger-length chillies
- 6 candlenuts or macadamia nuts
- 2 small onions
- 1 tablespoon dried prawn paste (belachan), dry-roasted
- 1 thumb-size piece fresh turmeric root
- Slice the jackfruit into large chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the jackfruit and salt and simmer for 15 minutes or until the fruit is tender. Drain and rinse the jackfruit with cold water. Set aside.
- Grind all the Spice Paste ingredients together until fine. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and stir-fry the Spice Paste for about 6 minutes, until thick and fragrant. Add the coconut milk and jackfruit and simmer for 7–8 minutes.
- Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce and sugar. Serve hot with rice.
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Cover courtesy of Tuttle Publishing
Excerpted with permission from Singapore Cooking by Terry Tan & Christopher Tan (Tuttle Publishing).