We all have our favorite comfort foods that instantly transport us to our childhood. For me it’s definitely my Mom’s Chicken. But for my husband it would have to be this Filipino style Pork Bistek. And I would never hear the end of it if read more
What shreds like pork, absorbs flavor like tofu, and packs more nutrients per serving than both? Jackfruit! Jackfruit is an incredibly versatile tropical fruit that is grown throughout Southeast Asia. When ripe, it gets sweet, sticky, and yellow-orange and is used in a variety of sweets. For those of us growing up in the eighties, I would liken it to a stick of juicy fruit gum. Unripe, or green, jackfruit is most often used in savory dishes. I find the flavor is most similar in taste and texture to artichokes or hearts of palm. The fruit can grow up to 50 pounds, and can be quite a mission to prep.
Luckily for us, it’s pretty easy these days to find green jackfruit in convenient cans, all prepped and ready to go. Maybe you’ve seen these cans at Whole Foods or Trader Joes but weren’t sure what to do with it. Let these Jackfruit Bowls be your introduction to this nutritional powerhouse. And don’t be scared by the lengthy list of steps; the components can all be made ahead of time. Whip up the sauce, pickle the veggies, and cook the jackfruit over the weekend, and then you have a meal ready to go in minutes during the week. (Calling all meal preppers!)
Make the Jackfruit Bowl Components
I love making grain bowls because it’s a chance to load them up with all kind of flavors and textures for an exciting meal. These pickled veggies add a nice tang. And you can make them a couple days before you make the jackfruit bowls. Just let them sit in the fridge, marinating away. They will still have a nice crisp crunch.
Let it sit for 15 minutes, and drain it, squeezing to get out all the liquid. Then add the seasoned rice vinegar, sesame oil, and minced garlic.
Jackfruit Bowl Sauce
This sauce is a thick, well balanced blend of flavors. A little Sambal Olek chili sauce for heat, hoisin for umami depth, a blend of red and rice vinegar for a mild tanginess…some ketchup, Worcestershire sugar, and garlic round out this Asian take on a BBQ sauce. Just mix everything up and keep refrigerated until you’re ready to make the jackfruit bowls.
Cook the Jackfruit
I start by draining the brine from the jackfruit. Then I simmer it in a pot of water until tender, about 5 minutes. Check with a fork and make sure you can easily pierce the jackfruit. Depending on the brand you are using, you may need to simmer the jackfruit a little longer to get it fork tender. Then I drain it and set it aside while I sauté the aromatics.
What you end up with looks very much like shredded pork. Many years ago, before green jackfruit was even a thing, we were asked to use it to make some appetizers for a wedding. We ended up using it as a filling for Chinese style steamed buns, but a couple of the wedding guests were imagining the jackfruit as a filling inside of soft rolls, like a shredded BBQ pork sandwich. That too would be fantastic! If you are making this ahead, keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Assemble Jackfruit Bowls
Depending on my mood, I will make this with rice as the base, or quinoa, just follow the package directions. Cauliflower rice is a great option too, if you want to add even more veggies to your bowl.
I also like to add cucumber and avocado, for color and texture, and then garnish with chopped herbs and scallions. Line up all your toppings to make assembling the bowls a breeze.
I let everyone add their own sauce at the table. Any left over is wonderful with a simple grilled chicken or maybe scoop some into a soft roll and call it a day! I hope these Jackfruit Bowls become your gateway to all the deliciousness that jackfruit has to offer. Try them and let me know what you think. Rate and leave a comment on the recipe down below, and show off your bowls by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!
- 1 can young green jackfruit
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- ¼ head green cabbage
- 1 small carrot
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
Sauce to serve on the side:
- ¼ cup hoisin
- ½ Tablespoon sambal olek (or any garlic chili sauce)
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (use coconut aminos if vegetarian)
- 2 Tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- 6 cups cooked rice, quinoa, mixed grains or cauliflower rice
- 1 avocado, diced
- ⅓ european cucumber, sliced thin
- Chopped cilantro
- 1 stalk of scallion, chopped
- 4 tablespoons crispy shallots (optional, purchase at an Asian market)
Make the pickled vegetables:
- Peel and then cut the carrot into three logs. Slice the carrot very thin, stack the slices, and then cut across the slices to yield thin matchsticks (julienne). Put the carrots into a large bowl.
- Peel off any discolored or tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Shred the cabbage as you would for coleslaw, very thinly with a knife or with a food processor. Then put it into the bowl with the carrots and toss with the salt. Let the cabbage mixture sit for 15 mins., tossing occasionally.
- Drain the cabbage in a colander, squeezing the cabbage tightly to remove excess liquid.
- Place the cabbage back in the bowl and add the seasoned rice vinegar, garlic, and sesame oil. Stir to combine. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. The cabbage will keep for several days.
Make the sauce:
- Combine the hoisin, sambal olek, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, ketchup, and sugar in a bowl.
- Stir to combine.
- Set aside or refrigerate until jackfruit bowls are ready to serve.
Make the jackfruit:
- Open the can of jackfruit and drain the brine. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil on high heat. Add the jackfruit, lower the heat to medium high, and simmer for 5-7 minutes. It should be easy to pierce with a fork when done. (Continue to simmer for a couple more minutes if needed.) Drain the jackfruit and set it aside.
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and the chopped onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions have softened and are starting to lightly brown. Add the garlic and ginger and stir to combine.
- Next add the jackfruit and break it up with a masher or a fork. Add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, salt, and sugar. Stir to combine. Bring the contents to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and remove from the stove.
- Cool the jack fruit and refrigerate if not using right away. The jackfruit can be kept refrigerated for 3 days.
Assemble the bowls:
- When ready to serve, divide the rice, grains, or cauliflower rice into 4 large bowls.
- Top evenly with jackfruit, avocado, cucumbers, and pickled cabbage.
- Garnish with some chopped scallion, cilantro, and fried shallots. Serve jackfruit bowls with the sauce on the side.
Keywords: meal prep, jackfruit, avocado, pickled vegetables, vegan, plant based, grain bowl, rice
Every year I see dozens of amazing recipes to use up Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. But let’s face it, after hosting a large dinner party, the last thing I want to do is forge ahead with a really complicated recipe when I’m trying to recover. Thanksgiving hangovers are real. And if you get them too, I hear you! This Turkey Congee is here to the rescue. It solves almost all of the problems that hit after Thanksgiving: too much leftover turkey (check), too tired to do much (check), people to feed still in the house (check), need something easy and economical (check).
Don’t Throw Out The Carcass
As lazy as I want to be once the Thanksgiving meal is over, it kills me to let perfectly good ingredients go to waste. And if you’ve spent hours brining, basting, and roasting an expensive bird, you would be crazy to throw out the leftovers, right? More importantly, I think the best part of leftovers is often overlooked, the turkey carcass.
The turkey carcass might be one of my favorite parts of the turkey, because with almost no effort, it makes the most intense and savory broth. Before you scoff, you should know that homemade broth is like liquid gold. It transforms any dish from good to amazing. Without a doubt, the clean, umami rich flavor of a homemade broth is both sublime and unmistakeable. No matter how beat I am at the end of the feast, I always make the effort to start my turkey broth. It’s fast and so easy, just simmering away on the stove as we all sit around, relax, and digest.
Once the broth is done, you can freeze it as a quick jump to a future soup or use it the next day to make the ultimate hangover food, Turkey Congee. Congee is a traditional Chinese dish. It consists of rice cooked down until it is a soft, porridge consistency. Congee is frequently enjoyed as breakfast with various toppings. It’s warm, soothing, and filling; plus rice is easy to digest, which is perfect after a heavy meal, a rough night, or both! A straightforward one pot breakfast/brunch to use up leftovers and feed any lingering family member is the perfect post Thanksgiving solution.
Let’s Get Cooking!
Make the Turkey Congee Stock
Our congee starts with a rich stock. Like oatmeal or grits, Congee is often made with just water, which is simple but a little bland. For this reason, I prefer starting with a flavorful liquid, which takes it to another level. Stocks are so easy to make; they are almost entirely hands off. They do require some time as a deeply flavored bone stock takes hours of simmering. But a good homemade stock is one of the reasons why food in restaurants is so flavorful.
For this turkey stock, I put the entire turkey carcass in a heavy duty dutch oven and then I just toss in the onion, ginger, and garlic and cover with water. Then I just bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 2-3 hours until the stock is a rich, amber color. Strain any impurities occasionally to keep the broth clear (but if you’re using the broth for this congee, you don’t even need to do that since no one will notice it with the thick rice). You can also do this in an Instant Pot as well. Just set it to High Pressure for 1.5 hours.
Then I strain the stock and refrigerate it. I like to make the stock for Turkey Congee the day before so that my meal prep only takes a half hour the next day.
What’s the Difference Between Stocks and Broths?
Speaking of stocks and broths, technically stocks are made mostly of bones and broths are made with more meat but the terms are pretty much used interchangeably. Theoretically, stocks are supposed to be more viscous due to the long simmering and gelatin released from the bones, whereas broths are more meaty in flavor. But realistically, if you are not making it yourself, and want to buy some, there is very little difference I’ve seen between the two at stores.
Cooking the Congee
Once the stock is made, the actual Turkey Congee comes together quickly. Cook down the onions, letting them get a little charred for added flavor. Throw in the julienned ginger. Add your amazing homemade stock, salt and pepper, the leftover diced turkey, and the rice and let it simmer until it starts to break down to a creamy, oatmeal consistency.
Because I always like to sneak in some veggies, I add in a bit of spinach which also adds a nice pop of color. Then taste for seasoning, and add your toppings. I like to use herbs and scallions to add freshness, and fried shallots for crunch. But congee toppings can be almost anything. Red pepper flakes or a dash of chili sauce if you like it hot, a runny egg to add some richness…
My Turkey Congee is savory, comforting, and makes excellent use of Thanksgiving leftovers. If you make it, we want to know. Comment and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, show us the goods!
- Leftover Turkey Carcass
- 10 cups water
- 1 large onion, sliced in half
- 1 ounce ginger (about 1” piece), washed and smashed lightly
- 12 garlic cloves
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
- ½ large yellow onion, sliced thin
- 2 Tablespoons peeled and julienned ginger
- 6 cups turkey stock from above recipe
- 2 ½ cups cooked rice
- ½ –1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 pound leftover turkey meat, diced into ½ inch pieces
- 2 ounces spinach or other mild greens, roughly chopped
- small bunch scallions, minced
- 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 3 Tablespoons fried shallots
Make the Stock:
- In a large heavy pot or dutch oven, break up the turkey carcass so it fits the pot. Add the water, onion, ginger, and garlic. Bring the water to a simmer over high heat. Then lower the heat to medium, cover partially with a lid, and simmer for 2-3 hours, occasionally skimming the surface for impurities.
- Strain the stock through a colander and refrigerate until ready to use. You should yield about 8 cups of stock. The stock should have a rich toffee color and turn into a gelatinous goo when refrigerated.
For the Congee:
- Heat a large heavy pot over medium high heat. Add the oil and the onion. Cook for 3-5 mins, stirring until the onion is soft and a little charred. Add the ginger and cook for an additional minute.
- Then add 6 cups of stock, ½ tablespoon of salt, ground white pepper, cooked rice, and the diced turkey.
- Bring the pot to a simmer and then lower heat to medium-low. Cook for 20-30 minutes covered, stirring occasionally, until the rice porridge has thickened into the consistency of oatmeal. Add the spinach and stir to wilt. Add more stock as needed or to your taste. Check the seasoning (I usually add the remaining ½ tablespoon of salt) and adjust as needed.
- Garnish each serving with some minced scallion, chopped cilantro, and fried shallots. Serve immediately.
Any leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen (without the garnish). Add a little more stock or water to loosen the consistency of leftovers.
You can also start with raw rice (1 ½ cup) if you do not have any cooked. Add the rice as you would cooked rice, but do not add the diced turkey until the rice has cooked to a nice porridge consistency, about 1 hour. Adjust the amount of liquid (about 2 additional cups of stock or water) as raw rice will absorb a lot more liquid.
Keywords: congee, turkey