The last time I deep fried something was waaaaay back in September 2017. Due to health issues that started around then, I slowly started cutting down on refined carbs, sugar, processed and fried food as a part of trying to figure out how to pinpoint and reduce pain. Did any of these things have something to do with what was causing it? Probably not, although if it was as simple and clear cut as that that, I’d be happy to give them all up for good.
Restricting my diet in this way gave me a sense of control and clarity, when I was feeling neither one in my body or my mind. While it served that purpose, it also killed this creative outlet, making coming up with ideas here seem like more of a chore than a source of joy.
As things are slowly getting better, I’m bringing some of that joy back with this deep-fried, refined carb dish—and dipping it into vegan mayo just because. Inspired by a fish and chips recipe by Chef Adam Evans I found in an old issue of Bon Appétit, I subbed jackfruit for the cod and loved the results.
See that juicy looking texture? I got that by simmering jackfruit in broth and Old Bay, then freezing, defrosting and pressing before dredging and beer battering. Similar to tofu, this technique transforms texture, maximizes flavor and is super easy to do.
Over this past year, I am so grateful for those whose paths I’ve been lucky enough to cross as they support and share what they know about yoga, mindful self-compassion and meditation. I’m not sure where I would be emotionally and physically right now without all of these things. I’ll be incorporating some of these new-to-me concepts in some way in this space as I discover them, as it’s something that I’m trying to embrace as much now as I’m reconnecting with food again here. Stay tuned.
Deep-fried Jackfruit with Garlicky-Dill Mayo
Yield 4 servings
Inspired by Chef Adam Evans's Fish and Chips with Malt Vinegar Mayo recipe.
for the garlicky-dill mayo
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 4 tsp coconut vinegar (apple cider vinegar or lemon juice would work too)
- 1 TB chopped fresh dill
- few pinches of salt
for the jackfruit
- 2, 20-oz. cans of jackfruit, packed in brine
- 4 cups water
- 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
- 1 tsp Old Bay
for the batter
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 6 oz. beer (lager or IPA)
- 1/2 cup fizzy water
- 1 TB malt vinegar
- 1/2 cup finely ground corn flour, combined with 1 tsp each of Old Bay and dried dill
- canola or grapeseed oil, for frying
to garnish and serve
- fries or slaw
- extra malt vinegar
- lemon wedges
- chopped fresh dill/parsley
- chopped green onion
- flaky salt
to prepare the garlicky-dill mayo
- Combine all ingredients. Adjust to taste if needed, then comfort and refrigerate until ready to serve.
to prepare the jackfruit
- Drain the jackfruit, removing any seeds.
- Add the bouillon and Old Bay to a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once dissolved, add the jackfruit to the pan. Allow to return to a small boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes. Drain.
- Allow to cool, then transfer to a baking sheet in a single layer. Place into the freezer for a few hours.
- Remove the jackfruit from the freezer and allow to defrost on the sheet. Once defrosted and at room temp, place the jackfruit, single layer, in between towels (I used a large bath towel). Press down with your hands to allow most of the moisture out. The jackfruit doesn't need to be bone dry.
to prepare the batter
- Combine the AP flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and pepper into a medium-sized bowl.
- In another bowl, combine the beer, fizzy water and malt vinegar.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry and combine, taking care not to overmix.
to fry the jackfruit
- Place several inches into a medium-sized cast-iron pot. Heat over medium-high heat for several minutes. Test the oil's readiness by inserting a chopstick into the oil so it touches the bottom of the pan. If bubbles form around the chopstick immediately, you are ready to fry.
- Working in small batches, dredge the jackfruit into the seasoned corn flour mix, then transfer to the batter.
- Make sure each piece is covered evenly in the batter, then carefully transfer to the oil, taking care not to overcrowd the pot.
- Once golden brown all over, transfer the jackfruit to a large plate lined with paper towels and repeat the process with the remaining jackfruit.
- Serve immediately with fries, slaw, lemon wedges, mayo, malt vinegar and chopped fresh herbs.