Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Trader Joe's Yellow Jackfruit Curry with Jasmine Rice
You probably knew that already.
My wife certainly does, bless her heart. So I was really kinda curious when she was trying to tell me that some people consider jackfruit to be kinda like a vegan pulled prok kinda deal. On the surface, that sounds kinda ludicrous to me. How can a plant be meatlike? Pssh, sounds like other crazy stuff she tries to tell me, like that Tupperware has a particular place and organizational method for storage. Yeah, right.
Anyways, in another attempt to yank my coworkers' chains, I picked up Trader Joe's Yellow Jackfruit Curry with Jasmine Rice for an at-desk lunch this week. This would have to do it, right? C'mon now.
Mission failed. No raised eyebrows. No mention of anything. Everyone was too nosedeep in gossip and TPS reports, I s'pose.
So...is jackfruit kinda like pulled pork?
Tough for my admitted carnivoresque self to say. Visually, I can somewhat see the similarity here - there's kinda a stringy, chunky look. In this curry's instance, though, the jackfruit gets a little lost amongst the rice. There's a soft chewy feel here and there, but not really the fleshy bite. Kinda the difference between pig and plant, I suppose.
As for the rest of the dish? Delish. Somewhat unlike the jarred TJ's yellow curry sauce, the curry here definitely has a sizable, decided kick. As in, at first, it's pretty spicy...probably about an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. Took me by surprise at first, but once accustomed to it, the curry heat took on more of a pleasant, sustained warmth. There's a little layered aspect too - I wouldn't necessarily say complex but there's some sweetness from the coconut base, the mentioned spice, and a healthy dose of turmeric as well. The only real relief from it is the few biggish bites of eggplant here and there that the curry sauce doesn't really sink into. There's something about the bell peppers that makes it kick up a notch.
Altogether, I'll admit I was pretty pleasantly surprised by the overall wholesome goodness of this curryous dish. It was no more than a couple bucks for the tray which took about five minutes in the microwave - I would have expected (and been reasonably happy with) paying for something of similar quality from a restaurant. It's all there - good flavor, good heat, good firm rice. And it's all good enough that I want to try and make my own now, too - apparently there's a canned jackfruit TJ's sells for just this purpose? I'd be down. Sandy wasn't quite brave enough to try it herself yet, but probably will now. I'm just gonna go go out on my own here and give it some double fours.
Bottom line: Trader Joe's Yellow Jackfruit Curry with Jasmine Rice: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons