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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Trader Joe's Vegan Jackfruit Cakes

Jackfruit. Where do I start? 

My history with jackfruit involves reading about it a couple times on the interwebs—including this insightful piece from a Trader Joe's review blog you might have heard of. I considered buying that curry dish myself after reading Mr. Shelly's post, but wound up going with something else that wanted reviewing. 

In the same way it resembles pulled pork in the last offering, visually, it greatly resembles the crab in a classic crab cake. Even the cutting open of these cakes approximates that of a crab cake. However, flavor-wise, it's much more "planty" than crabby. And the texture is a bit stringier and stiffer than crab meat. It's not unpleasant. It's just not a crab cake. Not by a long shot. No amount of crab seasonings would make me mistake this dish for an actual crab cake.

There's a moderate paprika-driven warming sensation at the back of the throat after consuming a few bites of these plant pucks, but honestly, even the spices here don't approximate the spice mix of true crab cakes. I've had potato chips that taste more like crab cakes than these things.

My initial instinct was to slap these puppies in between a couple slices of bread, top them with cheese, ketchup, and mustard, and treat them as jackfruit veggie burger patties. We were lacking pretty much all of those other elements at the time I prepared these, so I simply finished my serving in the manner of a vegan crab cake, but I still think the veggie burger route would work way better than pretending they're a substitute for crab cakes in this or any other parallel reality.

By themselves, they're not particularly flavorful, but they're not an abomination, either. There's a unique subtleness to the taste. For a vegan, these might be a viable choice to add to your regular meal rotation. I might still be an omnivore technically, but I'm always happy to find meatless products that are also free of soy.

I tried the cakes both oven-baked (preferred method) and in the skillet. I liked the skillet better because olive oil helps the taste a bit, but the oven method might yield a slightly more authentic texture.

Sonia and I are on the same page here. They're not bad, but they're no substitute for a good crab cake. As a pescatarian, even Sonia will enjoy one of those every so often. 3.5 stars x 2.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.


  1. You could always dress up and make a vegan sandwich. Mix the vegan mayo with chopped pickles. Smear on a roll. Put one of the cakes on it. Add lettuce in it. You got a filling vegan lunch.

  2. It’s kind of annoying that all vegan patties must be compared to more common omni dishes that aren’t at all related..... then again “vegan jackfruit patties” isn’t the best label for an enticing box!
    Definitely try the jackfruit curry- it’s got a serious kick of spice so i think sonia will be very into it.

  3. I just tried them for the first time and I have to say I will not be buying again.. they taste pretty nasty in my opinion (and I am vegan BTW). After adding a few different sauces I was able to stomach one down. I personally would no recommend


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