Unripe (young) jack fruit may be eaten whole. Unlike the ripe jack fruit, the young jack fruit has a mild flavor and distinctive texture and in many cultures, it is boiled and used in curries as a staple food.
Enough about Mr Jackfruit. Now let’s go back to Gudeg………
There are three types of gudeg: Dry, Wet and East-Javanese style. Dry gudeg is a gudeg which only has a bit of coconut milk and is served dry. Wet gudeg is a gudeg which (obviously) has a wetter look than the dry gudeg. There is much more coconut milk used in making this type. Meanwhile, the East-Javanese style gudeg employs a more spicier and hotter taste, compared to the Yogyakarta-style gudeg, which is sweeter.
I found the recipe of the Yogya-style Gudeg in one of the cooking artciles in website and by following this recipe I started my marvelous cooking misadventure with Mr Jackfruit.
- 5 Shallots
- 10 candle nuts
- 10 cloves of Garlic
- 4 salam leaves or Indian bay leaves
- 250g young Jack fruit
- 3 teak leaves
- 12 gram coriander powder
- 6 gram cummin powder
- 40 gram palm sugar, shaved
- 2 cup (500ml) coconut milk
- 30 gram Tamarind paste
- 2 inches bruised galanga
- 1 kg Chicken (cut into small pieces with bone)
- Vegetable oil to stir fry the seasoning paste
- 5 cups (1 liter) water
- Cut jack fruit 1 inch thick, wash and boil together with the teak leaves until tender (teak leaves are used here to give the young jackfruit dark brown color).
- Grind shallots, garlic, and candle nuts into a paste. Stir fry in vegetable oil.
- Add salam leaves, and galangga, until fragrant then add chicken pieces.
- Continue stir fry until chicken changes color.
- Pour 4 cups of water and palm sugar, cumin, corriander, tamarind, and bring to a boil.
- Add jack fruit and simmer until chicken and vegetables are tender.
- Add coconut milk 5 minutes before it’s done, bring back to a boil.
Serve hot with rice. This dish is supposed to be sweet and usually served with shrimp craker and it should have looked like this:
For every first time cooking trial, I always follow a recipe to the letter and I did the same with this Gudeg recipe.
First, I boiled the jack fruit together with the teak leaves. While waiting for the jack fruit to become tender, I pound the ingredients, saute the paste then add the chicken with the rest of the ingredients.
In the meantime, I checked whether the jack fruit has become tender by tasting it a bit but wait a minute, why did the jack fruit taste bitter?
Initially I thought it was probably due to the jack fruit was not cooked long enough so I cooked a bit longer. It still tasted bitter. Oh, probably because it was not yet added to the chicken. So I followed the next instruction of the recipe. But even after the dish seemed well cooked, the jack fruit still tasted bitter. Apparently, the palm sugar and coconut milk did not seem able to cover the bitter taste of the jack fruit.
I was devastated. The labor of many hours was a total failure and I did not have a clue what have I done wrong with the jack fruit. The next thing I know was that the Gudeg of my labor went strait to the bin.
I really felt betrayed by Mr. Jackfruit and suddenly the words of the song popped into my mind
Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more
Since then I never dare to try cooking Gudeg Yogya again. I decided that a dish using Mr. Jackfruit as the main ingredient is not the type of dish I will be able to cook. I prefer to buy Ready To Eat (RTE) Gudeg at one of the Gudeg sellers whenever I feel like eating it.