This evening I went back to an old recipe I haven’t made in over five years. I found some fresh jackfruit while wandering around Chinatown yesterday and immediately the following thought popped into my head: Oy! Tomorrow I’ll make goi!
This recipe comes from The Food of Vietnam and is called goi mit tron (jackfruit salad). Although this dish is said to do best with unripe jackfruit – the book explains that young jackfruit is like a vegetable, with a firm texture and mild flavor – I hardly had the luxury of being choosy. I just bought whatever jackfruit was being sold, and all of it was ripe and ready to be eaten.
Two pieces of advice if you decide to make this: 1) don’t boil the jackfruit too long or it will become gluey and hard to chew, and 2) the salad is better when served warm.
2 cloves garlic, diced or crushed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 large shrimp, peeled
2 ounces lean pork
Pepper to taste
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces jackfruit, boiled (for 2-3 minutes) and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped rau ram (in English it’s called polygonum, not that this helps)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Sesame seed rice crackers (banh trang me)
1. Sauté garlic in oil until fragrant.
2. Add shrimp, pork, pepper, salt, and sugar.
3. Stir until shrimp and pork are cooked, then add the boiled jackfruit and mix well.
4. Add chopped rau ram leaves and sesame seeds.
5. Mix well again and then arrange on a plate. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the salad.
6. Serve with sesame seed rice crackers.
The flavors are rich and surprising: deeply fruity, lightly salty, garlicky, and the freshness of the rau ram is absolutely wow-inducing.