Jackfruit steaks

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia

Fire Islands

By Eleanor Ford

Published 2019

  • About

Amongst the bounty of fresh produce that comes into the Bambu Indah hotel kitchen daily are spiky orbs in brilliant lime green. These are unripe jackfruit, which have firm flesh that becomes pull-apart tender when cooked, rather like an artichoke. With this simplest treatment, the ladies in the kitchen transformed wedges of jackfruit into the most incredible charred and smoky steaks. This is a recipe waiting for the day when you can find the fruit fresh.


  • 4 small wedges of young jackfruit
  • oil, for grilling

Bumbu spice paste

  • 2 small red Asian shallots, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 large red chilli, seeded
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli (optional)
  • 4 cm ( inches) galangal, skin scrubbed
  • 3 cm ( inches) turmeric, peeled, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 cm ( inches) ginger, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons oil


The jackfruit has a rubbery sap that is beastly to remove, so oil your hands, knife, chopping board and anything else the jackfruit will touch! Trim off the rind and cut into four chunky steaks, including the seeds.

To make the bumbu spice paste, roughly chop all the fresh ingredients. Put everything in a food processor and blend to a purée. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in a pan for 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture darkens slightly and the oil begins to separate from the paste.

Remove half of the bumbu and set aside. Add the jackfruit to the pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender, topping up the water as needed. Drain.

Rub the steaks with the remaining bumbu and season with salt.

The best results are indisputably on a barbecue - add coconut fibres or wood chips for the wonderful smoky notes - but you could also griddle over a high heat. When searing hot, brush your grill with a little oil and cook the jackfruit over a direct heat. Turn until charred and golden on all sides.