Roast Breadfruit is a readily available staple in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. Whether you have a breadfruit tree or not, it is quite easy to barter or purchase freshly picked breadfruit in Jamaica. The island is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables trees, especially in the country where I am from.
Growing up on the island, we would eat breadfruit at least once per week. Whether it be roast breadfruit, fry breadfruit or boiled breadfruit, this staple was always incorporated in the weekly meal prep.
How Long Should a Breadfruit Roast For?
Usually, no one checks the time when roasting breadfruit but for the sake of this recipe I did. Roasting breadfruit usually takes around 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the breadfruit.
A normal setting for breadfruit consumption in Jamaica is usually on a worksite, where there are hungry men making lunch for almost free; we call this “running a boat”. Running a boat can happen anywhere and at any time, usually on any worksite where it is possible to gather ingredients from close by. The most popular place to run a boat is in the woods, on the farm or by the river.
How Do I Roast Whole Breadfruit?
Roasting a whole breadfruit is pretty easy. The main aim of the roasting process is to scorch the exterior of the breadfruit to almost ash. The skin of the breadfruit is thick so it will be able to handle the fire.
The shortest and most economical way to roast breadfruit is on a coal stove with the fire directly burning the skin. The other option that will give similar results is roasting breadfruit on the stove top. Of course, this will take a little more time but the steps will still be the same.
How Do You Know When a Breadfruit is Roasted?
Before putting the breadfruit to roast, you will need to create air pockets so that heat can escape during the cooking process. Do this by cutting a deep X on the base of the breadfruit and cut the stem out.
It may be tricky to know when a breadfruit is roasted if you have never done it before. Pretend that you are baking a cake and the timer is up. Use a knife like you would to test the center of the cake, if it is clean, the breadfruit is cooked, if it is sticky, it needs to cook more.
What Does Roast Breadfruit Taste Like?
Breadfruit is a light, airy and low in calorie, gluten free, vegan and bready fruit that acts as a starch. The taste is probably indescribable to those who were raised eating breadfruit but others may say it tastes like a potato but more spongy.
Fry Breadfruit on the other hand does taste like McDonald’s french fries, once it is cooked properly. Keep in mind that you will need to roast the breadfruit before frying.
What to Serve with Breadfruit
- Paring Knife
- Kitchen Towel
- 1 Whole Breadfruit
Prepping the Breadfruit
- Using the tip of a paring knife, cut the stem from the top of the breadfruit.
- Cut an X along the base of the breadfruit. This will allow the gas steam escape as the breadfruit cooks.
Roasting the Breadfruit
- Set the burner to a high and set the breadfruit directly onto the flame.
- Turn the breadfruit on the flame every 10 minutes to a 25 degree angle, ensuring that all the green spots are being scorched.
- It may be tricky to know when a breadfruit is roasted if you have never done it before. Pretend that you are baking a cake and the timer is up. Use the paring knife like you would to test the center of the cake, if it is clean, the breadfruit is cooked, if it is sticky, it needs to cook more.
Peeling the Breadfruit
- Place the warm breadfruit on a clean kitchen towel and carefully peel the outer scorched skin from the cooked breadfruit.
- Once the breadfruit is peeled, cut lengthwise in half then in quarters, then in eighths. Use the paring knife to remove the pit (or heart) and it is ready to be served.