Breadfruit is a staple food of the Pacific Island nations, and it grows prolifically here in Hawaii. We’re back in breadfruit season, and this lovely curry is my favorite way to enjoy this important staple food.
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Loving breadfruit is easy, and so is cooking it!! 🍈 I have two breadfruit babies (from the hands that feed me at @maoorganicfarms And @kahumanaorganicfarms, both at the Saturday morning Kakaako @alohafarmlovers Markets). Both #ulu ripened on the same day, so they are both being roasted in the oven for curries, stir fries, and more. Got breadfruit questions?!? Let me know!
Breadfruit (also known as ulu in Olelo Hawaii) is a tree-grown fruit that can be found year round in Hawaii, but the primary season is September until about December. Breadfuit trees are often large, with gorgeous leaves and huge fruits hanging above. Breadfruits can range in size from a softball to basketball.
There are also lots of varieties of breadfruit available here in the markets and from different farmers. Some breadfruits are much sweeter than others, and some have seeds and others do not. Try as many breadfruits as you can this season and find out which is your favorite!
Just as there are lots of varieties of breadfruit available, there are also a lots of ways to prepare this starchy food. If you have never had breadfruit before, you can think of it like a sweet potato. It has a similar starchy, sweet, filling consistency, and like potatoes, it’s very versatile – the fruit can be roasted, baked, boiled or stewed, and
In our Oahu Fresh video today, I shared some of my best breadfruit tips, as well as a cooking demo for how to turn this odd looking fruit into an incredible curry. If you don’t have breadfruit at the moment, you can make this recipe with roasted kabocha pumpkin or sweet potatoes. If you’re looking for more breadfruit recipe inspiration, check out the Hawaii Ulu Cooperative to see tons of recipes and tips.
To Prepare Breadfruit
Breadfruit should be soft and squishy, but like bananas, breadfruit is edible at all stages (if you’ve never had green bananas, here’s the recipe to get you started! That recipe would also be awesome with breadfruit!). When it’s less ripe it’s great sliced and fried into chips, and when it’s soft and sweet it’s great in curries, stews, or as a sweet dessert.
Generally I like my breadfruits to be very soft – as squishy as a very ripe banana. When it’s this ripe, don’t try to peel it – it’s very difficult! Instead, quarter the breadfruit, and roast at 350º for about a half hour (see Instagram link above for pics). You can also put the whole breadfruit in the oven, cook at 350º for an hour until totally browned and fragrant. For either roasting method, let the breadfruit cool, and store in the fridge for up to a week. You can then peel, chop, and use in the following recipe.
Creamy Breadfruit and Mixed Vegetable Curry
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup finely chopped broccoli
1 cup diced carrot
1-2 cups chopped, cooked breadfruit
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup cubed tofu
½ cup coconut milk or coconut cream
4 Tablespoons water
2-4 Tablespoons red Thai curry paste
1 Tablespoon soy sauce, Coconut Aminos, or Bragg’s Aminos (more to taste)
1 cup minced, fresh cilantro
Fresh lime, for garnish
- Add coconut oil to a large skillet or stockpot. Warm over medium heat until just fragrant. Add onions, stir to coat. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, until just barely starting to brown.
- Add broccoli and carrots, then stir to combine. Let cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add breadfruit and zucchini and cook until zucchini is soft.
- Stir to combine, and let cook about 10 minutes uncovered, until veggies are cooked through.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce: in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together coconut milk, water, curry paste, and Bragg’s/soy sauce until smooth.
- Add tofu to veggie mixture, along with sauce, and let cook for about five minutes to allow flavors to combine.
- Stir in the cilantro, and serve with lime!
- Serve with rice, in wraps, atop noodles, or just as is in a cute bowl.
Yield: about 6 cups curry, or 2-4 servings