“Our legendary old head chef at Nanban, Rivaaj Maharaj, grew up in an Indian household in South Africa, where jackfruit was a staple, and it was Rivaaj who came up with this recipe: jackfruit deep-fried in the style of Japanese fried chicken, which is nothing short of genius,” explains chef Tim Anderson.

“Jackfruit is now widely used as a meat substitute in stews and curries but I prefer it in recipes like this, where it’s kept more intact so you can fully appreciate its toothsome texture and subtle artichoke-like flavour. It is, in fact, so ‘meaty’ that every now and again a customer will send this dish back to the kitchen, mistakenly thinking we’d served them chicken!”

Jackfruit karaage from Vegan Japaneasy by Tim Anderson
Hardie Grant/Nassima Rothacker/PA.
Jackfruit karaage from Vegan Japaneasy by Tim Anderson
Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Crispy fried jackfruit recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 593 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 3092mg134%
Potassium 424mg12%
Carbohydrates 116g39%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 74IU1%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 163mg16%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Crispy fried jackfruit recipe

Deep-fried jackfruit in the style of Japanese fried chicken
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 2
Calories: 593kcal


  • Food processor
  • Deep, wide saucepan
  • Oil thermometer for deep frying


  • 400 g tinned young green jackfruit
  • Drained cornflour or seasoned flour (see below), for dredging
  • 1 litre or more of oil for deep-frying
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional) 

For the marinade:

  • 4 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sriracha or similar hot chilli sauce
  • 10 garlic cloves peeled
  • 2 shallots or 1 banana shallot roughly chopped
  • 15 g fresh root ginger (peeled weight) thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dashi powder

For the seasoned flour (optional):

  • 200 g cornflour
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger


  • For the marinade, whizz all the ingredients together in a food processor until no big chunks remain (it doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth). If there are any really big chunks of jackfruit, cut them a bit smaller – they shouldn’t be bite-size, but probably not much bigger than two-bite size. Coat the jackfruit in the marinade and leave in the refrigerator for at least two hours, and up to three days. For the seasoned flour (if using), stir together all the ingredients until the seasonings are well distributed.
  • To cook, pour the oil into a very deep, wide saucepan, to come no higher than halfway up the sides and heat to 180°C (350°F).
  • Remove the jackfruit from the marinade, letting any excess drip off, and dredge in the cornflour or seasoned flour, ensuring that all the nooks and crannies are well coated – this will help maximise crunch and help keep the sugars in the marinade from burning.
  • Carefully lower the jackfruit into the oil in small batches, checking the temperature periodically to ensure it is still around 180°C (350°F), and fry for about five minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove the jackfruit with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; if you’re not using the seasoned flour, finish with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Serve with Vegan Japanese Mayo, Ponzu, or just good old soy sauce and perhaps a wedge of lemon.


Calories: 593kcal | Carbohydrates: 116g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3092mg | Potassium: 424mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 163mg | Iron: 2mg

Vegan Japaneasy by Tim Anderson, photography by Nassima Rothacker, is published by Hardie Grant.

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