Over the years I’ve shared many delightful recipes using breadfruit, so it gives me great pleasure to be able to share this wonderful breadfruit salad (like a potato salad) with you. I have a number of breadfruit recipes in my arsenal I’d like to share with you, but being in Canada means paying very heavy prices.. ‘when’ it’s available in the markets. BTW the breadfruit pie recipe is still one of the most well received recipes I’ve shared to date.
3 cups cubed breadfruit (cooked)
1/2 cup bell pepper
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper (diced fine)
1/2 cup celery (diced finely)
1/4 cup red onion diced finely
3/4 can peas and carrots
3 hard boiled eggs (diced)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon mustard (Dijon)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
pinch black pepper
* We cooked the breadfruit in salted water so I didn’t add any further salt, but do adjust to your own liking.
Peel, core and boil the breadfruit in salted water. Cool, then cube into 1/2 inch pieces. Then prepare the other ingredients so it’s just a matter of assembling when the breadfruit has had time to cool.
If you struggle to get perfectly boiled eggs, check out this video tip: How To Cook Perfect Boiled Eggs. << Click! Then it’s just a matter of cutting the boiled eggs into small pieces.
Place the breadfruit, eggs, onion, scotch bonnet pepper (no seeds), celery, bell pepper and the peas and carrots (drain and rinse with cool water) in a large bowl, then get ready to make the rick and creamy sauce to bring everything together.
Stir (be gentle) well. Then in a small bowl, place the mayo, vinegar, mustard and black pepper and whisk. Now pour this mixture into the bowl with the other ingredients mix well (with a folding motion) and finally top with a dusting of paprika.
Be sure to place in the fridge to chill before serving. Yet another delicious recipe using breadfruit, especially during the summer months when you’re having those wonderful BBQ events.
I grew up eating breadfruit in a number of ways, but only as an adult when we visited Tobago some years ago, did I have my first delicious encounter with breadfruit pie. It was a long day of driving around the island, when we stopped at Jemma’s Seaview Kitchen for a late lunch. The stewed fish with this amazing breadfruit pie hit the spot and with the soothing sound of the waves crashing just feet away.. the ‘ritis’ kicked in. Since that day I vowed to come up with a recipe for breadfruit pie to equal what we enjoyed that memorable day.
1 breadfruit (about 4lbs)
1.5 cups evaporated milk
2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
1 cup grated “medium” cheddar
1/2 cup Monterrey jack Cheese
3 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper diced fine
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* salt the water when cooking the breadfruit (1/4 teaspoon)
Notes: Top with bread crumbs (optional).. reserve 1/4 cup of cheddar to top the mix before going in the oven. You may need an extra 1/4 cup of liquid (milk, cream or water) to thin the cheese sauce if it goes too thick. You can use your favorite type of cheese to personalize this dish if you wanted. Remember to wear gloves when handling scotch bonnet peppers and wash your hands with soap immediately after. Do NOT include any seeds as that’s where most of the heat is.
We’ve got to pre-boil the breadfruit before we can assemble it in the pie for baking. Cut off the stem part, then rest that flat side down on your counter and cut into wedges. Then peel the skin off with a potato peeler or sharp pairing knife. The final step is to remove the sort of spongy center (almost like the continuation of the stem), so you’re left with a wedge that all breadfruit meat.
Rinse with cool water, place in a deep pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, salt and allow to cook until it’s tender. It will take about 20 minutes and as it boils you’ll notice it will change color (a bit darker). To be sure it’s fully cooked, pierce with a sharp knife and make sure there’s no resistance. Drain and set aside to cool a bit.
In another sauce pan heat the butter on low heat, then as it melts add the flour and cook for about 4-5 minutes. It’s important that you constantly whisk it, so the flour does not clump or burn. Now add the evaporated milk, turn up the heat to medium and whisk. Add all the other ingredients (except the breadfruit.. remember to save back a bit of cheese for topping) and cook for a couple minutes. Until you have a thick, but smooth sauce. Remember to add a bit more liquid if it’s overly thick.
It’s now time to assemble the breadfruit pie. Slice each wedge of cooked breadfruit about 1/4 inch thick, then place a layer onto a greased cooking dish. Add a layer of cheese, then another layer of sliced breadfruit and top with the remaining cheese sauce. Sprinkle on the grated cheese we reserved.
Place on the middle rack of a pre-heated 350F oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Since I used a shallow baking dish I placed it onto a cookie sheet, so it would be easy to remove from the oven and if any cheese bubbled over, it wouldn’t cause a mess in my oven. After 30 minutes I turned on my broiler and let it go for 2-3 minutes to give it that wicked golden touch on top.
Allow it to cool for a couple minute to really set, then dig in. This breadfruit pie would be enough to serve 5-6 people as a side dish. I assure you that this one will be a hit with your family. The lovely texture or the breadfruit, combined with that wicked cheese sauce we made and the slight zing for the scotch bonnet peppers, will have you wanting more. The first time I put this one together it took me right back to that day we had lunch in Tobago… the only thing missing was the sound of the waves and cool ocean breeze.
As I sat down to enjoy a massive plate of this scrumptious dish, I was taken back to my childhood when my great uncle would come over to our home to play cards with my dad and grandfather. It was the norm back then that whenever he visited my mom had to prepare this “oil-down” dish since he looked forward to it every visit. Additionally… as a boy my dad grew up on the family’s cocoa and coffee estate, so breadfruit was one of the staple foods my great grandmother would prepare for him along with green banana’s and other ground provisions (yam, dasheen, eddoes.. etc). He passed on his love for this “put meat on your bones” type of food to me and my brother. My sister’s are a different story.
Though this is not a traditional “oil down” way of preparing breadfruit, I’m sure it can qualify on some level since the key ingredients of meat, breadfruit and coconut milk are all used. Here’s my take on this time-honored meal.
1 1/2 pork – cubed into 3/4 inch pieces
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ketchup
2 cloves of garlic – thinly sliced or crushed
1 teaspoon fresh or bottled ginger – sliced. (use 1/2 if it’s ginger powder)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil (one that can withstand high heat)
1 medium onion – chopped
1 medium tomato – chopped
2 tablespoon Trinidad green seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cans coconut milk (5.6 fl oz or 165 ml)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 hot pepper (only if you like your food spicy)
1 lime, lemon or 3 tablespoons of vinegar
1 “full” breadfruit (not ripe)
* if you don’t have the “green seasoning” use:
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
1 green onion or chive – chopped
2 tablespoon cilantro (or shado beni if you can get it)
We’ll start by cutting the pork into small pieces. Then with some water in the bowl with the pork pieces, pour in the juice of the lime (lemon or the vinegar) and wash the pieces of meat. Rinse with a new batch of water and squeeze dry. We’ll then move on to seasoning the meat. Basically you’re adding everything in the ingredient list except the oil, breadfruit, sugar and coconut milk.
Mix and allow to marinate for about 30 minutes to 2 hours. The next step is to “stew” the pork as we did in previous recipes. See the original stew pork recipe here.
In a heavy, deep pot heat the oil on medium to high heat. When the oil is hot add the brown sugar and move around with a cooking spoon (make sure the spoon is dry). We’re trying to get the sugar to go bubbly and golden to dark brown (see pics below). Since this is an important step (easy to burn) it’s important that you have the seasoned pork close so you can add it as soon as the sugar reaches a caramelized state. When the sugar get to the colour you see in the final pic below, start adding the pieces of pork. Be careful as you’re adding meat with moisture to very hot oil/sugar.
Quickly (but carefully) add the pieces of seasoned meat to the pot and stir so everything gets coated with the caramelized sugar. Turn the heat down to medium/low and cover the pot. Allow this to cook covered for about 30 minutes… it will spring it’s own natural juices so you don’t have to worry about it burning or sticking. If you find that the liquid is drying fast, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally!
While this cooks let’s prepare the breadfruit. You’ll notice that I said “full” breadfruit in the ingredients list. Basically this means a fully mature, but not ripe breadfruit. A fully mature breadfruit will have a lovely buttery texture when cooked. Cut the bread fruit into 6-8 wedges as I’ve done in the pics below. Now with a sharp pairing knife or potato peeler, peel away the skin and discard. The final step is to remove the core off the wedges (usually soft and not solid in texture). Now place in a bowl with water until you’re ready to add to the pot with the pork.
We’ve now been simmering the pork for about 30 minutes so it’s time to “fry it down” (burn off all the liquid) by turning up the heat to high. As the liquid burns off you’ll notice 2 things. 1 the colour of the meat will go a bit darker and 2. it will start to stick to the bottom of the pot. Keep stirring until all the liquid is gone and you can see oil at the bottom of the pot.
Add the pieces of breadfruit to the pot and pour in the coconut milk. As soon as you can tell that it’s come to a boil, turn down the heat to the lowest your stove can go so it’s a very gentle simmer. Try to stir the pot a little to release anything that may have stuck to the bottom of the pot when we had the heat on high. Allow this to simmer gently for about 30 minutes (try to stir a couple times, but be gentle as not to break-up the pieces of breadfruit). Normally my mom would place some dasheen bush leaves on top of everything to allow it to steam-cook (I’ve also seen her put cabbage leaves when she didn’t have dasheen bush), but in this simplified recipe we’ll use the pot’s lid to help seal in the juices.
After about 30 minutes you should have little or no juices at the bottom of the pot and the meat should be tender and the pieces of breadfruit fully cooked and infused with the flavours of the coconut milk plus the stewed pork.
This is a one pot meal that’s very filling. Serve hot and watch your guests lick their chops!
Tip: If you’re like me and love the flavour of ginger but hate biting into the ginger pieces, slice it thick so you can see it easily when the dish is done to be removed before serving.
If you have any questions relating to this or any of the recipes on the site, please leave me a comment below and I’ll try my best to answer. Since I do manage several other websites there may be a delay, but I promise to get to it. You may even get an answer from others who visit the site on a daily basis as well. Additionally, if you have another way of preparing this dish, be sure to share it with us.