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.
I can remember my mother would include breadfruit to her soup, it was like heaven to me. My sister loved it roasted.
I have had a similar dish. I am going to try this one. My husband is not a lover of breadfruit so for him i will add some sweet potatoes.
May this new year bring you and your family peace, love, light and blessings for 2018.
What do you mean by OIL DOWN ?
is bread fruit starchy like potato is?
have a nice day and thanks for your beautiful recipes
Hi Chris u dish look delicious.
My mother used to make something similar like your.
Stew chicken and breadfruit
Sometimes she fried the bread the breadfruit or boil or roast it.
Thanks for all your great recipes.
Hi Chris Linda here, I just wanted to say this as all your recipies are just great. I will surely try this but, since I’m not a fan of pork I think I will use chicken. Chris what else could be served with this dish.?
Great recipe! Been wondering how else to cook breadfruit, usually roast, then fry it and eat with cook up saltfish. As our parents get older, the recipes get forgotten. As my granny once said, ‘every time an old person dies, its as if a library has burned down. We need to remember to past the recipes onto our children, even write them down. I live in Brixton, London, UK. In Brixton we have our famous market that sells all our food from home. Thanks for all your time and effort. It’s good to see the website grow.
Think of it like this: Bread Fruit is to West Indians/Caribbean people and more as to what the White Potatoes is to North Americans and others. Breadfruit is just Much More Nutritionally rich and very versatile in what you can do with it. Anything you can do with a Potato, you can do the same with Breadfruit. Every wary you can cook a Potato, you can do the same with Breadfruit. So think of all the ways you can use a Potato to make any kind of dish with the Potato and you can very well do the same with a Breadfruit.
Also Breadfruit is supper packed with very good Nutrition and amino acids. One Breadfruit has as much Potassium packed into it as (10) Bananas. Just one Cup of Breadfruit can have about 1000mg of Potassium. Breadfruit is one the very richest food source packed with Potassium which is good for hearth and blood vessel circulation health. Not so much the average White Potato that allot of people consume. So if your eating lots of Breadfruit which also gives quite a bit of energy, your also getting lots of rich Potassium which helps keep your hearth/blood vessels healthy and also counteract High Blood Pressure.
I usually make my oil down using salted meat like pigtail or salt beef. Try it with the salted meat, it is out of this world. Also add a few ochroes and a hot pepper making sure the pepper don't burst in the pot.
OMG!!! First time making Geera Pork and I think I can put up a booth somewhere and sell.LOL. Thank you I am sure it will be a hit!!
You can also use brown sugar coloring already made & bottled. The brand I use is Guyanese Pride.
Save a lot guess work, just add till you get the color desired. i also use it in my Black Cake at Christmas time.
love your recipes by the way!!!
Great website – and good recipe. I can point anyone on this board to good spots to buy breadfruit/panapén in both NYC and Chicago, if anyone is looking. It used to be almost impossible to find fresh breadfruit in the U.S., but lately I've been starting to see alot of it.
Can you please tell me where I can buy bread fruit in Chicago thank you
Try a Caribbean/West Indian/Latino Grocery store or ethnic grocery store in your city. You can even try an African Grocery store also as they often have Caribbean stuff just like a caribbean grocery store. Breadfruit is a tropical Fruit/Vegetable so it will be carried by those kind of stores that reflect the people of that region most usually. And if you can’t find it there i’m sure someone working there knows where you can likely find it.
This recipe is a classic. It is a must try, even with chicken or beef. Thanks Chris.
The first time I ate an oil down was in Grenada and you're right it had pigtail, coconut milk, breadfruit, etc.
Without a doubt the best foods of Grenada is Oil Down and crab back.. OH MAN!!!! Bring back memories living in Grenada…..
Chris….my grandmother was the best cook in Trinidad when i was a kid and no body could make an oil down like she…..she use to put pigtail in with the breadfruit and coconut milk and a whole pepper and boi did it taste good…that is how i do it now never had with stew pork always with saltfish…as a lover of pork i will try it out….ah gone
Hello Chris. This recepe sure looks nice and I will try it one day. A good breadfruit is far and few between and hard to find . They are imported and not very nice most times. Hope to find a good one soon. Thanks for the lovely recipes you put on for our enjoyment.
Its not oil down but it sure looks good
HI CHRIS I LIVE IN TRINIDAD AND WE GET BREADFRUIT ALL THE TIME, THANKS FOR SHARING THIS RECIPE. i USUALLY MAKE OIL DOWN
, BUT NEVER STEW IT BEFORE . I WILL SURELY TRY THIS . IT LOOKS GOOD. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS I MAY USE LAMB NECK OR CHICKEN.
Hi Chris, I must say that your dish look really tasty it made me feel like eating some right now. I do make Oil Down sometimes but I'd use Pig Tail, anyhow I'll try your recipe soon maybe tomorrow if I do go to the grocery and get the meat. Thanks again Chris for those wonderful recipes and do have a good day.
You can also find fresh breadfruit at Discount Grocers. They come in every sundays. They also have fresh red snapper and other west indian groceries
Hiya Chris, absolutely love your recipes. Have been receiving them for a very long time but never ever thanked you and have, for a long time, meaning to send a message to you, so am taking the plunge now. Thought I was a fairly good cook but your receipes give different twists. This one in partiucular "breadfruit simmered with stew pork and coconut" is great and I absolutely love oil down, wouldn't be a trin i if I didn't. Keep them receipes coming – great. Well you certainly have my support. You go Chris….
Wish me luck! Better yet, wish my husband luck! 😉 This is my third attempt at this. By far, this is the most reasonable looking recipe I found.
Margaret: the way the recipe reads is that the breadfruit is boiled then simmered in the sauce. 🙂
Breadfruit, malanga, jackfruit are pretty nigh impossible to find in the UK. Chris – you don't specify the amount of pork: I assume it should be 1 1/2 pounds; and the number of servings, 4 to 6?
do u cook the breadfruit before add it to the stewed pork???? or add it raw and let it cook in the coconut millk?
Thanks for the locations in Houston. Very very helpful.
Hey Chris, love your rcipes. So concise and the pictures really clarify what the dish should be like while cooking. No guesswork, and I love it! One question about this particular recipe, will it work as well (meld with the flavours) if I use beef instead of the pork? I read somewhere that sweet works with pork well, but not necessarily with beef. (Not sure why, but it made me wonder how that fits in with BBQ. Probably has to do with pairing pork with apple/honey and beef with savoury stuff – but can't think of it right now). Back to my question, will beef work in this recipe? Thanks and really appreciate how well you keep up with your blog! Love the good eats.
Yes I will work with beef though I've never tried it personally. The fat in the pork adds a nice "oil" flavour to the finished and I fear the beef may dry off… but with a bit extra coconut milk I'm sure it'll be fine.
Well I guess it appears at first to have several steps, but I am not from the Caribbean and I find Chris's recipes to be very easy to follow. In fact since I have been following them, my husband has ceased driving across town to southwest houston (we live in way north) to buy food!
Nice.. good to know that I'm helping out.
Another yummy treat for the whole family! This recipe seems a tad complicated to me, but I think I'll give it a try. It looks scrumptious!
Not complicated at all 🙂 I'm sure you'll do just fine.
I found the Breadfruit at Foodtown on Beltway and Veterans Memorial if anyone in Houston is looking for them. 2.99 each. You are correct, they had it in a section labeled Asian vegetables. I got two and we are cooking oildown now at 11:45pm we are so excited. Well we began earlier but it is almost done now. This recipe was very easy to follow. My husband had to help me understand the how quick the sugar and oil can burn, but that was the hardest part!
Excellent – let me know how it turns out for you. And thanks for sharing the location with our other Houston friends.
thank you for sharing where to get them….^_^
Does anyone know where to get bread fruit in Houston, TX? Please let me know if you do. Thanks
Have you tried any Asian grocery stores? They usually have them as well.
tyra try checking out the asian market or indian stores
Drooling here. And this is a great way to combine the two ingredients.
I love this site; thanks for the great recipes! I live in Miami and also cannot locate breadfruit so I changed this recipe just a bit using cassava and/or malanga instead of the breadfruit. Of course the taste is different but it is equally delicious!
Where do you get the breadfruit? Can you replace it with something similar? I live in NC and would not know where to begin to get breadfruit. But I’ve got to say, this dish surely brings back some good memories. It’s also making me very hungry.
Jackfruit is the best in the absence of bread fruit.
Taro is also a good choice.