You Don’t Know Jack

Well, at least we didn’t, until this week. I’m talking about this interesting little fruit we learned about while exploring Filipino recipes, the jackfruit – but more on that in a minute. We wanted something sweet to go along with our baked tahong and after Kay over at Pure Complex posted her Friday recipes last week, we knew a meal of appetizers was going to fit the bill. That’s when we came across the recipe for Turon Saba, a sweet banana (plantain) and jackfruit (or langka) spring roll, often served as a street snack in the Philippines.

The recipe seemed easy enough. We just needed plantains, jackfruit, brown sugar and spring roll wrappers. Miss A and I were really excited when we found the jackfruit at the grocery store. We had no idea that this even existed before this week, and yet here it was right on our grocery store’s shelves. And what was even better, the spring roll wrappers were right next to the jackfruit. So with all of our ingredients on hand, we started by peeling and slicing the plantains and laying out the jackfruit. 

After sampling the jackfruit, we’d liken it the consistency of canned peaches with a taste that’s similar to a mango, only more intense.

We then tossed the plantain in some turbinado sugar placed it in the spring roll wrapper (which we had dampened with wet paper towels because it cracked otherwise), topped it with a piece of jackfruit and then rolled them egg-roll style.

So far so good, or so we thought. Here is where things went a bit haywire though. We then dropped the rolls into a pan with hot oil, enough to cover the rolls for a deep fry. The rolls then seemed to just fall apart. The spring roll wrappers got very sticky and the fruit sort of burst out of the rolls. We did manage to save a few rolls, but they didn’t look anything like other pictures of turon saba. Still, we went with it.

Honestly, I didn’t think that the kids would go for this one, but once again I was proved wrong. These kids cease to amaze me. Both Mr. N and Miss A loved the turon saba – even with the weird melty wrapper. In fact, I think they liked eating the wrapper the most. Mr. N gave the turon 4 spoons and Miss A gave them 3 spoons.

They even ate the fruit that had burst from the wrappers all on its own. Mike and I, however, weren’t as excited by the turon. We both ended up giving it 2 spoons. I will say that the fruit tasted pretty good all fried and sugary, but the wrapper just creeped me out. Mike had similar sentiments, he thought the flavors of the plantain and the jackfruit married well, but the wrapper was too chewy. (It should have been crunchy.)

So while we may know what jackfruit is, we still really don’t know jack about making spring rolls. Well, I guess we do know not to fry this kind of wrapper again, so that’s something. And we all agreed that despite this last recipe, our culinary adventure to the Philippines has been a bonafide success. Next week we’re at Mike’s mercy…where will he pick? But before that, we’re going to make a visit to the Southeast.

Print this recipe: Turon Saba

30 thoughts on “You Don’t Know Jack

  1. Eva Taylor says:

    Still looks lovely, Kristy. I’ve never deep fried spring rolls so I won’t offer advice. I can’t believe the kids go for it! Good for you.

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    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Judy! And thanks for stopping by. We weren’t very adventurous a few years ago either, but we’re definitely having fun trying all kinds of new foods. It’s opened the kids (and us) up to so many new flavors, traditions and cultures. 🙂

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  2. spicegirlfla says:

    I did not know Jack at all! How interesting tho and finding it in a can!! There is alot of Latin influence here and have found many interesting new fruits…which are found in cans!! I believe it’s an aquired taste for many of them!!

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    • Kristy says:

      I’m wondering if I could find this fruit fresh in a good Asian market. Not sure though. It’s definitely something I’m going to keep my eyes open for since I’m curious if there’s a difference in taste. There has to be! I mean canned peaches and fresh peaches are worlds apart. As for the jackfruit, the flavor and texture was quite good. It was the aroma that I was having a hard time with – very intense.

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  3. Kelly says:

    I don’t think I know Jack either! So fun to learn about these new foods and how cool that you were able to find the fruit at your local grocery store… I must look. Love that your kids are so explorative and willing. Way to go Mom & Dad – it’s no accident. The wrapper creeped you out – hilarious!

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  4. Charles says:

    I can honestly say I’ve never even heard of jackfruit – what was it like? It looks juicy and sweet… maybe it’s not at all though?! Just looked at the other pictures of such rolls – it’s true they don’t look the same, although they still look good. Did you figure out what the problem was? Was the oil sufficiently hot? I know you have a bit of a deep-fry phobia after some previous… ahem… accidents.

    Looks like a good pairing with the mussels in any case, and I’m really interested in trying this mysterious jackfruit now 😀

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    • Kristy says:

      It was juicy – that’s for sure – and yes, more towards the sweet end of things. I’d put it in the same family as apricots, peaches and mangos. It has similarities with each of those fruits. LOL – despite our deep fry phobia, the oil was plenty hot and making me nervous as usual. I think the problem was the wrapper. I don’t think it was the right kind for the roll. If we try a deep-fried spring roll again, I’m going to make the wrapper from scratch. I think that will solve the problem.

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  5. Aimee@clevermuffin says:

    I’ve never heard of jackfruit… sad they didn’t work out as you had planned, but you’d never know from the pictures. I’ve burned two batches of baked goods this week so maybe something is in the air! I wonder if I’ll ever get to try Jackfruit… somehow I think it’ll only be while travelling.

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    • Kristy says:

      LOL! Yes, it must be in the air. I hate when that happens. We had some baked goods go a little haywire this week too. Not that it stopped us from eating the end result though! 🙂

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  6. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    Greg knows he would eat Jackfruit roll ups lol. But seriously, I can understand how the wrapper would confuse things. I still love the appetizer dinner idea. I think I might have appetizers tonight. And who knew what jackfruit was? Not me.. You definitely gave me something new to try along with the mussels. And I think Mr. N and Miss A palates are getting complex… nice 🙂

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    • Kristy says:

      Their palates are definitely getting complex. I’m really impressed with their willingness to try things and not let their initial bias get in the way of their reviews. 😉

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    • Kristy says:

      I didn’t even know they sold jackfruit! Ha! Yes, the kids were really happy with this recipe. I think if I found a better wrapper, that Mike and I would have been too. Have a great weekend Mandy!

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  7. ChgoJohn says:

    What a disappointment! As I was reading, I thought how good everything sounded. Some spring rolls aren’t deep-fried but when I read that these were, I was so on board! This was hardly the result I had expected. Well, if nothing else, I now have an idea of what jackfruit is — and know to think twice before deep frying spring rolls. 🙂

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    • Kristy says:

      I’m thinking we may have just used the wrong kind of wrapper, but I confess, I’m not really sure. I found a recipe for homemade wrappers that I think would have worked better. If we try something like this again, I’ll go that route. 🙂

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    • Kristy says:

      A jackfruit cake?! Wow! Now there’s an idea. I liked the flavor of the jackfruit, but the smell was really a bit intense for me. The kids seemed to really enjoy it though. 🙂

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