The first time I needed canned jackfruit for a recipe, I panicked a little bit. I didn’t even know what it was, let alone the answer to where is canned jackfruit in a grocery store. Luckily for me, I found it reasonably quickly at a local store, and with a little bit of help, you can too.
Canned jackfruit comes from the jackfruit, a large and heavy fruit native to Southeast Asia. It’s a great source of minerals like iron and potassium, and though not native, the jackfruit is grown and harvested in Florida.
It’s common in some recipes, especially Asian ones. Many people use this as a substitute for meat in recipes as well. Regardless of the cuisine, you might need to find canned jackfruit in the grocery store. Here’s how to locate it.
Canned jackfruit can be found in the canned fruit and vegetable section of the grocery store. If it’s not there, it might be in the aisle with specialty Asian products, like canned creamed coconut.
You may even find fresh jackfruit in some stores. Availability varies considerably by your location, so if you’re in Montana in the dead of winter, it’s harder to find fresh jackfruit than it is in Florida during and after the harvest. But, it’s also getting easier to find jackfruit in the US because some import prohibitions are relaxing, making it easier for countries like Malaysia to ship it here.
If you’re unable to find canned jackfruit on your own, you can always ask a store employee. Even though they might not know exactly where it is, they’d be able to look it up for you. If you’d rather not speak to anyone, many online retailers offer canned jackfruit that can be shipped to your home.
Canned jackfruit can be a little bit hard to find. Your best bet for finding a can include Trader Joe’s and other large retailers, including:
- Whole Foods
- Stop and Shop
If you can’t find it at one of the big box groceries or a supermarket near you, try looking for a local store that has specialty products for Asian cooking. For instance, if there’s a small grocery store where you can find ethnic ingredients for curries, bulgogi, and pork satay, there’s a good chance they will have canned jackfruit as well.
If you can’t find canned jackfruit in the store and don’t want to ask an employee for help, your best bet is to buy it online. There are numerous options available if you want to purchase canned jackfruit online rather than in-store.
What doesn’t Amazon sell? As far as canned jackfruit goes, they have multiple options including Native Forest Organix Jackfruit, Trader Joe’s Green Jackfruit in Brine, Aroy-D Young Green Jackfruit in Brine, Chaokoh Jackfruit in Syrup, and Lucia Green Jackfruit in Water. If you have Amazon Prime, your order ships for free and will arrive in two days or less. Depending on what area you live in, you may be able to get free grocery delivery from Amazon’s affiliate, Whole Foods.
This superstore has a little bit of everything, and canned jackfruit is no exception. Walmart has Dragonfly Young Green Jackfruit in brine or Mementa Organic BBQ Jackfruit available online for you to choose from. Like Amazon, Walmart also offers same-day grocery delivery. Make sure you check to see if you’re eligible for same-day delivery before you order.
eBay also sells canned jackfruit from a few different brands, like Sunlee, Chaokoh, and Aroy D. This website isn’t just for bidding on items anymore! eBay is an especially good place to look if you’re in an area other stores do not deliver to, or if you’re interested in canned jackfruit options from foreign countries.
If you can’t find canned jackfruit, you have a few different alternatives to choose from. One quick tip is to read your recipe carefully because it goes a long way toward determining what flavor profile it’s seeking from canned jackfruit.
Jackfruit in a can might come in water, brine, or syrup, and each has a distinct flavor. So think about what your recipe is really asking for!
The first alternative to canned jackfruit is to use fresh jackfruit. It’s grown and harvested in the US, so it’s relatively easy to find, especially in the warmer areas of the country. Keep in mind that jackfruits are harvested from about June through November in places like Florida. They’re also imported from countries like Malaysia, where they grow year-round.
Fresh jackfruit won’t be as soft as canned jackfruit. And instead of being syrupy or briny, it will be naturally sweet and sticky. Take that into account before you combine it with other ingredients, as you might want to add a splash of another fruit juice or something salty to balance it out.
Jackfruit has a distinctive taste. Some say that it’s a bit like a fruit-flavored version of sweet pulled pork. When canned in water, it’s very mild in flavor and sweetness. So, if you’re for a substitute that matches the flavor of canned jackfruit in brine or plain water, look for mildly sweet fruit like hala. It’s another tropical fruit that often draws comparison to jackfruit’s flavor profile.
Another option, especially if you’re after the jackfruit’s texture as much as its flavor, is to substitute pineapples, bananas, or mangos for canned jackfruit. Each has a fibrous quality that is similar to jackfruit. But, if you add a bunch of bananas to a recipe, it’s going to taste like bananas, not canned jackfruit. So you might want to use half of a banana, some canned chunks of pineapple, and mango all together.
By making a combination of ingredients, you can bring your substitution into closer alignment with a recipe’s needs.