Originating in Papua New Guinea, now disseminated throughout the Pacific Islands, breadfruit has a strange and almost unappetizing exterior. When breadfruit is ready to eat, its green scaly skin is covered with brown spots and white sap that closely resembles mold. To the uninformed, the mature fruit looks completely rotten and inedible. I embarrassingly threw away my first two breadfruits under this pretense, assuming I failed to consume this strange new Hawaiian produce on time. What makes breadfruit even more interesting? You can cook the firm mature fruit for a potato-like consistency and taste, or wait until the fruit softens for a sweet custard-like dessert.
In addition to its unique ability to be both a side dish and dessert, breadfruit’s nutrition profile qualifies it for superfood status. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, breadfruit contains protein, fat (polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated), vitamins (B-vitamins, vitamins C & A), minerals (zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium), complex carbohydrates, and fiber. This range of healthy nutrients not only demonstrates breadfruits use as a staple food for traditional diets, but also how this nutrient-dense fruit is a feasible way to address food scarcity and prevent undernourishment today. Trees That Feed Foundation is a not-for-profit organization successfully using breadfruit to eliminate hunger and improve our environment by planting fruit-bearing trees around the world. A mere 15 USD covers the cost of providing a food-bearing tree that will feed a family for decades! Go breadfruit! If you would like to donate to this initiative, click here.
Harissa is a North African red chili seasoning, sometimes nicknamed “Tunisia’s main condiment” or “Tunisia’s Sriracha.” Harissa’s primary ingredient is Roasted red peppers, with the rest of the blend including variations of ingredients like caraway, coriander, cumin, garlic, peppermint, tomato, and lemon. As the nicknames suggest, harissa can be used to flavor any dish, though its traditionally used to marinate meat, flavor vegetables, mix into soups or stews, and served on the side as a condiment. Harissa can be either a paste or a dry powder. For this recipe, I used a dry powder containing chilies, smoked paprika, cumin, caraway, fennel, garlic, coriander, black pepper, cinnamon, mint, ginger, and parsley. The paste is simply made by adding oil, lemon, or tomatoes.
Harissa Breadfruit Fries with Sriracha Ketchup
- 1 breadfruit
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1 tbsp harissa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp organic ketchup
- 1/2-1 tsp sriracha, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Peel and cut breadfruit into "fries" and place in a bowl. (see the video below on how to prepare breadfruit)
- Add avocado oil, harissa, and salt to fries and mix well until breadfruit is evenly coated.
- Spread fries on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until soft. If you like your fries crunchy, cut breadfruit into thinner fries and cook a little longer.
- Combine ketchup and sriracha in a dipping bowl and serve immediately.