We sometimes have heavy breakfasts in the Caribbean, but then it is the most important meal of the day. One of my favourite breakfast dishes as a child was fried breadfruit and salt fish buljol. (Bujol is best described as a salad made from salt fish, usually cod, and a selection of herbs and pepper. Side note: the word ‘bujol’ comes from the French brule, meaning burnt, and geule, slang for mouth. It’s believed the burn comes from the pepper used to add flavour and a kick.) These days I’m more into having fried ripe breadfruit, for my sweet-tooth. I’d like to share my recipe for homemade breadfruit chips you, and a dash of history.
It’s said that breadfruit originates from the New Guinea area. Apparently some 3,500 years ago the ancestors of the Polynesians found the trees growing in the northwest New Guinea area. They gave up the rice cultivation they had brought with them from Taiwan and cultivated the breadfruit instead.
Breadfruit was brought to the West Indies by the English Captain, Bligh, in the late 1700’s from Tahiti, as a cheap food for slave labourers. The plants were delivered first to St. Vincent then finally to Jamaica.
My maternal ancestry comes from St. Vincent which is why some of the dishes I ate as a child were influenced by my Vincentian heritage. Some time ago I was wandering through Tooting Market and I saw breadfruit on sale! I decided to try making breadfruit chips at home.
I bought half a breadfruit and boiled it instead of roasting. My mum assured me that if it was boiled for the correct time the result would be as good as it had be roasted. She was right! The breadfruit was ripe which meant it would be sweet. The starch converts to sugar as the breadfruit ripens, and that’s how I like it. Alternatively, you could select one that was half ripe or green to suit your taste.
Preparing The Breadfruit
You can roast your breadfruit but I prefer to boil for a faster turnaround. I’m not a fan of being in the kitchen for too long. This is my method for homemade breadfruit chips:
- 1 medium breadfruit halved and boiled for 30 mins
- Peel skin and slice to thin but not too thin, to avoid breakage during frying process
- Fry both sides until crisp and golden brown, and leave to drain on kitchen towel
Serving Breadfruit Chip
You can serve the breadfruit chips with salt fish buljol or Trini Tomato Choka . I think even a guacamole; spicy sour cream or tangy tamarind dip would go down quite nice. Alternatively, you can even eat it on this own.
Have you ever cooked breadfruit? What’s your favourite way to enjoy it? Feel free to share your recipe below. I would love to hear from you.
(First published in circa 2012)
(Updated 19th May 2020)