One summer as a child, I traveled to Puerto Rico to visit my family with my mother. It was time to see my grandmother, Sabina, and we had to walk up a mountain to get to her house. I enjoyed the beautiful walk on a dirt road, admiring the animals and the trees full of avocados, mangos and breadfruits along the path to her house. When we arrived, I hugged my grandmother.
First Time Tasting a Breadfruit!
Grandma Sabina had a huge “caldero” full of boiled breadfruit. Her kitchen was separated from the main house. Grandma placed the boiled breadfruit in a bowl with sliced onions drizzled in olive oil. Sliced avocados were served on a separate plate. To this day, I distinctly remember the wonderful experience of tasting this starchy fruit for the first time. It had a tender starchy texture with a sweet flavor. Even though the breadfruit is a fruit, it is; however, served like a potato due to its high starch content. Boiling the breadfruit is the most common cooking method but it is also fried (tostones) and baked (flan).
I moved to Puerto Rico as a teenager. Every three months, I would visit my uncles in the “Barrio de Candelero” in Humacao, Puerto Rico. When it was time to return home (City of Humacao), my uncle would give me a bag full of breadfruits, mangos and avocados. As of today, I can still eat breadfruit everyday. It is definitely one of my favorite Puerto Rican dishes.
Let Me Introduce You to My Favorite Starchy Fruit!
The official Spanish term for Breadfruit is Panapén. However, we tend to use the shorter version – Panas – when referring to the breadfruit. The breadfruit is usually oval in shape and 6 to 8 inches long. The skin color is light green with an irregular polygon pattern. However, when the fruit ripens, it will have some red brown areas. The flesh is white and starchy. It has a unique aromatic fragrance. The breadfruit originated in the South Pacific and is cultivated in the Caribbean, South America, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.
How to Cut the Breadfruit!
Cut the breadfruit in half lengthwise.
Cut each half into four equal wedges lengthwise.
After cutting the first half into 4 equal wedges, you continue this process for the other half of the breadfruit. The breadfruit should yield 8 wedges.
How to Peel the Breadfruit !
Peel each wedge by inserting a knife between skin and flesh.
Remove approximately ½ inch of flesh from the top of each wedge.
Rinse the 8 breadfruit wedges in a colander.
We Are Now Ready to Start Boiling the Breadfruit!
Pour water into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add salt.
Add the breadfruit wedges to the boiling salted water. Cover with a lid and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat or until breadfruit wedges are fork tender.
Carefully remove the boiled breadfruit wedges from saucepan. Serve in a bowl or individual plates.
Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Boil Breadfruit!
Recipe and Nutritional Facts
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.Print
A tropical starchy fruit that is double fried to create a crunchy exterior with a sweet and tender interior to enjoy with your favorite meat or fish.
- 1 ripe breadfruit, peeled and cut into 8 wedges.
- 1 cup canola oil for frying
Garlic-Salt Water Mixture:
- 1½ teaspoons salt, (low sodium) or to taste
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder or to taste
- 2 to 4 cups water
- Remove ½-inch of flesh on top of each wedge.
- Cut each wedge into 1½-inch chunks.
- Add salt, garlic powder and water into a bowl. Stir well.
- Soak the breadfruit chunks for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Heat oil in a skillet to 365°F.
- Fry the breadfruit chunks on both sides until they become fork tender and golden yellow.
- Place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
- Flatten the pieces of breadfruit in a wooden press known as “tostonera.”
- Reheat oil and fry the flattened breadfruit chunks until both sides are golden brown.
- Remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Serve warm as a side dish with your favorite meat or fish.
How to flatten the breadfruit chunks if you do not own a “tostonera.” Place a piece of breadfruit between two sheets of wax paper and with a heavy skillet, press down gently to flatten the breadfruit.
- Category: Side Dish and Appetizers
- Cuisine: Puerto Rican