On a rainy day in late May, I visited Agarihama Ichiba, a local farmer’s market in Yonabaru city. Looking for seasonal produce for a summer recipe to try, I had in mind tomatoes, goya (bitter melon) or okra. However, a shelf at the market filled with round, dark red fruits quickly caught my eye.
It had been a while since I had eaten the flavorful passion fruit. Even though I still didn’t know what the recipe would be, I couldn’t resist picking up not one, but two bags of tropical fruit for about 600 yen (about $4.50) each.
In all, I had about 10 passion fruits to use for this summer recipe. However, before I could figure that out, I quickly cut into one to taste the brightly colored seedy flesh with a spoon. I think the best way to consume fruit is raw, so I really needed to taste the main ingredient first.
The flavor of the juicy fruits was so exquisite that I could have eaten them all just like that, but I continued my search for a good recipe idea to try. Eventually my spoon stopped and my eyes widened when I came across a photo of bread topped with passion fruit jam online.
Just looking at the yellow jam sprinkled with black seeds glistening on a loaf of bread almost made me drool. I knew I had to have this.
Soon I had a bubbling pot with the yellow passion fruit flesh and sugar not knowing how it would go. The sweet and sour smell of cooking was intoxicating and a quick taste of the jam in progress was all I needed to know I was on the right track.
The jam had a strong taste accentuating the characteristic sweet and sour taste of the fruit. The black seeds added a nice texture, which I could barely stop chewing on. It took me about 20 minutes in total to cook the jam and the results went well beyond my expectations.
When it was ready, my parents and I nearly cut our appetites as we couldn’t stop tasting the jam on slices of baguette. But it was dinner time, so we decided to save the rest for breakfast.
The passion fruit jam was so good that we even talked about it during dinner! And we looked forward to the delicious meal we would have the next morning.
In Japan, you will find passion fruit in Okinawa, Kagoshima and the Ogasawara Islands, which are known to produce this tropical fruit. While it is in season in Okinawa from February to July according to Japan Agriculture Co-operatives (JA), Kagoshima’s season is from May to August, according to the prefectural government. The Ogasawara village tourism office said the islands reap the rewards there from April to early July.
Passion fruit is not necessarily commonly available in local grocery stores unless you live in the areas mentioned above. Chances are you have to go to a dedicated fruit store such as Sembikiya and Ichifuji Fruits to get one. So if you ever see them in a store, be sure to grab some and cook up a batch of jam for your next brunch. I’m sure you and your family will love it too!
Passion fruit jam
*This information is based on a Cookpad recipe.
Passion fruit (8 pieces)
Sugar (90 – 120 cc)
1. Cut the passion fruit in half.
2. Scoop up the ratty flesh and put it in a pan (I removed the cotton-like texture to make the jam smooth).
3. Add the sugar and heat the mixture over medium heat. Stir the mixture continuously so that it does not burn.
4. If you prefer not to have seeds in the jam, remove them by collecting them with a tea strainer.
5. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the foam from time to time.
6. Put the jam in a jar. *Sterilize the jar beforehand in boiling water.
7. Try it with baguette bread for a tropical breakfast.いただきます！