Pana Fruit (Breadfruit Recipes & Uses)

Pana or the artocarpus altilis are widely grown fruit trees. Also known as breadfruit trees, they are common in the South Pacific islands. These trees are favored for their large fruits and sturdy timber. The trees grow to a height of up to 85 feet.

Below we’ll take a closer look at its fruit; the pana fruit. What it looks like, its taste, how to use and more. If you have adventurous taste buds, you’ll love the post below.

Is pana a fruit?

Pana is a tropical fruit that is often eaten as a starchy vegetable. The fruit is round or oval and can weigh up to 12 pounds. Unripe breadfruit has a thick green skin while a ripe breadfruit has a thick, greenish-yellow rough skin. The flesh is white or cream-colored. These grapefruit sized fruits are native to the Pacific Islands and Southeast Asia.

Other names for Pana

Pana fruit is also known as the panapen in Puerto Rico, buen pan in the Dominican Republic, masapan in Belize and Breadfruit in North America and the rest of the world.

How to eat Panapen Fruit

pana fruit

In parts of the Caribbean Islands, this fruit is a staple food. Below we’ll describe a few recipes you can try at home.

How to choose ripe bread fruit? Pick a moderately ripe breadfruit; check that the skin is yellowish-green with some brown spots. When cut, the ripe flesh is pale yellow and smells like freshly baked bread. Now, check out these 4 yummy breadfruit recipes.

Panapen Recipes

1. Panapen tostones/Tostones de pana

What are tostones de pana? Panapen tostones are crisp appetizers made of breadfruit. Here is a simple recipe.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 ripe pana
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil

– Start by peeling the panapen fruit. Check the video above.

-Cut the bread fruit in half and remove the soft middle part

-Slice the halves widthwise; each piece about 1/2 an inch thick

-Heat the vegetable oil in a wok

-Add the piece of breadfruit to the heated oil and let them fry for 3-4 minutes or until crispy. Remove and let them cool

-Using a tostonera, crush the tostones.

-Deep fry again until they are crunchy. Remove tostones and place on paper towel.

-Sprinkle salt. Serve with a citrusy dipping sauce

2. Breadfruit chips (Ulu Chips)

  • Mature breadfruit
  • Sea Salt
  • Coconut oil

Cut the ulu or pana fruit into half. Remove the core and cut the halves into thin slices.

Preheat the oven (400 degrees F)

Coat the pana slices with coconut oil. Place them in a baking dish

Bake for 8-10 minutes

Remove and sprinkle salt

Serve with the sauce of your choice

3. Breadfruit curry

Another common way to eat pana is as a curry. Here is our simple recipe

  • 1 moderately ripe fruit
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seed
  • 1 onion sliced

Clean and cut the pana into bite-size chunks

Place them in a deep pan and add water

Add the fenugreek, garlic, curry powder, salt and onion

Place the pan on a stove (moderate heat). Using a spoon, combine all the ingredients

Let it simmer for 20-25 minutes

Add the milk , reduce heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes

Serve with rice

Related Read: Check other green fruits

4. Breadfruit juice

breadfruit juice
  • Half fruit (cut in pieces)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp wine
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk

In a large pan, boil the cut pieces until soft

When soft, remove and let cool. Then blend them to a smooth paste

Add the wine, sugar and milk

Mix them and chill the juice

Serve after 2-3 hours

5. Roasted Breadfruit

In Jamaica, these tropical fruits are mostly roasted.


Clean the bread fruit and dry it

Use a sharp knife to curve an X on the base of the fruit (this helps release steam)

Turn on stove, high heat, and place the fruit on the stove

Each side should be roasted for about 10 minutes or until the skin is scorched

When all sides are done, remove and let cool

Using a sharp knife, remove the scorched peel

Cut out the pit and slice the flesh

What does Breadfruit taste like?

Breadfruit is a unique fruit that has a wide range of flavors depending on how it is prepared. When eaten raw, breadfruit tastes similar to a cross between a pear and a potato. Pana’s flesh is slightly sweet and starchy. 

Breadfruit can also be boiled or baked, which brings out its natural sweetness. When cooked,it  tastes similar to a cross between an apple and a banana. Pana is used as a common substitute for starchy vegetables .

Pana nutritional facts

One cup of pana (250g) has: Calories 232, fiber 10.8 g, Sugars 24.2g, Fat 0.5g, Calcium 37.4mg, Carbohydrates 60g, Sodium 4.4mg. Pana also has Vitamins B and C.

Pana Varieties

The most common varieties of the panapen are:

Artocarpus camansi : Mostly found in New Guinea. It’s green-brownish in color. Culinary uses – used in saucy meat dishes, salads and soups

Artocarpus altilis : Widely found in Pacific Ocean Islands. Yellowish rough surface when mature. Perfect for roasting or chips.

Artocarpus mariannensis : Commonly found in Palau. Smaller and sweeter compared to other breadfruit varieties.

Where to buy Pana

Breadfruit can be found in most Asian markets or online. Fresh breadfruit is typically available from July to February in the United States. Frozen breadfruit is available year-round and canned breadfruit can be found in supermarkets.

How to store these tropical fruits

To store breadfruit, choose a cool, dry place. If the fruit is ripe, it can be stored in a paper bag or plastic container with holes in the lid for ventilation. Ripe pana fruit will keep for 2-3 days. If the fruit is unripe, it can be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Final thoughts

Pana or panapen or breadfruit or buen pan is a tropical fruit. The tree grows in wet and dry areas of the Caribbean Islands and can be found in Asia as well as Africa. In the US, its known as Ulu fruit and is found in Hawaii.

Above we’ve discussed its uses and recipes such as tostones de pana, breadfruit chips and more. Whether you are looking for something exotic to eat on your next vacation or are trying to recreate a pana recipe, the article above is sure to meet your needs. 



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