What is Star Fruit?
Also known as carambola, star fruit is a tree-grown fruit native to southeast Asia. Star fruits begin as green and transition to a bright yellow when they are ripe. They have distinct ridges on their sides. When they are sliced into, star fruit slices resemble a five-pointed star, giving star fruit their name. Star fruits have a waxy skin and juicy fruit inside, similar in texture to grapes.
What Does Star Fruit Taste Like?
Star fruit’s flavor depends on its ripeness. When green, star fruit is sour, tangier, and not as juicy. When ripe, star fruit is much sweeter, juicier, and may not have a sour tang at all. Star fruit has been compared to a blend of different fruits, with a citrus feel like oranges and a taste of grapes and apples. Larger star fruits are typically sweeter while smaller star fruits are usually more tart.
How Do You Eat Star Fruit?
Star fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. The skin is edible, so star fruits do not have to be peeled. While the seeds are edible, they are hard and not usually eaten. Common ways of eating star fruit include relishes and sauces. Star fruit is sometimes used in ways similar to pineapples, such as in tropical fruit salads, in pineapple upside-down cakes, and in cold drinks. Star fruit is also regularly turned into jam and baked into crispy chips. Some people pair star fruit with meats like steak or salmon, make it into soups, or serve it in smoothies.
How to Prepare Star Fruit
- Begin by washing the star fruit thoroughly under running water.
- Place the star fruit on its side on a cutting board.
- Cut off both ends of the fruit.
- Slice the star fruit to desired thickness.
- Remove the seeds.
Where Can You Buy Star Fruit?
Star fruit can be found in the grocery store produce section year-round. Their peak harvest seasons in the United States are from June to February.
How Do You Store Star Fruit?
Store star fruit in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for one to two weeks. Star fruit can also be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Fun Fact About Star Fruit
Not all star fruits have five points when cut into. Some have fewer or more ridges, resulting in sometimes four-pointed or six-pointed stars.
Did You Know?
Some people grow star fruit trees because the fruits look like small decorative lanterns.
Recipes Using Star Fruit
Star Fruit Chips
Enjoy your star fruit as a crunchy snack. Slice star fruit into thin slices and remove the seeds. Toss star fruit slices in sugar, ginger, and cinnamon. Place star fruit in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake. The star fruit chips will be crispy on the edges.
Star Fruit Upside-Down Cake
Add a twist to a popular dessert. Prepare pineapple upside-down cake as the recipe calls. Wash and slice star fruit and line them on the bottom and sides of a cake pan. Pour in the sweet syrup and cake batter and bake until cooked. To turn the cake upside-down, wear oven mitts and carefully flip the cake pan over a cake plate.
Star Fruit Smoothie
Tropical fruit salads combine bright flavors of fresh fruits into one place. Wash and slice papaya, star fruit, pineapple, banana, and strawberries and place them into a bowl. Stir together in a simple syrup if desired.