Fruity Friday is when I tell you about another lovely fruit today it is one that we have here in Northern Thailand which is now in season and the trees are laden with the lovely fruit much still green at the moment but some are yellow and they are such a pretty fruit.
Star Fruit or Carambola as it is also known as is a lovely vibrant yellow and due to its distinctive ridges when it’s cut it resembles a star hence its name.
The entire fruit is edible it has a firm, crunchy flesh and is quite juicy. The taste is likened to that of a grape. There are two main types of star fruit the smaller fruit is sour(tart) and the larger fruit like I have in my garden is sweeter. But although sweet they very rarely have more than a 4% sugar content.
Here in Thailand they are cooked with shrimp or chicken or eaten raw dipped into the sugar/chilli mix which is commonly eaten with fruit here or just eaten with rock salt. It can be made into relishes, preserves and juice drinks, stewed with cloves or apples. I Jamaica they are mainly eaten dried.
They are also used as a pretty garnish or in a salad with papaya and pineapple.
Star Fruit Relish:
8 cups of star fruit, thinly sliced and any seeds removed.
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 tbsp whole cloves tied in a muslin bag and slightly crushed.
4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg( optional)
Wash and thinly slice the star fruit removing any seeds. Cover with the cider vinegar and stand overnight.
Drain the vinegar add sugar, salt and clove bag. Cook gently until the relish starts to thicken then allow to stand overnight.
In the morning remove the spice bag and reheat the mix after adding the nutmeg if used and bring back to the boil.
If you plan to store the star fruit chutney then omit the nutmeg as it will turn the relish a brown colour although it does add another dimension to the taste.
Put into hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Enjoy with some cold meats or on bread and butter.
Star Fruit Stir-fry:
1½ pounds boneless chicken, sliced into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sherry
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp ginger root, finely minced
1 onion, chopped
2 Starfruit, sliced thickly (Carambola)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp smoked sesame oil
1/2 cup walnut halves (optional)
Place chicken pieces, soy sauce, sherry and lemon juice into a covered bowl and refrigerate for one hour.
Remove chicken and strain, reserving marinade. In a hot skillet or wok, add oil, garlic and ginger and toss.
Add chicken and onion and stir-fry for 2 – 3 minutes.
Add starfruit and stir in soy sauce, orange juice, smoked sesame oil, walnuts if used and reserved marinade.
Cover and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
Remove to serving dish and serve with rice.
The star fruit is also rich in antioxidants, potassium and Vitamin C and the stories go in southern Asia that it improves the male sex drive.
The juice of the more smaller acidic types of Starfruit can be used to clean rusty and tarnished metal especially brass.
It can also remove rust stains from cloth.
A popular ornamental tree it has lovely lavender-pink flowers followed by the sunshine yellow fruit.
The Vietnamese also have many children’s folklore tales to tell about the star fruit and greedy brothers…
That is all for fruity Friday do you cook or eat start fruit ???
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