Starfruit and How to Use It

December 28, 2013

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more. 

Today: We’re a little starstruck -- over fruit.

Everything You Need to Know About Starfruit, from Food52

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Starfruit's real name? Carambola. When sliced, it resembles a star -- and thus, the fruit's more common name, starfruit. The entire fruit is edible, waxy skin and all -- you just might need to eat around a seed or two. When ripe, the starfruit should be evenly yellow or yellow-green with no traces of green at the tip of the ridges. Brown edges (1, below) on the tip of the ribs are okay, but avoid fruit with brown spots all over -- that means they’re too ripe. Being tropical fruits, carambolas aren’t fond of the cold. Keep them out of the refrigerator unless they are at risk of becoming overly ripe and spoiling.

More: Another fruit that seems like it might need to be peeled, but actually doesn’t? Kiwifruit

Everything You Need to Know About Starfruit, from Food52

Starfruit can be juiced, dried, and used in all manner of desserts. Try it in fruit compote, starfruit upside-down cake, sorbet, or used as a filling for starfruit newtons. Carambolas can be used in savory dishes too: with chicken, seafood, or even in a frittata. We’d argue though that they are at their best raw -- decorating a plate, a pile of fruit, or your cocktail's glass -- it’s hard to get a fancier, more festive garnish. 

Ring in the New Year with a slice of starfruit on your bubbly, and share your favorite way to use them below!

Photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • sodejakajal
  • Janette@culinaryginger
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


sodejakajal December 9, 2022
Star fruit contains numerous therapeutic compounds that benefit our health in various ways. This fruit is high in nutrients including fibre and vitamin B. This fruit is excellent for protecting your digestive health from heart disease and stroke. This fruit's leaves can also be used to cure stomach ulcers and strengthen root hair. Thank you for sharing such an educational article.

Visit : truemeds.in/blog/star-fruit-benefits
Janette@culinaryginger December 29, 2013
Agreed, it really is the prettiest fruit.