Cooking with Carambola - Starfruit Averrhoa carambola L.
The carambola, or starfruit, has been available in grocery stores for many years. When it first appeared in the stores, the only carambola you could find was a sour type that was mainly used for garnish, but now new varieties have been selected and sweet tasting starfruits are readily available in the market.
Below are some tips to help you enjoy your carambolas at their best!
When at the store choose your starfruit by looking for little or no bruising or brown spots on the ribs. Starfruits are delicate and can be bruised during shipment. Starfruit that is ready for eating is gold in color, so if you are ready to enjoy the fruit right away, choose a starfruit with a gold color. If you can wait a few days, select a starfruit that is a light yellow, with a hint of green along the ribs.
Fruit that is yellow or a very light green will ripen on the counter at room temperature. Don’t place it in the refrigerator as this will stop the ripening process. Once the fruit has turned to a golden or yellow color, it is ready for eating.
Carambolas are delicious, and delicate. Handle them gently as you would a tomato, and you will be rewarded with a light, refreshing fruit that is quite versatile. Once the carambola is ripe, cut the fruit crosswise to reveal their beautiful star patterns, and eat the entire fruit. The skin, the seeds and core are all edible, and tasty!
Once your carambola is ripe you can store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container, and it will keep for almost a week. We don’t suggest freezing carambola as they have a watery consistency when they are thawed.
Counts and Weights
A 3” carambola weighs about 3-6 oz. and will yield about 10-12 ¼ “ slices
Carambolas are a nutritious, low calorie fruit, and are a great addition to many dishes. Why not try them…?
In fruit, vegetable, or chicken salads
In stir fry's
In desserts, such as starfruit upside down-cake or added to crème brulee, or dipped in chocolate
Blended and added to other juices
As a chutneys combined with other fruits, onions, raisins and spices
As a garnish
Carambola Recipes (click to download PDF)