Star fruit or Carambola is another tropical fruit with a delicate flavor reminiscent of citrus and watermelon. Its sweet when ripe and makes a nice chutney. This chutney has just enough jalapeño chili to offset the sweet and sour of the sauce and there’s texture from the onions, bell peppers and fruit. This condiment really makes chicken and fish pop. It certainly gave my roasted chicken and fried breadfruit chips a zing.
Carambola are in season now here in the Caribbean so you probably can find them in major supermarkets. They should be yellow with light brown spots on the ribs of the star. If they’re green without any blemishes just set them in a bowl on the counter for a few days to ripen. Again, if you’ve been following my blogs, fruit will not ripen sweetly if it was picked too green so its kind of a gamble buying green fruit from a market. The best fresh produce markets offer a slice of their fruits in season so customers have the opportunity to taste the quality before they buy.
Star fruit is great in a fruit salad or in a shrimp salad with a vinaigrette. The skin is similar to that of a pear making slices hold up well. You can get wild and create a fresh fruit center piece with star fruit, kiwis, melons and berries. Or, use slices of star fruit to garnish a tropical drink.
- 1 pound star fruit, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch to 1 inch chunks
- 1 onion diced 1/2-inch
- 1 red bell pepper, diced 1/2-inch (or 1 can
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (or chile of joice to taste)
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar (or white vinegar with 5% acidity)
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice powder
- 2 tsp sea salt (or canning salt)
- 4 scallions, sliced green leaves and bulbs
- Place all ingredients except scallions into a heavy bottom sauces pan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes.
- Remove cover and continue to cook until sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes. Check that veggies and fruit are tender and sauce is sweet and sour to your taste. Add scallions and cook until sauce is consistency of ketchup.
- Remove from heat and pour into sterilized jars. Wipe rims and cap. Water bath for 15 minutes with water level 1-inch above jars. Remove jars to a draft free area and let cool. Check seals. Refrigerate unsealed jars.
- Store in a dry and dark pantry up to 6 months. Always refrigerate after opening.