Star fruit on a white cutting board.
Interesting Info

How to Eat Star Fruit

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Have you ever wondered how to eat star fruit? Have you ever heard of starfruit? Some of the other names are Carambola, ma fen, and kamaranga.

In this post, you will find information on where star fruit comes from and where it grows. I mention some of the health benefits of the star fruit. And of course, I show you how to eat star fruit and describe what it tastes like to me.

If you like tasting new fruits and have never tried a star fruit, you have got to try one, they are one of my favorite fruits!

Where do star fruit come from and where do they grow?

Star fruit growing in the wild on a tree.

The star fruit or carambola is a tropical fruit that is native to Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, and other parts of Southeast Asia. It is eaten in those places as well as places like the South Pacific, India, and the Caribbean. It is either yellow or green and there are two main varieties a smaller one which is sourer and a larger one which is sweeter.

It is cultivated and grown in many tropical and subtropical places around the world. Commercially they are cultivated in places like India, Southeast Asia, China, Taiwan, South America, and also here in the United States in Florida. They even grow well here in Arizona, although, just backyard tropical tree hobbyists grow them here.

Star fruit growing in a backyard.

I can’t wait to have a backyard of my own so I can plant a few of these. Or maybe I will plant some in my parent’s yard until then, haha. They do grow fairly well in large pots, so technically I could grow them on my patio. But I think I will wait until I have a nice yard for them. There are even a handful of nurseries near me that sell them.

You may or may not be able to buy the fruit at the local grocery store. More than likely you will. have to go to an International market to find them.

What are the health benefits of Carambola?

Growing star fruit on a tree

The star fruit is a pretty good source of several vitamins and other nutrients:

  • High in Vitamin C which helps boost the immune system.
  • High in Fiber
  • Low in calories – Only about 28 calories and 6 carbs in a single medium fruit.
  • Loaded with healthy plant compounds, gallic acid, epicatechin, etc. which have good antioxidant benefits.

It is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. There are a few potential side effects. People with kidney problems especially kidney disease should avoid eating star fruit or at least consult a doctor first before eating them. Also, people taking prescription drugs or other prescription medications should probably avoid eating star fruit.

For more benefits and information on the health benefits of Star Fruit check out this healthline article.

How to eat Star Fruit?

Cutting the ends off the star fruit.

Now, how to eat a star fruit? The entire fruit is edible, although there are seeds inside that you will want to spit out or dig out with a spoon or sharp knife. The most common variety is the larger yellow/orangish ones. Wait until they are almost completely yellow, and then store them on the counter until all the green is gone. If you see a few brown spots or brown edges that is okay and a sign it is getting riper or already ripe.

Begin by washing and drying the ripe fruit. Then, I usually cut off the ends, because they are a little less appetizing, although still edible.

cut the ridges of the star fruit

Then run your knife just under each ridge cutting them off. They are a bit stringy/woody and don’t taste as good, but some people don’t even bother cutting them off, so try it both ways.

Star fruit cut and ready to be eaten on a white cutting board.

Now just cut it about 1/2 of an inch so it makes little star shapes. You can certainly just bite into it if you want to, but it looks so much better if you slice it this way and show off the whole reason why it is called star fruit. Dig out any seeds with a knife or a spoon.

You can eat star fruit raw, just pop the star fruit slices in your mouth and enjoy the juicy fruit. They can also be used in cooking and are commonly made into relishes, preserves, a garnish, and juices.

What does star fruit taste like?

Carambola on a white cutting board.

Now that you know how to eat star fruit, what does it taste like? To me, they have a slightly sour taste, slightly sweet, although I have had really sweet ones and really sour ones. The skin is kind of waxy, but the waxy skin doesn’t affect the taste at all. An unripe star fruit will have an especially sour flavor, it really needs to be ripe to get the sweet flavor.

The taste is kind of hard to compare. They are incredibly juicy, and to me is like a mix between an apple, pear, green grape, and some citrus undertones.

I really like the taste of star fruit, one of my favorite tropical fruits!

How to Eat a Carambola Video

Check out this video where I show how to eat star fruit (Carambola).

How to Cut and Eat a Star Fruit (Carambola) | Star Fruit Taste Test

Here are other exotic fruits and posts you may find interesting:

How to Eat Prickly Pear

Moringa Tree of Life

How to Eat Pomegranate

How to Eat a Dragon Fruit

Process Acorns to Eat

8 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. Great post – I had no idea. Thank you so much Matt!

  3. Such a pretty fruit, that I don’t have to cut into a fun shape! I wish I grew these as well! They are delicious!

  4. I used to live in Arizona. Totally missing all the citrus trees that were grown around there! Never thought about star fruit being grown there as well. Thanks for this great tutorial. I’ve had star fruit in the past, but I rarely buy it because I’m unsure of how to prepare it for myself. This is great! Star fruit going on my shopoping list now!

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