Travelling abroad under its Spanish name of carambola, the starfruit is rapidly becoming a world citizen. Slice the fruit into thin cross-sections to see the shape that gives this fruit its name. Like an apple, the starfruit can be eaten skin and all, but you may want to cut away the slightly tougher ridges of the five-sided fruit before you slice it. The taste is slightly tart, but pleasant and refreshing. In Bali, the fruit grows nearly everywhere and there are many different starfruits that vary in size and sweetness. If you don't see all of these varieties in the local market, however, the answer is simple --- the others were eaten as soon as they were picked.
Carambola Chicken Rice (serves 8) 2 Tbsp olive oil 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper 1/2 cup chopped scallions 2 tsp mashed garlic 6 medium carambola 1 cup heavy cream salt, black pepper and paprika to taste Garnish: minced coriander (cilantro) leaves 4 cups cooked rice 4 pounds cooked chicken breast, deboned, cut into bitesize pieces In a medium pan, heat olive oil. Sauté red bell pepper, scallions, garlic and star fruit over medium low heat until tender (about 8 minutes). Stir in heavy cream and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook over medium low heat for 8 minutes. In a large cooking pot, combine this mixture with the rice and chicken and heat until serving temperature (about 5 minutes). Garnish with coriander if desired.
Carambola Avocado Salad (serves 4) Torn lettuce leaves 2 tomatoes, sliced 1/2 red onion, sliced very thin 1 avocado, sliced 2 carambolas, sliced On each of four salad plates, arrange a bed of lettuce. Layer the remaining ingredients in the order listed. Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette or your favorite dressing.
Carambola Bread 2 cups flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, softened 3 eggs 1 tsp white wine 2 cups carambola, mashed 1 cup chopped coconut Preheat oven to 350° F. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter, and then cream in eggs. Blend in white wine and carambola. Stir in flour mixture, blending thoroughly and then stir in coconut. Spoon into a well-greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch bread pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Dried Carambola Wash the carambolas, then remove ends and the edges of the ribs. Slice 1/4 inch thick. spread in a single layer on the trays of a food dehydrator. Dry at 135°F until dry but still flexible. Do not dry until crisp. Package in plastic freezer bags and keep frozen until ready to use.