Carambola - Starfruit

Discussion in 'Five Star Kitchen' started by sister herb, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. sister herb
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    Carambola, also known as starfruit, is the fruit of Averrhoa carambola, a species of tree native to the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

    The Portuguese word carambola, first known use 1598, was taken from Marathi karambal derived from Sanskrit karmaphala.

    The fruit is popular throughout Southeast Asia, the South Pacific and parts of East Asia. The tree is also cultivated throughout non-indigenous tropical areas, such as in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the southern United States.

    The fruit has distinctive ridges running down its sides (usually five but can sometimes vary); in cross-section, it resembles a star, hence its name. The entire fruit is edible and is usually eaten out of hand. They may also be used in cooking and can be made into relishes, preserves, and juice drinks.

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    Gastronomy

    The entire fruit is edible, including the slightly waxy skin. The flesh is crunchy, firm, and extremely juicy. It does not contain fibers and has a texture similar in consistency to that of grapes. Carambolas are best consumed shortly after they ripen, when they are yellow with a light shade of green or just after all traces of green have disappeared. They will also have brown ridges at the edges and feel firm. Fruits picked while still slightly green will turn yellow in storage at room temperature, but will not increase in sugar content. Overripe carambola will be yellow with brown spots and can become blander in taste and soggier in consistency.

    Ripe sweet type carambolas are sweet without being overwhelming as they rarely have more than 4% sugar content. They have a tart, sour undertone, and an oxalic acid odor. The taste is difficult to compare, but it has been likened to a mix of apple, pear, grape, and citrus family fruits. Unripe starfruits are firmer and sour, and taste like green apples.

    Ripe carambolas may also be used in cooking. In Southeast Asia, they are usually stewed in cloves and sugar, sometimes with apples. In China, they are cooked with fish. In Australia, they may be cooked as a vegetable, pickled, or made into jams. In Jamaica they are sometimes dried.

    Unripe and sour type carambolas can be mixed with other chopped spices to make relishes in Australia. In the Philippines, unripe carambolas are eaten dipped in rock salt. In Thailand, they are cooked together with shrimp.

    The juice from carambolas is also used in iced drinks, particularly the juice of the sour varieties. In Hawaii they are used to make sherbet, while in the Philippines they can be used as seasoning. In India, the juice is bottled for drinking.

    Benefits

    Carambola is rich in antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C; and low in sugar, sodium, and acid. It is also a potent source of both primary and secondary polyphenolic antioxidants. Averrhoa carambola has both antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Scavenging of nitric oxide (NO) by the fruit extract is dependent on concentration and stage of ripening. Extracts showed antimicrobial activity against E. coli, Klebsiella spp., Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Risks


    Carambolas contains caramboxin and oxalic acid, both substances are harmful to individuals suffering from kidney failure, kidney stones, or those under kidney dialysis treatment. Consumption by those with kidney failure can produce hiccups, vomiting, nausea, and mental confusion. Fatal outcomes have been documented in some patients. Recent research has identified caramboxin as a neurotoxin which is structurally similar to phenylalanine, and is a glutamatergic agonist.

    Drug interactions

    Like the grapefruit, carambola is considered to be a potent inhibitor of seven cytochrome P450 isoforms. These enzymes are significant in the first-pass elimination of many medicines, and, thus, the consumption of carambola or its juice in combination with certain prescription medications can significantly increase their effective dosage within the body. Research into grapefruit juice (its potent enzymes) for instance, identified a significant effect (requires change in dose or other side effects) on common medications when taken concurrently by the patient, including statins, which are commonly used to treat high cholesterol and cardiovascular illness, and benzodiazepines (a sedative tranquilizer drug family that includes diazepam).
  2. sister herb
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    Star Fruit in Mango-Orange Sauce

    Ingredients:

    1 fresh ripe star fruit
    1 cup orange juice, or approx. 2 oranges juiced
    the fruit of 1 fresh ripe mango
    1/4 cup brown sugar (or substitute a natural sweetener of your choice – maple syrup or agave nectar work well)
    up to 1 cup good-quality coconut milk
    optional: a handful of fresh pomegranate seeds or cherries
    optional: whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (as a topping)

    Directions
    Place the star fruit (count out 3 slices per person) in a pot on the stove. Add the orange juice. Stir well and turn heat to high – until juice begins to boil. Then turn down to medium.

    Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, or until star fruit has softened enough to easily cut into with a spoon. Now and then you can gently move the slices around and turn them over so they all get cooked more or less equally. Remove any more brown seeds that may loosen and surface.

    While star fruit is cooking, place the mango fruit in a food processor, mini chopper, or blender. Process or blend until it is smooth and pureed. Set aside.

    When star fruit is nearly done, add the sugar/sweetener and stir to dissolve. Remove pot from heat.

    Add the mango puree, stirring well to incorporate. Do a taste-test for sweetness, adding more sugar if needed (how sweet it is will depend on the ripeness of the fruit/juice you’re using). If it happens to be too sweet for your taste, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice, or a little more orange juice.

    When you’re happy with the taste, portion out 3 star fruit slices per bowl with enough sauce to surround the fruit (it should still be warm from the pot). Top each bowl with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds or cherry pieces. Then drizzle over some coconut milk and serve! This dessert is also excellent when given a final topping of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
    ENJOY!

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    There was no peeling required. I just sliced up the fruit.

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    I didn’t have a blender available so I used an electric beater; therefore my mango was not pureed but rather just small chunks.

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    Source: https://jess814.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/8-star-fruit/
  3. sister herb
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    Starfruit Curd with Tropical Fruit

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    Ingredients
    1cup starfruit juice (freshly strained, about 2 starfruit)
    3 egg yolk
    1/4cup sugar
    1Tbsp all-purpose flour
    1Tbsp cornstarch
    butter (as needed)

    For the parfait
    1 banana, sliced
    1 mango, cubed

    Instructions
    Use ripe starfruit. They’ll be heavy for size, mostly yellow and starting to brown slightly on the ridges. Slice them across the ridges to make star shapes and pick out any seeds.

    Save a couple for garnish, but toss the rest into a food processor or blender and puree.

    Strain the mixture, pressing all the juice out. You'll need 1 cup of it. Bring to a boil in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat.

    Meanwhile, beat up eggs with some sugar. Then whisk in cornstarch and flour. Add the hot star fruit juice, a little at first to temper the eggs. Once it's all whisked together, return to saucepan. Heat until bubbling and thick, like pudding. Whisk constantly or it can burn.

    Refrigerate until cool, covered with plastic wrap.

    Source: http://globaltableadventure.com/recipe/recipe-starfruit-curd-with-tropical-fruit/

    Another idea:

    Combine spoonfuls of curd with vanilla meringue cookies.

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  4. Hajjerr
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    Hajjerr He is Dhul-Jalali Wal-Ikram

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    Salam aleikum

    I am jealous of people who live in such tropical areas, that have such fruits, or coconut in their garden, or babanas. And have palm trees everywhere. I dont want to say that the grass is greaner, I know usually the economy is worse in these countries, but I always wondered how amazing can be to walk on streets and see fly parrots around you. It doesnt get any better ! Wish to visit Hawaii some day...[​IMG]
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