- Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit that’s popular due to its exotic look, refreshing taste, and numerous health benefits.
- It’s simple to cut, and you can cut it in a number of ways.
- You can eat dragon fruit alone or add it to other dishes for variety.
Dragon fruit is certainly one of the more interesting looking exotic fruits. Also known as a pitaya or pitahaya, dragon fruit is a tropical fruit that grows on a type of cactus called hylocereus. Its flavor is lighter than its bodacious appearance would suggest — it tastes something like a kiwi but with less tang and more sweetness.
It doesn't just taste good: In addition to being high in fiber and good for digestion, it has high levels of magnesium and vitamin C.
While the fruit may look intimidating to cut, it's fairly simple to work with. There are a few ways to cut a dragon fruit, and when you get down to it, you'll quickly learn that the fruit makes an easy addition to your diet. Follow along and we'll cover options for dicing the dragon — but first, let's cover some basics.
Where to Find Dragon Fruit and How to Choose a Ripe One
There are three varieties of dragon fruit:
- Red skin with white flesh
- Red skin with red flesh (called red dragon fruit)
- Yellow skin with white flesh
They all taste quite similar, though some connoisseurs will insist that the red flesh version is the sweetest. They're often found at Asian grocery stores or in any tropical country.
Picking the fruit is simple. The skin should be bright pink with rubbery-feeling appendages attached to it. The fruit should also have some give to it. It shouldn’t be mushy or hard. Don't worry too much about blemishes on the skin: It's a fairly hardy fruit and doesn't bruise easily. It does, however, cut quite easily — which we’ll discuss below.
How to Cut Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit slices up quite nicely. Although the name conjures the image of a scaly, thick-skinned lizard, a knife will slide through dragon fruit without much resistance. Consequently, there are a few options when it comes to cutting it.
The Simple Cut Down the Middle
The easiest way to cut a dragon fruit is simply to cut it down the middle. This can be done either lengthwise or widthwise. In either case, the outside flesh of the fruit will effectively serve as a bowl: A very polite way for the fruit to behave.
Dragon fruit's flesh is not particularly tough, so you can use any sharp knife: Your chef's knife, utility knife, paring knife, or even serrated knife will work. It only takes one quick slice down the middle to separate the two halves. Following that, the simplest option to eat it is to scoop out the inside with a spoon.
The tiny black seeds in the fruit's flesh are entirely edible too, so don't fret — they even provide a satisfying crunch to contrast the fruit's otherwise soft texture.
Cut Into Wedges
In addition to simply cutting the fruit down the middle, you can cut it into wedges. This is a good option if there are a few people who intend to share the fruit.
You'll want to begin by removing the top and bottom parts of the fruit. This part is simple enough: Put the fruit on a cutting board and use whatever knife you have on hand to slice the two ends off before discarding them.
After that, you'll continue by cutting the fruit down the middle lengthwise. Following that, you can slice the fruit into wedges. The skin peels easily off of the flesh — you can simply use your hands to pull it off. It’s simpler to eat if you pull off the skin than if you try to eat around the skin like a watermelon rind. Do note that the skin isn't edible: You'd quickly find that out if you tried to eat it. It's not dangerous, however. It just doesn’t taste nice and has a rubbery texture.
Cubed for Fruit Salad or Smoothie Bowls
If you're looking to add some dragon fruit to a fruit salad or smoothie bowl, you'll likely be pleased with the results. Combined with other fruit like watermelon, papaya, or even kiwi fruit, dragon fruit can add some color and a refreshing, light taste to a fruit ensemble.
Begin by cutting the fruit into wedges as described above. Following that, use a paring knife and slice the fruit into smaller pieces, leaving the skin intact. After you've done that, slide the knife between the skin and the slices of fruit. Voila! You now have “cubed” dragon fruit that both looks nice and tastes great.
Alternatively, you can use a spoon to scoop out the flesh in one big lump. Place it on the cutting board and proceed to slice it into cubes. This method is faster but potentially messier as the flesh will be in contact with the cutting board. The flesh is wet and can slide around the board, leaving residue and seeds. If that doesn't bother you — or if you have a trenched cutting board to catch the juices — then no problem.
Do note that because of the rounded shape of a dragon fruit, many of the pieces will not be perfect “cubes” unless you decide to square off the fruit first. But hey, that's a small price to pay for a tasty treat.
How to Eat Dragon Fruit
Aside from simply eating the fruit by itself or adding it to smoothies or fruit salads, you can get more creative with dragon fruit.
For example, you can make popsicles using the fruit. If you're up for it, you can get creative with this and add multiple fruits to make a compelling flavor. Any combination of dragon fruit, pineapple, watermelon, mango, coconut milk, or honey would produce a refreshing tropical treat that'd help you beat the heat.
Besides making popsicles, simply freezing the fruit can make it truly refreshing. Cut it into cubes as described above, pop some toothpicks in it, and put it in the freezer for an hour or two. The fruit freezes well, and you'll get some extra crunch out of it.
Additionally, adding dragon fruit to an avocado smoothie can be an excellent choice. Avocado smoothie, you say? Hear us out. When combined with sweet coconut milk and other fruit, an avocado smoothie can be both filling and healthy — an excellent choice as a meal replacement, for example. Adding dragon fruit to the avocado smoothie ups the water content of the smoothie, making it easier to drink and cutting calories, while adding a light, refreshing flavor.
The Fruit That's Making Waves
Dragon fruit is booming in popularity in western countries, and it's popularity has been well-established for ages in places where it grows. It's a colorful and tasty addition to your kitchen and would make for a pretty still life painting.But if you intend to do more than just look at it, you’ll need a knife and cutting board to cut your dragon fruit. Check out Misen's beautiful knives and cutting board and they’ll heighten the appearance of your kitchen just like a dragon fruit heightens the appearance of your fruit basket.