Cooking with Dragon Fruit a.k.a. Pitahaya, Strawberry Pear

Posted on 18. Aug, 2007 by in Tips & Technique

Since the day i saw this fruit in China town in NYC, i was just very curious about this fruit and i am trying & testing different recipes that i can use this fruit in various ethnic cooking & pastry production. The fruit is juicy, with a subtle fruity flavors. Red Pitaya is pleasant to eat and when sliced the fruit is especially attractive.The fruit is popular eaten chilled, out of hand. It is also used to flavor drinks and pastries. Unopened flower buds are cooked and eaten as vegetables.

dragon fruit

The exact origin of this dragon fruit is unknown, but is likely from Southern Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica. It is cultivated around the world in tropical regions. Native to Mexico and Central and South America, these vine-like cacti are also cultivated in Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia. They are also found in Taiwan, Israel, and southern China. This fruit only blooms at night; they are large white flowers that are often called Moon flower or Queen of the Night.

dragon fruit dragon fruit

I have found this interesting site for all different varieties of this fruit

Watch this !

Here is a chutney recipe i tried which is pretty interesting:

Exoctic fruit chutney by Hari Nayak

6 c prepared dragon fruit (peel and chop)
1½ c cider vinegar
1½ c granulated sugar
¾ c dark brown sugar
1½ c chopped onion
½ c raisins
3 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger root, finely minced
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mustard seed
½ tsp each: cayenne, ground cloves and allspice
¼ tsp each: ground pepper and salt

Combine dragon fruit, vinegar, sugars, onion, raisins, apples, garlic, ginger root, cinnamon, mustard seed, cayenne pepper, cloves, allspice, pepper and salt in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Boil gently, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is thick.

A good recipe for canning & preserving.

Dragon Shrimp Salad by Hari Nayak

1/2 pound dragon fruit, sliced
1/2 pound (21-30) size shrimp, shelled, deveined and cooked with tails intact
1/2 cup each finely julienned radish and pomegranate
1/2 head lettuce
lemon ginger dressing

Arrange all ingredients in shallow lettuce-lined salad bowl. Serve with lemon ginger dressing. Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Lemon ginger dressing: Combine 2 tablespoons each oil, vinegar and lemon juice. 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Mix well.

Makes about 1/3 cup.

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6 Responses to “Cooking with Dragon Fruit a.k.a. Pitahaya, Strawberry Pear”

  1. danny brown

    07. Apr, 2008

    ciao hari .
    love your website lots of interstingcooking going on .
    now i hope you can help me with same ideas with dragon friut ,as i want to use dragon friut with pan fryed fish .
    here in new zealand we use a lot of snapper,john dory,warehou.
    am thinking of useing rice & makeing a salsa of same form with the dragon frint .
    i would very much appreciate your help & ideas on this kind of friut .
    many thanks danny brown te awa winery restaurant hawkes bay new zealand.winery@teawa.com

  2. lyn parker

    29. Jun, 2010

    i am new to cooking with dragon fruit.we are growing them here in queensland thanks lyn parker

  3. Maija Haavisto

    26. Oct, 2010

    As a vegetarian I wouldn’t eat shrimp, but the combination of radishes, pomegranate and pitahaya has me intrigued, especially since I happen to have the latter two.

    Also, lemon and ginger seems like something that would work well with pitahaya alone, too.

  4. Saranya

    26. Mar, 2011

    Please send me the exact formulation of south indian sambhar powder preparation

  5. Chef Hari

    09. Apr, 2011

    There is no one single formula or a recipe for a south Indian recipe. Probably there are as many sambar powders as there are south indians..

  6. kerala tours

    02. Sep, 2011

    I tried it…tasty dish…Thanks for the recipe…

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