Posted by: sharemore1 | October 19, 2010

Serving Dragon Fruit: A Call for Help

Check out the Q&A section in the banner above.  Here’s where you can ask any questions you have about my posts or our life in Viet Nam.

With all my talk about dragons,  I decided it was time to try the dragon fruit I’d been eyeing at our local market. They’re a little intimidating, with a deep pink leathery skin and flat green-tipped “horns,” reminiscent of a dragon’s. They’re a type of cactus, but not prickly. If you squeeze one gently it will be a little soft when it’s ripe.

Dragon Fruit at the Market

Also called pitaya fruit (Hylocereus undatus, for you serious planties), the dragon fruit has large white blossoms that bloom only at night, when bees are in their hives.  I learned that the job of pollinating them falls to nocturnal animals, especially bats. The French are thought to have brought them to Viet Nam from South American as a delicacy for the wealthy.

I was ready for a new experience when I carefully selected my dragon fruit at the market. When I got it home, I sliced it vertically down the middle on a cutting board. Inside is white flesh with little black seeds. (In some varieties the flesh is red.)

Sliced Fruit

I took a tablespoon and carefully scooped the flesh away from the skin, which is not edible. Saving the skin to make a little boat, I cut the bottom so it would be flat and rest on a plate. Then I diced the flesh and returned it to the hollowed out skin. It’s so easy and makes a lovely presentation.

Dragon fruit is also a health food, low in calories (because it’s mainly water), full of minerals and vitamins, especially Vitamin C, and high in fiber and anti-oxidants. This exotic fruit is nutritious, easy to prepare and beautiful to serve. There is only one catch: it has no taste.

The flavor has been described as a combination between a kiwi fruit and a pear, but to me it just tastes bland. Here is where I need some help from my foodie friends. How can I add a little oomph to this fascinating fruit? Help me out by buying one in a local Asian market and experimenting with it. Let me know how you’d serve it. I’d love to add the dragon fruit to the other health foods in my diet (e.g., chocolate and red wine) if it had a just a little more flavor.

Ready to Serve


  1. How about some diced ginger (my favorite spice)and a little pineapple or rambutan?

  2. Hey Sharon, I’m on it! Give me a day or two to find the fruit and try some ideas for giving this fruit a boost. Yesterday I was in Tacoma. A friend and I had lunch at a Viet Nam restaurant. We had an amazing appetizer – a crepe filled with sauted vegetables and shrimp. The paintings hung on the wall were quite nice. My friend who has traveled many times to Viet Nam told me that Viet Nam has amazing paintings and art in the large cities primarily due to the French influence. More late on Dragon Fruit! Kathy

  3. Great post. I love dragonfruit. I think of it as a cross between a kiwi fruit and a strawberry. I think drizzling hot fudge or a raspberry sauce over top would be great. Or serve it with chocolate wafers and a sprig of mint. I’m sure a few foodies would have some even better suggestions. Enjoy!

  4. Sharon – with all due respect to your foodie friends – just fry it up! Some good ole lard would work well! It works for us in the deep south – Mississippi #1 in obesity; AL #2! Yep, I say fry those suckers!

  5. […] fruit. My friend Sharon who is visiting Viet Nam posted a blog about it last week. Check it out here. Finding the fruit taste bland, Sharon put out a call for help. She wanted to add it to her healthy […]

  6. You can dip into a little of honey, agave nectar, sprinkle a little brown sugar or nutella (which is probably the most unhealthiest of all, but nutella is so so yummy. I eat dragon fruit once a day and it has so many beautiful nutritional value!

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