Let’s cut to the good part.
At first glance, dragon fruit may look like a fictional creation. Its thick and bright magenta skin tapers into green leaves that resemble the scales of a mythical dragon. It only gets more enchanting when you slice in. Inside, you'll find a juicy white or magenta flesh that's speckled with small black seeds.
While the dragon fruit (also known as a pitaya or strawberry pear) may look like something out of this world, it's actually a delicious fruit that's ripe for picking during the summer and early fall months. There are many uses and nutritional benefits associated with the delicious dragon fruit—but before you can enjoy one for yourself, you'll want to know how to choose and properly cut a dragon fruit.
You won't always find dragon fruit easily at your local grocery store, even when it's in season. However, your best bet is to look for dragon fruit during the summer and early fall months. Typically, a fresh dragon fruit will have skin that is bright pink in color. As a general rule, it's best to avoid dragon fruit if it has wrinkled skin or many visible blemishes on the outside.
Dragon fruit will also have its best flavor when it's ripe. Here are some things you can look for that may indicate a ripe dragon fruit that's ready to enjoy:
When checking a dragon fruit for ripeness, think of it as being similar to an avocado. The skin should flex a bit when you push on it, but it should not feel mushy. If it feels mushy, then it's probably overripe.
Here, we walk you through everything you need to know about how to cut a dragon fruit. There are many ways you can do it, but this is our absolute favorite method, and in our opinion, the easiest too.
Before prepping and cutting a dragon fruit, it's important to have the right knife for the job. Because the flesh/skin of the dragon fruit is thick, it can be difficult to slice through without a quality Chef Knife. A sharp and precise Chef Knife with a contoured grip like ours will make it easier (and safer) to slice through the thick skin of a dragon fruit and cut it as desired.
Once you have your ripe dragon fruit, set it on a cutting board and slice it in half lengthwise with your Chef Knife. It's usually easiest to do this by starting at the top of the fruit, where the skin tends to be thinner and easier to cut through.
If you want, you can eat the pulp directly from each half of the sliced dragon fruit using a spoon. However, if you want to continue cutting your dragon fruit for use in a recipe, you'll want to take the next step of removing the skin from the pulp. You can do this by either pulling the skin away using your hands or scooping the pulp away from the skin with a spoon.
Once you've removed the skin from the dragon fruit, there are many different ways to cut it depending on your recipe. If you'll be incorporating it into a smoothie, then cutting it into cubes is a good option. For a fancier presentation, you can also use a melon baller to "scoop" the pulp into small spheres. Another idea to keep in mind for presentation is to keep the skin of the dragon fruit and use it to hold the cubes you've cut.
Because dragon fruit on its own has a somewhat weak flavor, many people prefer to use it as an ingredient in a larger and more flavorful dish or recipe.
Consider, for example, adding dragon fruit chunks to your favorite smoothie recipe. It's also great when cubed and added to an acai bowl, mixed into your morning yogurt, or tossed into a fresh fruit salad. Looking for something more substantial? Dragon fruit can be cut into cubes and grilled or sauteed in a Carbon Steel Pan to make a delicious kebab.
Dragon fruit is an eye-catching food that can be used in any number of recipes and dishes. And because it's loaded with fiber, antioxidants, prebiotics, and potassium, it's a fruit that you can feel good about enjoying. The key, of course, is knowing how to choose a ripe dragon fruit and how to properly cut it. With these tips in mind and with a quality Chef Knife, you're all set.