Dragon Fruit Salad

I’ve usually associated Chinese New Year with auspicious foods such as fish (because the Chinese root word for fish sounds like ‘surplus’ ) and noodles (which signify long life).
But over the past few years, I’ve become aware of the Lunar New Year which is celebrated  in many Asian and south-east Asian countries.
No matter which country, however, people indulge in foods laden with symbolic meanings, either based on appearance or word association.
In this recipe I’ve stretched the associations even further and included dragon fruit in an exotic fruit salad to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.


About this Recipe

By: Sheridan Rogers

I love the bright magenta colour and curious shape of dragon fruit though I must admit I’m often disappointed by its bland flavour. The fruit, also known as strawberry pear or pitaya, comes from a type of cactus (of the genus Hylocereus). Mixing it with other fruits and adding a zesty syrup brings it alive. Look for the variety with pink flesh.


Serves 4 – 6

  • dragon fruit, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • fresh pineapple, peeled  and cut into attractive shapes
  • pink papaya, peeled, seeded and sliced into crescent shapes 
  • nashi pear, peeled, cored and sliced
  • starfruit, washed and sliced
  • orange, peeled (white pith removed), and cut into segments
  • fresh lychees, peeled (or use tinned)
  • kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
    Fragrant Syrup:
  • water, 250ml (1 cup)
  • caster sugar, 1/2 cup)
  • white wine vinegar,  2- 3 teaspoons
  • fresh ginger, peeled, 2 slices
  • lemongrass (white part only), finely grated, 2 teaspoons
  • fresh lime, 1, finely grated zest

Choose enough fruit for 4-6 people from the various fruits, making sure to include the dragon fruit.
Combine the peeled and cut fruits in an attractive serving bowl. Drizzle with the syrup and chill before serving.
For the syrup: place all the ingredients in a heavy based saucepan. Simmer gently for about ten minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Leave to cool to infuse flavours.
Pour through a fine sieve into a jug and store, covered, in the refrigerator.