Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: carambola from The Macquarie Dictionary

the edible fruit of the carambola tree, Averrhoa carambola, native to south-eastern Asia, which is yellow brown in colour with a deeply ridged skin; five-cornered fruit; star fruit.


Etymology: Portuguese, from Marathi karambal

Summary Article: Star Fruit
From The Illustrated Cook's Book of Ingredients

Also called carambola, the pretty star fruit is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions. The cylindrical, yellow-green fruit has thick, waxy skin with five sharp ribs that look like raised fins. The crisp, juicy flesh is citruslike, differing in sweetness according to variety and how ripe the fruit is.


Select shiny, even colored, firm fruit without blemishes. Star fruit is green when unripe, turning to pale yellow and then rich gold as it ripens. When ripe the aroma should be fruity. Once soft, it will quickly lose flavor. Buy unripe green fruit, which will be more acidic, for cooking as a vegetable.


Keep at room temperature until the fragrance develops. Ripe fruit can be kept in a closed paper bag in the refrigerator for a few days. Or freeze.


Trim off any traces of brown along the top of the ridges since this will taste bitter.


Include in fruit salads. Use as a garnish. Extract the juice for drinks.


Poach or purée for cakes and desserts. Use the syrup for sauces. In Asia, unripe fruit is used as a vegetable.


Make into jam, chutney, and pickle. Slice and preserve in sugar as candied fruit.

Flavor pairings

Poultry, shrimp, avocado, red peppers, other tropical fruits, lime, coconut, lemongrass, nutmeg, vanilla, honey, rum, salt.

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Related Articles

Full text Article CARAMBOLA
Cambridge World History of Food

The carambola ( Averrhoa carambola ) is also known as the “star fruit,” and with good reason. It has an elongated yellow (sometimes white) body...

See more from Credo