This week’s fruit is dragon fruit and the vegetable is watermelon radish. Both of these foods are very popular in Asia and can be found in Asian cuisines. Dragon fruit is the fruit of a cactus originally from Central America. The fruit can be bright yellow or magenta pink with fleshy “scales” that look like dragon scales. You prepare it by scooping out the white center that is full of little black seeds. The texture is similar to a kiwi with a neutral sweet flavor. It is often eaten fresh or sliced into a salad. There are many Asian deserts that use dragon fruit for sweetness and flavor. Look for fruits that are firm with few blemishes for the best flavor. Dragon fruit usually travels a long distance to reach your grocery store shelf and soft fruits will be over-ripe.
Watermelon radish is a variety of the large white diakon radish. It is usually sliced thin and served as a side or in a salad. You can make an a quick pickle with vinegar, sugar, a squeeze of lime and fish or soy sauce. Watermelon radish can also be shredded finely, blanched quickly in salted boiling water, then shocked in an ice bath for a cold vegetable side dish. The cold radishes can be dressed with a little sesame oil and fish sauce with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds on top. Do not let the sometimes ugly outside of this radish fool you. Underneath the whitish, green skin will be a mild flavored, beautifully colored radish. Choose radishes that are firm and crisp for the best flavor. Limp roots can be revived by a 5 minute soak in some ice water.
Let me know if you enjoyed this week’s information on these interesting fruits and vegetables. Remember to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal. If you tried either of these, share your thoughts with the rest of the blog by commenting!