All about this bright and beautiful tropical fruit.
Dragon fruit is a mild-tasting tropical fruit that is easy to cut and eat, and beautiful to behold. Here’s everything you need to know about it: How to cut a ripe dragon fruit, test a dragon fruit for ripeness, and lots more.
What Is Dragon Fruit?
Some people think cut ripe dragon fruit looks similar to a kiwi inside, but this warm-weather fruit is actually a form of cactus, similar to the also-edible (and delicious) prickly pear. Native to Central America, dragon fruit can now be found around the world.
The most common species of dragon fruit is bright pink on the outside, and white in the inside with black seeds scattered throughout. But less-common variations have magenta or yellow flesh.
How to Pick Out a Good Dragon Fruit
When buying dragon fruit, look for shiny, bright pink flesh with fresh green tips. Avoid dragon fruit that looks wrinkled or has blemishes or brown coloring.
When Is Dragon Fruit Ripe?
Here’s how to tell if a dragon fruit is ripe:
- Ripe dragon fruit has a bright pink color with smooth skin
- The dragon fruit should not be rock hard. Instead, let it ripen a little until the flesh gives a little big, similar to a ripe avocado.
- If the dragon fruit feels mushy, it is overripe.
How to Cut a Ripe Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is easy to cut. Here’s how:
- Slice the dragon fruit in half lengthwise
- Use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh into two large halves. Discard the “shell.” (Although, I like to reserve it and use the scooped-out halves as bowls to serve the dragon fruit or a fruit salad).
- Cut the flesh as desired, and eat!
What Does Dragon Fruit Taste Like?
Dragon fruit looks vibrant and gorgeous. Its flavor is a little . . . neutral. Most people compare it to a cross between mild kiwi and pear. Because of its mild flavor, some people may consider it a little bland.
Because of its mild flavor, I like to combine dragon fruit with other fruit to make a larger fruit salad or platter, instead of eating one on its own.
Is Dragon Fruit Healthy?
Yes! Like other fruit, dragon fruit contains fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Dragon fruit is especially rich in fiber, vitamin C, and magnesium.
This pretty tropical fruit may look unfamiliar — even a little intimidating. But once you know more about it, you’ll see just how easy it is to cut, eat, and enjoy dragon fruit.
Want some more fabulous fruit? You’ll love:
- How to Arrange a Fruit Platter Like a Pro
- Poached Orange Ginger Cake
- Watermelon Agua Fresca
- How to Cut a Pomegranate Like a Pro
How to Cut and Eat a Ripe Dragon Fruit
- 1 ripe dragon fruit
- any other cut fruit of choice, if making a fruit salad
- Rinse your ripe dragon fruit and cut it lengthwise through the center into two hemispheres.TIP: You'll know dragon fruit is ripe by the shiny, bright pink flesh with fresh green tips. Make sure the dragon fruit does not pucker or have wrinkles, or have blemishes or brown spots.
- Use a large spoon to scoop the flesh out of each half. Place each half face-down on a cutting board.TIP: You can discard the outer rind or peel, but I suggest reserving it as a bowl in which to serve the dragon fruit or mixed fruit salad.
- Cut the dragon fruit flesh into cubes or as desired. Serve on its own or as part of a larger fruit plate or fruit salad.
I’m in vietnam now and dragonfruit is easy to come by. I’ve had them in small quantities before like on cruise ships and Mexico vacations but first time I bought the fruit myself. First one I bought was red inside – a bit intimidating but ate it nevertheless. Flavor was mild, slightly sweet so I couldn’t tell if it was ripe. It was very soft and juicy though. Anyway bought another one but this time it was white inside. Tasted similar as the red one but maybe slightly less sweet and juicy. Definitely prefer the red but again not sure whether they were ripe. Also not sure how to pick ’em ripe.
Hi, Aaron! How’s Vietnam? I hope it’s going great. Yeah, the flavor is definitely on the mild side. Usually they are picked when slightly underripe, and then can ripen at home. Enjoy the rest of your journey.
Thanks for the information on dragon fruit. I’ll try making the fruit salad.
This is the first dragon fruit I’ve tried. I grow them in my backyard, but last year the possum picked the fruit before I had a chance!
Sue Gold, San Diego, CA
Hi, Sue! Haha–this was my first possum-related comment! I am sorry to hear that your dragon fruit was snatched by an animal thief! Hah. I hope that you found the article helpful, and that you get to enjoy a dragon fruit very soon.
I’m from Maryland and moved to California and purchased a house that has fruit trees etc. I never hear of Dragon Fruit. It’s bloom and goth process is beautiful . The taste sounds good and will try in the next day or two.
Mine didn’t really taste like much but helpful article. Thanks.
These are gorgeous! Thanks for the great tips.
Good info. Thanks!