What is carambola? you ask.
Star fruit. Sorry. Again no picture. Google it.
A couple weeks ago at the Cackle Fresh Mainland Egg Outlet/Laie Country store they were selling star fruit (Yes, though the "Fresh" eggs come from the mainland, all the produce is extremely local. The farms are within a few miles of the store. I think some of the produce may even come from backyard gardens.) for 25 cents each and they were HUGE! I couldn't resist that. I love starfruit. They are so sweet and tangy, kinda like a kiwi but firmer and in such a fun shape, a star! I grabbed four.
When I got home I immediately sliced into one and took a big bite. EWWWW, sour! Little did I know there are two varieties of star fruit. I had purchased the sour kind. Great now what was I going to do.
It took me a few hours to figure it out, while I was folding laundry and scrubbing bathrooms, but limes are sour too and I use them for a lot of different things. I decided to put my carambola to use as a lime substitute in my garlic/lime shrimp recipe. I also used some of the delicious herbs from my very own patio garden. Wow, it was good. The fam gave me rave reviews. (In the interest of full disclosure they were unsure about the eggplant. It was the first time I've served them eggplant and they were a bit wary though they ate it. That's not bad right? I thought it was delicious.)
Dani's Carambola (Star Fruit) Garlic Shrimp
Place in a large bowl:
2 lbs. large shrimp, shells and tails on
Place the following in a blender and blend until smooth:
2 green onions, chopped
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped or 1 tsp dry
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup of sour carambola
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
Pour the marinade over the shrimp and let marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Preheat a wok or large pan to medium-high. Pour 1 Tablespoon of oil into hot pan. Remove shrimp from the marinade and saute for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Cook in batches if necessary. Serve immediately.
The recipe for the eggplant was just from about.com. I used my Thai Basil from my patio garden for this recipe. It tastes a lot different than regular basil, more of an anise or black-licorice taste but still delicious (I'm not a black-licorice fan either). I omitted pepper flakes--'cause I haven't bought them yet--and used fresh course-ground black pepper instead.
"A deceptively simple yet delicious eggplant recipe for vegetarian Thai-style eggplant spiced with cayenne pepper and flavored with basil. It may seem like you're chopping up a lot of basil, but don't be afraid to add it all in, because the cayenne and basil really combine to create a unique spicy Thai flavor. If you like eggplant, you'll love this vegetarian Thai basil eggplant recipe. Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 eggplant, chopped 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes 2 tbsp soy sauce 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped Preparation: Sautee the garlic in olive oil for about 2 minutes. Add eggplant, soy sauce and red pepper flakes and allow to cook for 3 to 5 more minutes. Add the basil, stirring well, and cook for another minute, or until eggplant is done."