Dragon Fruit Shrimp & Forbidden Rice

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dragon fruit rice boats

What’s Up, Hungry People

A few weeks ago, the challenge was “black and white”—and because of all the Valentine’s recipes I had on deck to post that week, this challenge was lost in the shuffle. But no worries, at (now over) 110 consecutive weeks, I still completed it within the time frame, so it counts!

dragon fruit recipe with shrimp

Plus, the weekend before, I went to Jungle Jim’s so I had a lot of new and unusual ingredients to play with—notably in this recipe, dragon fruit and forbidden rice, which both fit the bill for the black and white theme.

ingredients for dragon fruit recipes

Here’s What You Need

  • Dragon fruit: Adds a unique, mildly sweet flavor and vibrant color to the dish.
  • Shrimp: Provides a lean source of protein and a tender texture that absorbs the marinade flavors.
  • Orange juice: Used in the marinade for acidity and sweetness, enhancing the shrimp’s flavor.
  • Hot honey: Adds a spicy-sweet kick to the marinade, balancing the citrus notes.
  • Lime juice: Brings a fresh, zesty flavor to the marinade, cutting through the sweetness.
  • Forbidden rice: Offers a nutty flavor and striking color contrast, plus it’s rich in antioxidants.
white and black dragon fruit flesh

More About Dragonfruit

This exotic fruit isn’t just a pretty face; it’s packed with some pretty cool facts that might just make you see it in a whole new light.

  1. It’s a Night Owl – Believe it or not, dragon fruit flowers bloom overnight and are usually wilted by the morning. They’re like the Cinderellas of the plant world, making their magic happen under the moonlight.
  2. Fire-Breathing Name, Not Taste – Despite its fiery name, dragon fruit is surprisingly mild in taste. Think of it as a mix between a kiwi and a pear, with a subtle sweetness that’s anything but overwhelming.
  3. Packed with Goodness – This fruit is more than just a pretty face; it’s a powerhouse of nutrients. High in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, dragon fruit can boost your immune system and may even help lower blood sugar levels.
  4. A Plant of Many Names – Dragon fruit is also known by some pretty exotic names, including pitaya and strawberry pear. So, if you see these names pop up at your local market, you’re still in the right place.
  5. Not Just Pink on the Outside – While we’re used to the vibrant pink-skinned variety, dragon fruit can also rock a yellow exterior. Inside, they can be white or red, each with its own slightly different flavor profile.
scooped out dragon fruit

I’d say it’s closer to a ‘generic fruitiness’ more than anything, where it’s subtly sweet and slightly crisp like watermelon. In this recipe, it pairs really well with the forbidden rice which has a much more ‘grain-y’ and savory flavor.

dragon fruit with lime

Let’s Cook

First off, let’s whisk together our orange juice, hot honey, and lime juice in a bowl. This mix is going to be our secret weapon. Toss those raw shrimp in, and let them soak up all that goodness for at least an hour. The longer, the better, because we want every bite to be bursting with flavor.

simmering shrimp in orange sauce

Rice, Rice, Baby

Now, onto the forbidden rice. Give it a good rinse until the water’s clear—trust me, it makes a difference. Then, it’s just rice and water in a pan. Cover it, bring it to a boil, then simmer on low for about 20 minutes. You’re aiming for that gorgeous purple-black hue that makes this dish a feast for the eyes.

shrimp with forbidden rice

Dragon Fruit Boats

While the rice is doing its thing, let’s tackle the dragon fruit. Slice it in half and carve it up like you’re making little fruit cubes. Scoop them out and voila, you’ve got dragon fruit boats ready to sail into your dish. Save half for the recipe and the other half for a snack—because why not?

Shrimp Time

Heat up a skillet and get those marinated shrimp in there. We’re looking for a nice pink color and that perfect cook—should take about 3-5 minutes. Flip them occasionally to get them cooked evenly on all sides.

Sauce It Up

Don’t toss that marinade! Bring it to a boil and let it simmer until it thickens up. This is going to be your flavor-packed sauce that ties the whole dish together.

Bringing It All Together

Mix that shrimp and reduced marinade into your cooked rice, then gently fold in the dragon fruit. Whether you serve it warm or cold, it’s going to be a hit.

forbidden rice and shrimp dragon fruit boats

Dragon Fruit Shrimp & Forbidden Rice Tips

  • Choosing the Right Shrimp: Look for fresh or frozen shrimp that’s already been cleaned to save you time and effort. Fresh shrimp should smell like the sea, not fishy.
  • Marinating the Shrimp: If you can, let the shrimp marinate overnight. The longer they soak, the more flavorful they’ll be. Just make sure to keep them refrigerated.
  • Cooking Forbidden Rice: Forbidden rice takes a bit longer to cook than white rice, so don’t rush it. Ensure it’s tender and all the water is absorbed before fluffing it with a fork.
  • Working with Dragon Fruit: If you’re new to dragon fruit, don’t be intimidated. It’s easy to cut and scoop out. Plus, it’s a great way to add a splash of color and a burst of mild sweetness to your dishes.
  • Adjusting the Spice Level: The hot honey is the wildcard here. Start with a little and taste as you go. You can always add more, but you can’t take it back once it’s in there.
  • Serving Suggestions: This dish is versatile. Serve it warm for a cozy meal or cold for a refreshing lunch. Either way, it’s delicious and will impress with its unique flavor combo and vibrant presentation.
shrimp and dragon fruit recipe with black rice

So, there you have it, Hungry People—the dragon fruit shrimp & forbidden rice recipe that’s bound to shake things up in your kitchen. This dish isn’t just about throwing ingredients together; it’s about creating something unexpected and entirely delicious. Whether you’re looking to impress your dinner guests or just spice up your meal prep routine, this recipe has got you covered. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to brag about making a dish as cool-looking as this? Give it a try, and who knows, it might just become your new go-to. Enjoy!

dragon fruit rice boats

Dragon Fruit Shrimp & Forbidden Rice

The Starving Chef
Savor the unique blend of sweet dragon fruit and savory shrimp served with nutty forbidden rice in this exotic dish.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Fruit, Healthy
Servings 2


  • 1 cup dragon fruit cubed
  • 16 oz shrimp peeled
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup hot honey
  • 1 lime juice
  • 1 cup forbidden rice cooked according to package


  • Whisk together the orange juice, hot honey, and lime juice. Add the raw, peeled shrimp to the marinade and let soak for at least one hour.
  • While the shrimp is marinating, wash the rice until the water runs clear. Add the rice and water to a pan, cover, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low and leave covered for twenty minutes.
  • Cut the dragon fruit in half. Make horizontal and vertical slices into the flesh of the fruit, then use a spoon to scoop out the cubes. Reserve half (about 1 cup) to use in the recipe and save the other half to enjoy on its own.
  • Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in the shrimp and all of the marinade. Cook the shrimp until pink and cooked through, about 3-5 minutes, flipping occasionally.
  • Remove the shrimp from the pan and bring the remaining marinade to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer for about ten minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half.
  • Stir the shrimp and sauce into the cooked rice. Fold in the dragon fruit. Serve warm right away or chill to enjoy cold.
Keyword dragon fruit, honey, rice, shrimp
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!