Dragon Fruit Shrimp & Forbidden Rice

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dragon fruit rice boats

A few weeks ago, the challenge was “black and white” – and because of all of 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 therefore it counts!

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.

If you’ve never chopped open a dragon fruit before, you might be surprised to find they are pure white on the inside with tiny black seeds.

They are similar to a kiwi crossed with a melon in texture, with a slight melon-y taste that some compare to bubblegum. Another really cool thing about dragon fruit is that it is solid all the way through, which makes it super easy to cut. I used the same method I’d use to cut an avocado: made horizontal and vertical cuts to the skin then used a spoon to scoop it all out. That’s how I ended up with these neat looking ‘dragon fruit boats.’

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.

Because, of course, I love playing with sweet and savory flavors, I decided to toss some shrimp in a light orange marinade. I made a simple marinade of orange juice and a spicy honey (that I LOVE) and a touch of lime.

The rice is cooked similarly to a basmanti rice – the water turns black so it’s not hard to see when it’s ready because when a majority of the water has evaporated, you’re left with a purple-ish black-ish rice.

To help boost the flavor of this recipe, once I cooked the shrimp, I let the remaining marinade cook down until it was syrupy then I stirred it into the rice along with the shrimp and dragon fruit.

It may sound like an unusual combination, but I promise, it was strangely delicious and left me craving more! I ate all the leftover dragon fruit for breakfast the next day, and actually enjoyed the leftover rice and shrimp cold! It made for a great refreshing lunch.

dragon fruit rice boats

Dragon Fruit Shrimp & Forbidden Rice

The Starving Chef
Dragon fruit are are similar to a kiwi crossed with a melon in texture, with a slight melon-y taste that some compare to bubblegum.
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, spicy honey and lime juice. Add the raw, peeled shrimp to the marinate and let soak for at least one hour.
  • While the shrimp marinates, 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 rice. Fold in the dragon fruit. Serve warm right away or chill to enjoy cold.
Keyword dragon fruit, honey, rice, shrimp
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