Tropical Fruit Salad with Coconut Dressing

It was a recipe chance encounter which happened while I was searching for Indonesian recipes. I told myself I should broaden my horizon and delve more into Asian cuisine. I wasn’t even thinking of desserts but was somehow directed to a Food Network recipe for tropical fruit salad.

The recipe seems promising; an assembly of tropical fruits with coconut milk dressing - something I haven’t made ever! And since it was not on my to-do list for the day, I don’t have all the ingredients on hand so I had to make do with what I have. Well I have all the fruits (almost) save for the fresh pineapple and litchi so I used the canned ones.

When I saw lime juice and zest in the ingredient list, I was curious how it will turn out. For someone used to whipping cream or crème fraiche, this is different. But the rich coconut milk just complements the various fruit flavors- sweet, tangy, fresh and then lime juice and lime zest served as a break from the richness of the coconut milk. It gave the salad that delicious pop. And the licorice-y hint from the star anise added another flavor to the dressing. I mean, it was there not to steal the scene but to join the party.

Taste wise, my family loved it- I love it! This is something I will share with my friends just because food is for sharing and to prove something ha ha ha.

Here’s how I made it:
Tropical Fruit Salad with Coconut Dressing
adapted here:


1/2 cup coconut milk
juice of 2 limes, plus 1 tbsp lime zest
2 tbsp caster sugar
3 star anise
1 can litchi- drained and halved
2 cups pineapple chunks
2 cups cubed honeydew melon
2 cups cubed cantaloupe
2 cups cubed ripe papaya
2 cups ripe mango cubes

1. Whisk the coconut milk, lime juice, lime zest, sugar, star anise, and salt together in a large bowl.
2. Add the litchi, pineapple, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, papaya, and mangos. Gently toss to coat in the coconut milk dressing. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour or longer before serving. Prior to serving, remove the star anise and reserve for serving. Transfer the fruit salad to a serving platter or glasses. Top with the reserved star anise and serve.


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