How to Cut a Dragon Fruit in 3 Easy Steps

Bianca Piazza - Author

Dec. 1 2023, Published 11:23 a.m. ET

Photo of five dragon fruits on a light teal wooden surface
Source: iStock

The Gist:

  • Pitaya, or dragon fruit, is loved for its beautiful colors, antioxidants, and mild sweetness.
  • Dragon fruits look intimidating, but they're fairly easy to cut.
  • After cutting the fruit down the middle, you'll want to separate the skin from the edible flesh.
  • Cut the flesh in a desirable fashion and save the skin for plating purposes.
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Not only is the pitaya (Hylocereus spp.) fruit — aka dragon fruit — a low-calorie, high-fiber treat, but it's gorgeous. The common pitaya blanca exudes Barbie on the outside, and a cookies and cream hue on the inside. The pitaya amarilla stands out from the rest with its yellow skin and super sweet white flesh. Meanwhile, the more expensive pitaya roja is known for its mild, antioxidant-rich neon magenta flesh, according to author, chef, and influencer My Nguyen.

Today, the climbing cactus vine fruit is primarily grown in Asia, Mexico, South America, and Central America — the latter of which being its likely native region, as per Singapore's National Library Board.

Whether you're making a sweet 'n savory salsa, a smoothie, or eating it alone, dragon fruit is a wonderful addition to any diet, as WebMD relayed it provides vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Approaching the spiky fruit can be intimidating, so we're here to guide you newbs. It's time for Cutting a Dragon Fruit 101.

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Photo of dragon fruit growing on a cactus plant
Source: iStock

How do you know if a dragon fruit is ripe?

First, you'll want to pick the perfect pitaya. According to Running to the Kitchen, keep your eyes peeled for a smooth, bright, even-colored fruit — no wrinkles! Additionally, the fruit should feel not too firm, but not too soft. Similarly to a ripe avocado, the leafy skin should have a bit of give to it upon pressing with a thumb.

Now that you've hand-picked a winner, let's slice her open!

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What is the easiest way to cut a dragon fruit? Step 1 is simple.

According to Real Simple, cutting a dragon fruit is a piece of cake. (We wish we could say the same for cutting a spaghetti squash.)

You'll want to start by laying the washed fruit on a cutting board and slicing it length-wise down the center. Feel Good Foodie recommends using a chef's knife for this.

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Step 2: Grab a spoon.

Once you have two halves, grab a regular ol' spoon. Run the spoon along the line where the flesh meets the outer layer, separating the meat from the skin, so to speak.

And while Real Simple wrote that you can technically peel the inedible outer layer off with a knife, you risk destroying the aesthetically pleasing skin, which is perfect for plating.

Step 3: Ball, slice, or cube the flesh.

From here, it's super simple. You can slice the flesh like you would an apple, ball it like you would a melon, or cube it for the almighty NutriBullet!

If you're not going to eat the prepared fruit in one sitting, Edible Arrangements recommending storing the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will only stay fresh for a few days.

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Meanwhile, uncut dragon fruit stored in a room temperature space is good for about three days. If it's refrigerated in a sealed container, it's good for up to two weeks, as per The Produce Moms.

Of course, you can purchase already sliced or cubed dragon fruit, but it'll ultimately be more expensive and less eco-friendly. That being said, precut fruit is sometimes necessary for individuals with certain disabilities or reduced mobility.

And if you're looking for a final step, here it is: Enjoy!

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