Keiki in the Kitchen: Rising Stars

It’s tasty raw, right off the tree. But three recipes make star fruit really shine in snacks, sips and desserts.

Photos: Karen DB Photography 

You probably know chef Mark Noguchi for his nationally recognized, locally sourced dishes served at places such as Heeia Pier, TASTE and MISSION Social Café and Mission Hall. But, at home, it’s wife Amanda Corby Noguchi who usually calls the shots in their kitchen. The busy duo—Corby Noguchi owns public relations and events company Under My Umbrella Inc.—are not only co-founders of the Pili Group, they are parents of two little girls. For them, cooking is a family affair that they began passing down to their first daughter, Elee, when she was just a few months old.

“I found that cooking was entertaining for her,” Corby Noguchi said. “I would put her in the Bumbo (seat), cook, slice and talk to her.” When Elee got older, Corby Noguchi would give her a raw carrot or herbs, such as cilantro and parsley, to play with and taste during mealtime prep. Now a vivacious 2-year-old, Elee helps out even more, especially now that it’s 6-month-old sister Frankee’s turn in the baby seat.

Every moment together is valuable for this active family. Between Corby Noguchi’s business, Noguchi’s schedule at their restaurant MISSION and LunchBox at Hawaiian Airlines headquarters, and their work promoting and educating people about Hawaii’s resources through food, they’re always on the go. On Sundays, however, both commit to shutting down work and focusing on their family. The mornings are usually spent at the beach. In the evening, they cook dinner together, a meal Noguchi plans and looks forward to all week. 

Corby Noguchi and Noguchi share a passion for improving their community and preserving local ingredients. So when we asked the chef to share recipes using Hawaii produce, he selected one of his wife and daughter’s favorites—star fruit.

Corby Noguchi and Elee love snacking on raw slices or eating it dried as fruit leather.  But when Noguchi blended up lemonade, baked it into bread and sliced it into salsa, our kid testers (and their parents) downed every dish without complaint.

Star Fruit Lemonade

By Chef Mark Noguchi 

Tart and sweet, this refreshing blend kept our kid testers sipping nonstop.

Chef tip: Don’t have a juicer? Make star fruit juice by chopping up three to four star fruit, adding ¼ cup water, putting it through a blender and straining out the pulp.

INGREDIENTS 

3 cups lemon juice
• 3/4 cup honey

• 1 cup sugar

• 9  1/2 cups water

• 1 cup star fruit juice

• Star fruit slices for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Mix lemon juice, honey and sugar until sugar dissolves.

2. Add water. 

3. Stir star fruit juice into mixture.

4. Chill, then serve garnished with sliced fruit. 

Star fruit, or carambola, its scientific name, is one of the lowest calorie tropical fruits. It is also a good source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. According to the University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Carambola is most widely available in the Islands from September through April.

Cranberry Star Fruit Salsa 

By Chef Mark Noguchi

Chef tip: Swap potato chips for taro chips and you’ll serve up an extra dose of fiber and Vitamin E.

Chips and dip get an upgrade with a salsa that’s a little tart, a little sweet, with just a hint of kid-friendly heat. 

INGREDIENTS

•  1 package fresh cranberries, finely chopped
• 1 large Granny Smith apple

• 1 red onion, chopped

• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

• 3 to 4 ripe star fruit, chopped

• 3/4 cup sugar 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Throw ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until combined.

2. Stir in sugar.

3. Chill for 24 hours before serving.

Star Fruit Apple Banana Bread 

Chef tip: Use the batter to make cupcakes, each topped with a star fruit slice for ready-to-eat, kid-size servings.

Baking brings out star fruit’s sweetness and gives it an apple like texture in this rich, moist bread.

INGREDIENTS 

• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 3/4 cup sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 2 teaspoons baking powder

•  1/3 cup vegetable oil

•  1 egg

• 1/3 cup milk

•  1/2 cup star fruit, chopped

•   1/3 cup apple banana, mashed

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10-inch cake pan with cooking spray.

2. Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

3. Measure vegetable oil into a one-cup measuring cup. Add egg and enough milk to fill the cup.

4. Mix liquid into flour mixture.

5. Fold in fruit.

6. Pour mixture into pan. Top with sliced star fruit and bake, rotating pan every 15 minutes. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Want More Kid-Friendly Recipes? 

Start at honolulufamily.com/keikiinthekitchen for more local chef recipes including:

  • Spaghetti tacos
  • Chocolate pasta
  • Strawberry shortcake in a jar
  • Summer rolls with peanut sauce
  • Turkey-dog sushi
  • Strawberry and kale smoothie 

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