You can never go wrong with a bowl of fresh fruit. Spicy Fruit Salad adds just a hint of spice and seasoning to improve even the best fruit at the market. Perfect for your next cook-out.
It’s too hot to cook and I’ve heard that you should eat spicy food when it’s hot outside, so this spicy fruit salad was just what we needed. Of course fruit is great all by itself, but when you add this unusual syrup, it makes it exotic. Completely different than the tequila lime dressing I typically add to fruit.
A perfect choice if you’re bringing a salad to a pot luck or cook out and want something a little different that compliments almost any fruit that you have on hand.
I’ve only used star anise in a brine and wasn’t sure how it would work with fruit. I thought it added just a hint of flavor without taking anything away from the fruit itself. If you don’t have star anise and sill want the slightly licorice flavor, add Asian five spice powder instead.
What is star anise
Star anise is a star shaped seed pod from an evergreen shrub grown in Vietnam and Southwest China. It has a sweet licorice type flavor and is found in Asian five spice powder. You can use this in soups and savory dishes, it’s the licorice flavor in Sambuca. It can be pretty potent, so start with just one pod.
What you’ll need
- 6 cups of fruit in whatever combination you like – peaches, strawberries, cherries, blackberries, blueberries, kiwi. The softer fruits like peaches and strawberries will absorb the flavor, while the firmer fruits like blueberries will not be as potent. It’s ice to have a mixture.
- Star anise or Asian five spice powder
- A pepper – the type depends on how spicy you want the salad. For just a hit of spice, use a jalapeno.
- Just a little sugar.
How do you make a spicy fruit salad
Step 1: Bring ⅓ cup of sugar and water to a boil along with a pepper and star anise until it becomes slightly thick and syrupy.
Step 2: Strain the syrup and let it cool slightly then pour over a mixture of fresh fruit.
When making this fresh fruit salad, you can use any type of pepper you prefer, sarrano or jalapeno are the easiest to find around here. The heat from the pepper is tempered by the fruit. We all loved the touch of spice it added. Mike and I really enjoyed the flavor from star anise, but Natalie was not a fan. If you don’t care for licorce, the five spice mixture is not quite as potent.
With all the fresh fruit available right now, experiment with this spicy fruit salad, it may turn out to be a family favorite.
Don’t want spicy, try these salads
- Burrata and oranges
- Honey lime salad
- Tequila glazed salad
- Apple Waldorf salad
- Cucumber and corn
- Broccoli with bacon
- Spinach and strawberries
- Corn and blueberry
- Mozzarella and peaches
- Peach coleslaw
Adapted from Melissa Clark, NY Times
Spicy Fruit Salad
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 serrano chile/ jalapeno pepper halved
- 1 dried star anise whole
- 6 cups mixed cut fruit peaches, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries etc
- Place sugar, ¾ cup water, pepper and star anise in a a small pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until slightly thick. Strain and reserve for salad.
- Toss fruit with syrup adding as much as desired.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Substitute ½ teaspoon of Asian 5 spice for star anise
- Try to use a mixture of different textured fruits. The softer fruit like peaches and kiwi will absorb the flavors more than the harder fruits like cherries and blueberries.
- This is best eaten within a couple hours of preparing, after that some of the fruit will start to get soggy.
If you make this recipe be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I would love to see your creation.