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Rambutan Fruit Nutrition Facts and Recipes

Rambutan: is it a hairy strawberry or a lychee fruit?

Rambutan: is it a hairy strawberry or a lychee fruit?

A hairy strawberry or chestnut was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the rambutan fruit.

I had never seen it, tried it or heard of it before. Some of the fruits that I now enjoy whenever I can get them and previously was unaware of are Fuchsia Fruit and Sabras Cactus Fruit.

This little fruit is native to Malaysia, and Indonesia and growing in popularity throughout the world. It is now widely grown in India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand followed by Australia and Hawaii.

There are very few places that don’t import it now thanks to worldwide travel and demand.

With more and more people being adventurous in both visiting countries and trying exotic dishes, this has all helped to highlight the unusual rambutan fruit which is classed as one of the most exotic fruits in the world today.

About the Fruit

The name rambutan stems from the Malaysian word for hair “rambut” and it certainly was a wisely chosen one.

The fruit grows on the rambutan tree which may grow up to 12 m high and is commonly grown in gardens throughout Asia and Indonesia.

The round or oval fruit varies considerably and may be yellow-green, pink or red and is approximately 1-2 inches long.

This fruit tree has two harvesting times a year, end of June to August and again in December/January.

Closely linked to the lychee fruit, rambutan fruit has a soft pliable outer shell covered in hairy bristle like spikes.

First impressions are that it is bigger than a lychee but once the outer shell is removed, the fruit is in fact smaller in size.

A soft, juicy milky-white fleshy fruit, translucent and grape like in texture, it has a slightly more acidic taste than that of a lychee or Chinese gooseberry as it is also known as.

Yellow Skinned Rambutan

Yellow Skinned Rambutan

Nutritional Value

Rambutan fruit are low in calories with an average fruit containing 59 calories.

Extremely low in fat they contain a small amount of protein with the majority of calories coming from carbohydrates.

This soft little fruit is rich in vitamin C. A 100g serving of rambutan will equate to 40% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C making it a great addition and boost to your daily diet.

It is also a source of niacin (B3), iron, phosphorus, calcium and fibre.

Uses

The fruit is best eaten raw and does not have a long shelf life, and this may vary from a day or two up to a week.

If you want to extend this life, place this fruit into a perforated bag and keep it in the fridge.

To open the fruit follow this easy video which shows how to cut around the outer shell easily with a knife and pop out the fleshy rambutan.

Rambutan fruit may be used in many dishes and drinks.

A tropical fruit salad, smoothies, cocktails, deserts, yogurts, jams, jellies, chutney, syrups, soup and salsa are some of the ways to use this fragile little fruit.

You could confidently substitute it in most lychee recipes for something different such as a stir-fry or savory dish.

How to Eat

Salad With Rabutan

Cucumber, broccoli, tomato, yellow pepper and rabutan fruit (the white grape like balls).

Cucumber, broccoli, tomato, yellow pepper and rabutan fruit (the white grape like balls).

Vietnams Cai Be Floating Market

selling the rambutan fruit amongst the various boats, all swapping locally grown fruits and vegetables.

selling the rambutan fruit amongst the various boats, all swapping locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Recipes

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

Question: Can rambutan be grown in the USA?

Answer: It will depend on your location as rambutan loves heat and humidity, and are sensitive to temperature drops. Here is a good link regarding this subject that should prove useful: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/ram... My philosophy is why not give it a go? You've got nothing to lose!

© 2013 Suzanne Ridgeway

Comments

Willie King on June 16, 2020:

Are the skin and hairy outer shell and seeds of rambutan edible?

Kristina on August 11, 2018:

They are like a grape texture really good

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on August 02, 2015:

I never heard of them either. But I would love to try them, if they're available in my neck of the woods. Voted up for interesting!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on March 12, 2013:

Hi Faith,

Many thanks for visiting here, lovely to see you! What a wonderful thing you are doing by sponsoring a child. Rambutan sure are different but if you like Lychee fruit I am sure you would enjoy it. Many thanks for your input!

Faith A Mullen on March 12, 2013:

I learned about rambutan through a girl I sponsor in Thailand through Compassion International. Such a strange looking fruit! I would love to try one some time, but I am afraid the texture would bother me.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on March 06, 2013:

Hi teaches,

They should be available in Asian markets and maybe some good supermarkets will import them. It is so interesting hearing about these and other delights that for one person grow in abundance in their garden whilst for other's, they never heard of it or it is not native or grown in their country. So many great fruits, nuts etc. . . .are not grown here with our climate. Cheers for your input and support as always!

Dianna Mendez on March 05, 2013:

Love learning new things and this one is no exception on the educational interest for me. What a wonderful fruit. I wonder if it is available in the US? Would love to try it. Thanks for the information. Well done post!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on March 03, 2013:

Hi Glimmer Twin Fan,

Many thanks for visit and commenting. You may find them in an Asian market. They are not easily accessed here either!

Claudia Mitchell on March 03, 2013:

What an interesting fruit. I wish we could get more exotic fruits here in NW Pennsylvania.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on March 03, 2013:

Lucky you PaoloJpm, continue to enjoy your Rambutan tree!

John Paolo B.Magdaluyo from Philippine on March 02, 2013:

glad to be here. yes I loved it when it starts to fruit I'll just pick it up with my own hands

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on March 02, 2013:

Hi PaoloJpm,

Appreciate your visit and comment. Lucky you growing this fruit beside your house!

John Paolo B.Magdaluyo from Philippine on March 02, 2013:

I love that fruit. We have a tree just besides our house here in the Philippines. Truly great fruit

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on March 01, 2013:

Hi Thelma,

it is funny how things happen, you see something and then I write about it! Glad it provided you with some info that has been helpful. Lucky you being able to go to the market and buy some now! i will be thinking of you tomorrow buying Rambutan! Appreciate your votes and shares here, enjoy your market visit :-)

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on March 01, 2013:

Hi brownella,

Many thanks for your visit. Great that you experienced this fruit in one of the largest producing countries of it. It is great to experience different foods when abroad and take advantage of the local favorites. many thanks for your input and comments!

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on March 01, 2013:

I have seen Rambutan fruits in the open market last sunday here in our town in the Philippines. When I saw it, I just thought about it´s health benefits. What benefits I can get from eating them. Now you write about it and it´s great to know. I´ll be buying this fruit next sunday. It´s delicious. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and shared.

brownella from New England on March 01, 2013:

Great hub. I tried rambutan last year in Thailand - very distinct taste. There is such amazing diversity of food, it's nice to be reminded of it. Thanks.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on March 01, 2013:

Hi Ruchira,

Many thanks for popping by! Glad you found informative and have tried this fruit. Many thanks for votes here, have a great weekend!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on March 01, 2013:

Hi CASE1WORKER,

What a lovely story! Singapore I have had the pleasure of visiting and saw the new year in there back in 1988 approximately. A gorgeous place I remember so well. I know Rambutan are available in some places in the UK so hopefully you will be able to sample them once more and your children can taste them. Delighted this brought back good memories for you! Thanks for stopping by!!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on March 01, 2013:

Hi Peggy,

Many thanks my friend for checking this out. Here too it is not commonly found either. i was intrigued by their appearance and really likened them to hairy strawberries! They are very similar to the Lychee so hopefully you will track some down! Maybe the Asian markets or if you have a local Chinese or Malaysian restaurant, they may provide info on where to find them. Many thanks for your votes and share, much appreciated as always!

Ruchira from United States on March 01, 2013:

I have tried this fruit and it is so sweet.

We get it in Asian markets. Great informational hub :) many votes ++

CASE1WORKER from UNITED KINGDOM on March 01, 2013:

Oh my you have brought my child hood back to me- We lived in Singapore and I can remember the large bunch of Rambutan every so often and the way we used to peel them and eat them. I have just shown my children your photos and they think it looks odd- oh they don't know what they missed- thank you for a real treat and a trip down memory lane

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 01, 2013:

Hi Suzie,

I have never noticed Rambutan fruits for sale in grocery stores. Will have to keep an eye out for them in some of the stores that specialize in more exotic foods. I would certainly enjoy tasting them. They are beautiful on the tree judging from the photo. Thanks for this most interesting hub. Voted UUI and will share.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 28, 2013:

Hi Om,

Great to hear about how you used to see Rambutan everywhere! Maybe you will try them again and find you do enjoy them after all! Many thanks for your support here, appreciate your votes greatly!

Om Paramapoonya on February 28, 2013:

I grew up in Thailand where rambutans were sold in pretty much every grocery store and supermarket. As a child, I didn't really like them. But now living in the U.S., I kind of miss them! Thanks for this lovely hub, Suzie. Rated up and awesome.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 27, 2013:

Hi unknown spy,

Thanks for your visit. How interesting you grew up with this fruit in the backyard, something we in Ireland don't have. Appreciate your interest!

Life Under Construction from Neverland on February 26, 2013:

The cheerleader's pompom fruit! We used to have these fruit planted on our backyard. They are really tasty and sweet. so love this fruit.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 26, 2013:

Hi truthfornow,

I am sure you will enjoy this fruit if you get the opportunity to try it! Appreciate your visit and comment! :-)

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on February 25, 2013:

I was a little weary of trying this fruit when I saw it. Thanks for breaking it all down.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 25, 2013:

Hi J.S Matthews,

Lovely to see you here and many thanks for commenting. Good to see you are familiar with these unusual fruits that are exactly like a grape when peeled. Thanks for your lovely comment, much appreciated as are your votes and share.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 25, 2013:

Hi anginwu,

Good to see you and hear of your familiarity with Ranbutan fruit. They certainly look so unusual with their hairy spines and are so different when opened up. Good to hear you enjoyed this and appreciate your votes greatly!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 25, 2013:

Hi Rachel,

Thanks so much for stopping by! Yes it is rather cute and different looking and something that is not too common over here, that's for sure. Glad you enjoyed this!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 25, 2013:

Hi rajan,

Yes the Rambutan fruit is similar to lychee and may be used instead of lychee in recipes. It is sweet and tasty with many benefits. Glad you found this useful and many thanks for your votes my friend. Always a pleasure to welcome you here.

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on February 25, 2013:

I love Rambutan! We get them at the Asian Store and they really remind me of grapes without the skin. Awesome information here. I learned a lot about the nutritional value of these delicious fruits. Thank you. Up+ and shared...

JSMatthew~

anglnwu on February 25, 2013:

I'm familiar with this fruit as Singapore is just south of Malaysia and we do get them when they're in season. It's very juicy and getting to the flesh can be a challenge to those not accustomed to eating it. Interesting hub and rated up.

Jill Spencer from United States on February 25, 2013:

This may be the cutest fruit in the world! Thanks for teaching me about it.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 25, 2013:

Suzie, I've never heard of this fruit but it appears very similar to lychee in its color and look, when the outer skin is off. I wonder if it tastes like lychee as well.

Thanks for introducing us to this fruit.

Voted up, interesting and shared.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 23, 2013:

Hi Prasetio,

Lovely to have you visit again. Glad this was something you are familiar with and enjoy.Appreciate your support and votes as always.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on February 23, 2013:

Hi, Suzie. Good to see you here. I am glad you wrote about the fruit from my country. Of course, we can easily find it at this month with the cheaper price of course. Juicy and sweet, sometimes sour. Thanks for writing. My friend, you have done a good job by share this hub with others. Voted up and God bless you :-)

Prasetio

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 23, 2013:

Hi Carol,

Thanks for visiting. It seems to be a fruit many are not familiar with as I wasn't. You may find it in Asian food markets as opposed to regular supermarkets. Cheers for your votes and pin!!

carol stanley from Arizona on February 23, 2013:

Never heard of it but I am always willing to try something new. A hairy fruit..oh well.. I will ask for it at the grocery store next time I go..Great hub..VOte UP and pinning.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 23, 2013:

Hi apimentel33,

Great to hear you know of it and have tried it. Appreciate you visiting and for your comments!

apimentel33 on February 23, 2013:

I got to try a rambutan while I was working at a Whole Foods Market. It's definitely interesting but wasn't exactly my cup of tea... very jelly-like with a very hard seed in the middle. I'm glad I can at least say I've tried one! :)

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 23, 2013:

Hi torri lynn,

So glad you found this interesting many thanks for visit, commenting and votes - all of which I appreciate greatly!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 23, 2013:

Hi Daisy,

Terrific to see you. So glad you found something new in this fruit. It certainly is not a common one here and is imported at a price. Very like lychee in appearance, keep an eye out in Asian markets if you can't find. many thanks for your interest!

torrilynn on February 23, 2013:

suzie, nice hub you have here about rambutan fruit. i never even heard of this fruit but i do like the fact that they have nutritional benefits and the fact you included recipes was a great idea. thanks for your article. voted up.

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on February 23, 2013:

Suzanne,

What a fascinating article! I especially enjoy reading Hubs in which I learn something new.

I had never heard of Rambutan fruit until I read your Hub. It certainly does look like lychee.

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 23, 2013:

Hi Bill,

Not a fruit person Bill?? You bad man, but then I knew that ! LOL Many thanks for dropping in my friend, and thanks for your link I have also linked you back in my 2 hubs. Have a good one hun!!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 23, 2013:

Hi greatstuff,

Many thanks for your additional information on the Rambutan fruit. Very much appreciate your input on this as it is a fruit you know well. Much gratitude and appreciation!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 23, 2013:

Hi Bill,

Many thanks my friend. Glad you found a new fruit here as it certainly is a gem. Appreciate your votes, shares Bill as always. Have a great weekend! By the way congrats on the year on HP!! Noticed it only today on your profile, what a journey we have had and your work is a great tribute to your talent. No doubt you will be even more successful in the next year and more!

Suzanne Ridgeway (author) from Dublin, Ireland on February 23, 2013:

Hi Kathryn,

Many thanks for dropping by! Glad you found this useful and appreciate your comments!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 23, 2013:

Yep, I don't do fruit. LOL Hey, I just wanted to let you know I linked you on my hub today. Anything for my dear friend from Ireland.

Have a great weekend!

Mazlan from Malaysia on February 23, 2013:

Actually, rambutan can stay fresh longer than 2-3 days, extending to even a week without refrigeration. The skin might be drier but the flesh is still good. I normally open rambutan fruit bare-hand and I believe that is the common practice by many in my country as well as in neighboring countries. Some may give the skin a small bite, then use finger to split the skin open. Rambutan taste great, has many benefits - among which are improving male fertility, and help prevent cancer.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on February 23, 2013:

Hey Suzie. Have never heard of or seen the Rambutan Fruit. Very interesting. Looks tasty. Thanks for introducing this to us. I'll have to keep an eye out for it in my travels. Voting up and sharing this. I think will find this interesting.

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on February 23, 2013:

I have never heard of them, so this is a very interesting read! I was surprised at their appearance underneath the spiky shell.

Thanks for sharing this with us.