How to Prepare and Eat a Rambutan Fruit

One of the pleasures we are enjoying during our extended time in Hawaii is getting to know some of the exotic fruits that are relatively common here, but quite difficult to find on the mainland. And the rambutan is just such an exotic fruit.

Bright red and weirdly hairy-looking (the word "rambutan" actually means hairy in the Malay and Indonesian languages), and with a tangy and delicious center, this fruit is delectable!

We picked up a bag of these in Honolulu's Chinatown district, possibly the best place on the entire island of Oahu to get reasonably priced fruits and veggies of any kind.

And of course, never having even seen a rambutan before, we had to be taught how to eat it. And my lesson was given to me by the 13-year old daughter of a local friend here on Oahu.

First, cut around the middle of the fruit with a knife. Don't cut too deeply. You only want to run the knife through the hairy outer shell, which is just a few millimeters thick.

Then, peel back the husk....

...and gently pull out the inner fruit.

You'll want to have a paper towel handy--the inner fruit can be quite juicy and drippy. And bite into it a bit carefully, there's a hard seed in the very center!

This is a fruit your whole family will enjoy.

And after you're done eating a bunch of these fruits, your plate will look like it's littered with the bodies of alien life forms.

This post is gratefully dedicated to the Lem-Tafoya Family.

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Koh Samui Sunset said...

Hi Daniel! We love rambutans in Thailand, too - although we're really spoilt for choice with fruit. Have you tried the (somewhat less ornate) longan and lychee? They're different beasts when fresh.

How about trying a dragon fruit? We're trying to grow our own from scratch.... it's a labour of deranged love.

Love the blog & love trying new things - keep it up!

Astra Libris said...

Such gorgeous photographs!! Reminds me of my new-fruit-trying days when I was visiting my uncle in Hawaii - ah, you make me miss it! :-)

Mandira said...

LOL, it does look like a plate full of alien bodies. Though I haven't eaten it, it looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

oh! these are delicious, as well as dragon fruit of south america, starfruit of Indonesia and Sri Lanka, and Jackfruit of the Philippines. :P I love all fruits! ^-^ my favorite would have to be the less exotic kiwi from New Zealand though! xD

chow and chatter said...

oh this is a fun post love these things Rebecca

Anna said...

Wow, that is one funky looking fruit! The inside looks like a lychee, I wonder if they're related. I love lychees so I'm sure rambutans are great. Can't wait to go to Hawaii one day, I will be sure to try to find some rambutans!

Anonymous said...

Rambutan is a delightful relative of the lychee family. I find the firm flesh and refreshing flavor similar to the lychee with a just faint hint of coconut. The fresh fruit is locally available during August. I look for fruit with a trace of yellowing and no blackening around the stem, as those fruits seem to be most ripe.