How to eat rambutan and what’s the difference with Lychee?

To eat rambutan easily and safely and fully enjoy its interesting flavor, step-by-step choose the ripe rambutans, remove the skin correctly and be careful not to be choked by the seeds.

What is Rambutan

Rambutan is a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia.The name “rambutan” is derived from the Malay word “rambut,” which means hair. This fruit got its name due to the hairy exterior that covers its skin, resembling the spines of a hedgehog.

The rambutan tree is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 20 meters in height. It bears fruit twice a year, and the fruit ripens during the warm and rainy season. Rambutan is widely cultivated in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. It has also gained popularity in other parts of the world due to its unique appearance and delightful taste.

rambutan flesh and seed
Rambutan exterior, flesh and seed.

What does rambutan taste like?

When you bite into a ripe rambutan, you’ll experience a burst of flavors that combine sweetness and a hint of acidity. The taste of rambutan can be described as truly unique, succulent and delightful. Eating rambutan is really a wonderful tropical treat for summer.

First, let’s talk about the sweetness. Rambutan is known for its pleasantly sweet taste, which is one of the reasons why it is so popular among fruit enthusiasts. The sweetness is not overpowering but rather delicate and well-balanced. It’s similar to the sweetness found in grapes or strawberries, providing a satisfying and enjoyable experience for your taste buds.

Alongside the sweetness, rambutan also possesses a slight hint of acidity. This subtle tanginess adds a refreshing twist to the overall flavor profile. It’s not sour like a lemon or lime, but rather a mild and pleasing acidity that enhances the overall taste experience. This touch of tartness adds depth and complexity to the fruit’s flavor, making it even more appealing.

The texture of rambutan also contributes to the overall taste experience. As you eat rambutan, you’ll notice a juicy and succulent flesh that resembles the texture of a grape. The flesh is translucent and moist, providing a satisfying bite. The combination of the fruit’s juiciness and the balance of sweetness and acidity creates a pleasurable mouthfeel that is truly refreshing.

Depends on the varieties, the flavor of rambutan may differ from mild to strong acidity and sweetness, from a very juicy and soft flesh to a harder and more succulent one. Remember to store rambutan well so that the taste is in the best state.

How to Eat Rambutan

Eating rambutan directly is the most popular way to enjoy this kind of fruit. Here’s a guide on how to enjoy this tropical fruit easily and safely:

  • Choose a ripe rambutan: Look for rambutans with bright red or yellow-red skin and fresh hairs around. If the hairs are wilted and dehydrated, it means the fruit is not fresh anymore. The fruit should feel firm, hydrated but not too hard.
  • Make a tear: Hold the rambutan with one hand and use your thumbs or a small knife to make a shallow tear/cut around the circumference of the fruit, just enough to pierce the skin. If you use a knife, be careful not to cut too deep as you want to avoid piercing the flesh.
how to eat rambutan
  • Remove the skin: Gently pry open the skin with your thumbs. The hairy exterior should come off easily, revealing the translucent fruit inside.
  • Enjoy the flesh: Once the skin is removed, you can bite down on the juicy flesh. Be cautious of the rambutan seed in the center, as it is not edible and can make you choke on, which is dangerous. Spit it out or discard it.

Nutrition Facts of Rambutan

In 100-gram rambutan you eat, expect to absorb following approximate nutrition value :

  • Calories: 68
  • Carbohydrates: 16.5 grams
  • Protein: 0.9 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Fiber: 0.9 grams
  • Vitamin C: 20.9 milligrams (around 35% of the recommended daily intake)
  • Vitamin A: 20 international units
  • Potassium: 42 milligrams
  • Calcium: 22 milligrams
  • Iron: 0.35 milligrams

These values can vary slightly depending on factors such as the variety of rambutan and its ripeness. Nonetheless, rambutan is generally considered a low-calorie fruit with a moderate amount of carbohydrates and minimal fat content. It also offers a modest amount of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and supports a healthy digestive system.

The vitamin C content in rambutan is notable, providing approximately 35% of the recommended daily intake in a 100-gram serving. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that supports immune function, helps with the absorption of iron, and acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body against damage from free radicals.

Rambutan also contains small amounts of vitamin A, potassium, calcium, and iron. These minerals play important roles in various bodily functions, such as maintaining healthy bones, supporting nerve function, and facilitating oxygen transportation within the body.

It’s important to note that while rambutan offers some nutritional benefits, it is primarily enjoyed for its taste and refreshing qualities. It’s always recommended to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables to obtain a well-rounded nutrient intake.

So, the next time you indulge in some rambutan, not only will you enjoy its delightful taste but you’ll also be treating your body to a small boost of vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall health and well-being.

Rambutan vs. Lychee

how to eat rambutan

Rambutan and lychee are often compared due to their similar appearance and taste. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two tropical fruits:

  • Appearance: While both fruits have a similar reddish skin and a spiky exterior, rambutan has longer and more prominent hairs compared to lychee, which has a smooth skin.
  • Taste: Rambutan has a less sweetness and more acidic taste compared to lychee. Lychee, on the other hand, has a more delicate and sweet flavor without any sour taste to your mouth.
  • Texture: Rambutan has a firmer and crunchier texture, similar to a grape. Lychee, in contrast, has a softer and juicier texture, like longan.
  • Availability: both are more commonly found in Southeast Asia, South China and some other tropical countries.
  • Nutritional content: Both fruits provide similar health benefits and contain essential vitamins and minerals. However, rambutan generally has a slightly higher vitamin C content compared to lychee.
  • Application in cooking: lychee seems to be the winner with a vast of dishes containing it, such as lychee and lotus seeds sweet, lychee drink, lychee tea, etc.

So, next time you come across rambutan, give it a try and experience the tropical goodness this fruit has to offer.

1 Comment

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