Rambutan is a fruit, similar to lychee, native to Indonesia and other tropical Southeast Asian areas. Having grown up in the U.S., it's not a very common fruit, so today was the first day I have ever had rambutan. What does rambutan taste like? That's a good question!
Maybe you are like me and passed this fruit in the grocery store a few times. I would have to say that the biggest stoppers for me trying this fruit was that I was unsure of how to actually eat it and I had no clue what it would taste like.
What Does Rambutan Taste Like?
Rambutan tastes like a mix between a grape and a fresh date. Whenever you eat a fresh date, the fruit surrounding the seed has a sort of bitter taste. Rambutan shares that quality. The fleshy part of the Rambutan is tender and a little juicy- just like a grape. I would say it's sweet like a grape but less sour and tangy.
Another way to describe rambutan taste is like lychee. Both rambutan and lychee are oval in shape, covered with skin, and taste juicy and sweet.
What Does It Look Like?
Rambutan is exotic and colorful, with shades of pink, red, and green. Its outer layer is hairy and firm to the touch. Rambutan is about the size of a golf ball, however, it's more oval in shape rather than circular.
How To Eat Rambutan
- Wash rambutan. Put all of the rambutans in a large bowl and fill it with water. Drain the rambutan with a strainer. If preferred, dry the rambutans with a towel.
- Cut rambutan. Using a knife, cut circularly just piercing the hairy skin. If you cut too deeply, then you will also pierce the soft fruit under the skin. There's a hard seed in the middle of the fruit to be mindful of when cutting.
- Eat rambutan. After the hairy skin is removed, eat the soft fleshy fruit around the seed. The seed is not easy to remove without making a mess, so I found this to be the easiest way to eat it.
Rambutan is best eaten by itself. It can be expensive depending on the region of the world.
Where Does Rambutan Originate From?
Rambutan is primarily native to southeast Asia, so you will find it available locally in Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. However, a lot of countries import rambutan so you might be able to find it at your grocery store.
It contains iron and a high amount of vitamin C for its small size. Rambutan is packed full of nutrients and makes a great snack.
How to Store
Rambutan can be stored in or out of the fridge. It should be peeled right before it's eaten to maintain freshness. If you find Rambutan fresh at the supermarket, expect it to last about 4 to 5 days in the fridge, and about 3 to 4 days if left at room temperature.
Fresh Drinks to Have with Rambutan
If you were ever wondering "what does rambutan taste like", hopefully, this post helps to explain. Try this little hairy fruit if you get the chance!