Fruity Friday…Rambutan Fruit.

Fruity Friday, Rambutan Fruit

Native to south-east Asia this lovely fruit has almost a soft silky feel when you touch it and looks very pretty. Similar to the Lychee,  Longan and mamoncillo fruits it has a sweet tasting grape-like flavour.

All the fruit stalls and the markets have lots of this pretty fruit it is being sold everywhere…Thais love their fresh fruit and this one is no exception…

It has a leathery red skin covered with soft, fleshy spires hence the name which means  “hairy.”

In Vietnam, it is called Chom Chom which means messy hair.

The peeled fruits can be eaten raw or cooked and are often used in fruit salads or made into a syrup to flavour whipped cream or cocktails.

Although grown all over Southeast Asia, Thailand is the largest producer.

The rambutan is made into jams, jellies or canned in syrup.

Rambutan contains diverse nutrients in modest amounts. Vitamin C, Calcium and iron.

Like many other fruits and vegetables, the skin has been used to treat dysentery or chronic fever. The leaves are also made into a paste by mashing the leaves, adding water and squeezing out the extract then applied to the forehead this paste is also a great hair conditioner.

Boiling the tree roots to make a tea is also used to treat fevers.

How to open it?

Pot your thumbnail into the skin and squeeze and turn the fruit the fleshy fruit will just pop out.

Rambutan Jam.

rambutan open fruit-2477586_1280

  • 3 cups of peeled and seeded Rambutan,
  • Juice of a large lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups of sugar.

Let’s Cook!

Blitz the Rambutan in the food processor …I leave mine a little chunky then put all ingredients in a pan. Bring to the boil and simmer on medium until the sugar has dissolved. Turn down and simmer 15-20 minutes until the mix has thickened. Make sure you don’t let the sugar caramelise.

Put in a sterilised bottle.

This is lovely instead of applesauce on meats.

N.B.  Make sure your fruit is very fresh or the jam will have a dusty taste..not nice at all.

Thai Chicken curry with rambutan.


  • 1 lb chicken breast cubed or sliced or boneless thighs
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 3 red Thai chillies cut diagonally
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed, outer layers removed, and inner core thinly sliced
  • One 2-inch piece galangal root, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 rambutan
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 12 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. palm sugar or light brown sugar
  • Coriander leaves, to garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving
Let’s Cook!
Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, lime leaves, chillies, lemongrass, and galangal with the turmeric until a coarse curry paste is formed.
Using a small knife, halve the rambutan and peel away their outer shell. Remove the soft flesh from the centre nut, avoiding the papery skin that surrounds it, and place the flesh in a bowl.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium heat.
Add the pineapple, and cook, stirring, until slightly caramelized, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pineapple to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the pan, and then add the onions. Cook, stirring, until golden brown, 4 minutes. Add the curry paste, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.
Pour in the coconut milk and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the chicken, and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the reserved pineapple and rambutan, and cook until the fruit is warmed through, about 2 minutes.
Remove the curry from the heat, and stir in the fish sauce and palm sugar. Garnish with coriander and serve immediately with the lime wedges and rice.
Rambutan Mojito.
rambutin mojito
  • 7 oz Rambutan about 8/9 fruits
  • Half a cup of granulated sugar.

For cocktail:

  • 4 large mint leaves
  • A wedge of lime and a couple of slices.
  • 2 fl oz white rum
  • Sparkling water

To make the syrup peel the Rambutan over a bowl to catch any juices, cut the fruit off the pits being careful not to take off the papery skin we don’t want that in our cocktail do we?

In a small pan combine the sugar with half a cup of water bring to a rolling boil stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside to cool down. When the syrup has cooled down puree with the Rambutan and any juices until it is smooth.

This puree will keep in the fridge for about 10 days…It is enough for about 8 cocktails.

To make the cocktail…combine 2 tbsp of the syrup in a glass with the mint leaves, squeeze in the lime and add the wedge then muddle gently to release the mint and lime oils. Add the rum and crushed ice and additional lime slices if req then add sparkling water to taste. Stir gently with a straw.

To make it extra special roll a peeled rambutan in sugar or a sugar and chilli mix and add to the edge of the glass.


Have you come across this pretty little fruit?? Do you have any favourite recipes using this fruit?? If so I would love to hear from you in the comments x

Thank you for reading this post I do hope you enjoyed it and if you did please hit the share buttons xxx

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Have a lovely weekend and stay safe xxx

30 thoughts on “Fruity Friday…Rambutan Fruit.

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  3. purpleslob

    Carol, it feels silky?? Those spikes looked fierce to me!! Remember when I said I saw some in Walmart, and you encouraged me to try them? I never did, and haven’t seen them since.
    I wonder if I lost my only opportunity??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol Post author

      Yes it is I love making fruit syrups …Have you tried Asian stores as when I lived in England they used to stock some of the fruits when they were in season 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. marianbeaman

    I see this hairy fruit all the time at Fresh Fields Farms. Because I’ve seen you picture it here, maybe I’ll have the courage to buy some and make a simple recipe. It won’t be the chicken curry. Recipes with more than 8 ingredients scare me – ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol Post author

      Jam it is then, Marian although they are lovely just to eat raw…But that curry is making the paste from scratch, there are some very good curry pastes ready made that brings it down to less than 8… Mae ploy is a good one 🙂 x


    1. Carol Post author

      If you put them somewhere warm to start maybe the airing cupboard if you have one …good luck . Also if you have an Asian shop near you they may stock some fruit in season 🙂


  5. susieshy45

    What a great post about the humble Rambuttan. Back in my native place, people who migrated to Singapore and erstwhile ” Malaya” brought these fruits with them and planted them in their gardens, so these trees grow well in our part of the world too. I never knew it could be made into a juice or jam- thanks for the wonderful recipes. Maybe it can be used in fish curry ? Because of its tanginess ?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Carol Post author

      I don’t see why not, Susie if you try it let me know 🙂 and thank you it is very plentiful here at the moment as are dragon fruit and I prefer to buy fruit in season …Maybe I will try to grow one from the pit I have grown avocado/limes from pits/stones..Carol 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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