This tiny little sweet and sour fruit Sapindaceae is part of the soapberry family which includes lychee, longan and rambutan.
Many are lactiferous, i.e. they contain milky sap, and many contain mildly toxic saponins with soap-like qualities in either the foliage and/or the seeds, or roots.
This tiny little fruit grows wild and is often called the wild lychee the tree it comes from is enormous and the fruit so tiny it also quite rare to find… I came across this fruit quite by chance when I took a ride back from the market in a tuk-tuk.
The tuk-tuk driver had a bag of these in the back and told me to try some which I did ..of course…when I expressed my pleasure he gave me some…Thais are very generous if you try what they offer and you like it you will always be gifted some. He told me that he had a tree in his village which was where he got the fruit from…
When peeled they look like very small lychees … I have found this fruit locally on markets or often people just sit on the sidewalk with a few fruits and vegetables from their land which they are selling to make a few baht but this is also where you come across unusual fruits and vegetables which are not commercially grown or grown wild.
Found also in Laos and Myanmar it is not grown commercially or generally cultivated so quite a rare fruit…backyard fruit as it can be called…
Korlan… the rare wild fruit juice has a delicious and unique taste of sour and sweet variety with health benefits from vitamins and antioxidants.
It is said to regulate blood sugar and also to improve concentration and stress. Locals say eaten daily or taken as a syrup/extract made from the fruit it gives increased energy and boosts the immune system, therefore, combating flu viruses and colds.
My daughter in law said they were also eaten with dried chilli, fish sauce and lime sauce and they were quite nice this type of dip/sauce is quite commonly eaten with fruits.
It is actually quite nice eaten like this…pictured…
Not that we would eat the stone but it is said that it is probably poisonous…I always err on the safe side with pips and don’t eat them …
Have you come across this fruit?? Do you have any 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 reading about this little known fruit.
I would like to thank everyone who sent their good wishes and healing thoughts for my daughter however after waiting 3 weeks the news was not good…she has an MRI scan booked for next week and based on that they will decide what the course of action is…We are shocked as you can imagine and at the moment unable to travel back to the UK without having to quarantine for 2 weeks Thailand is a red zone for travel to the UK …Carol xx