The rambutan is one of my favurite fruit that can be bought in Thailand. It is actually grown all over South-East Asia but here it grows in places like Chantaburi, Rayong and Trad in the East. It is a very distinctive looking fruit with its hairy outer skin. There are two varieties you can buy here: Rong Rien and Si Chompoo. The latter one is in the bottom right of this picture with the pink hairs. The taste is sweet and very succulent. It has a high sugar content as well as Vitamin C. It is also quite cheap. I bought these for 20 baht a kilogram. Or it is 45 baht for a can which also has syrup.
To prepare rambutan for eating is very easy. If I am outside, I might use my fingernail to make a small cut in the skin. Then holding each end, slightly squeeze and twist. At home you should probably use a sharp knife to make the cut. You don’t need to cut all around as the skin comes off easily. For presentation, it is best to only take off one half like in this picture. However, don’t cut the fruit in half like I did in the top right of this picture. I just did that to show you the seed. This is not edible and some people say it can be poisonous. Though you can apparently eat if it is roasted. It is a narcotic though. Often when I eat rambutan the seed will stick to the flesh. So I have to eat around it. However, when I buy rambutan when I go down to Rayong for a beach holiday, the seed comes out easily. This is because it is freshly picked from the tree. The ones we get in Bangkok are beginning to be too ripe. If the hairs change to black then it is starting to go off. Once it is cut open, I keep it in a container in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.
Thai name: เงาะ