Food from The Philippines: Rambutan (fruit)

Rambutan fruit from the Philippines
The white fruit of Rambutan (click to enlarge)

Rambutan Fruit in The Philippines

Rambutan is one of the most popular fruits in South East Asia, including The Philippines.

It’s not hard to see why either. As a tasty sweet snack it’s one of the best little fruits you can find on the side of many a road.

How to eat rambutan fruit?

Outside the Rambutan fruit looks like a golf ball sized red & green porcupine. The spiky bits are not at all hard nor prickly. They are soft and allow you to easily reach in with your two thumbs and crack the firm but easy to break skin open.

Inside a firm white gel like fruit awaits. Inside this there is a small soft wood like seed that is tasteless and should be spat out.

What does rambutan fruit taste like?

The firm soft white rambutan fruit itself is quite sweet and not so filling. Meaning, you can eat a lot!

It’s soft, juicy and quite sticky if you don’t wash it from you fingers. But in the mouth it stays fresh and is very palatable.

Where to find Rambutan in The Philippines

Depending on the season or harvest, you can also get super juicy sweet rambutan which are really worth getting your hands on. The one’s photographed here are from Davao, where it’s argued the best rambutan comes from in The Philippines.

Inside of rambutan
Rambutan fruit from Davao (click to enlarge)

It’s a really easy fruit to grow, and prices are very low. I bought two kilos for under $0.60. It’s even cheaper out in the countryside. Rambutan is also a great thing to bring back to your guesthouse to get everyone smiling and thinking you are the nicest person of the day!

Tip: If you do go to a market and buy rambutan, make sure to keep it tied up in a plastic bag, and / or in the bathroom basin. Big ants love rambutan and are often found on the fruit!

These ants are harmless and don’t bite. But they will tell all their friends you have a stash of their favorite fruit hiding in your room!

Tip 2: If you have air-conditioning try leaving some rambutan out in a bowl for a couple of days. The skin will start to dry. Just as it does the fruit inside is at its juiciest and sweetest! Just be careful you don’t leave it out too long!

This is an additional post and one of a series highlighting Great food from the Philippines

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16 Replies to “Food from The Philippines: Rambutan (fruit)”

  1. This is arguably one of the best fruits around. I’m really surprised how cheap it is in Philippines.

    1. -Renny- Yep, a little strrange, but very nice.

      -yee- Maybe it’s the season that makes it so cheap. But again today I saw it for the same price. Easy to over indulge :)

      -Milt- Chohm-poo fruit? Hard to get info on that. Anyone? Is it the Java apple?

      -Ivy- It’s good alright. Next few weeks will tell ;)

  2. One of my favorites!! When I lived in Thailand I had a daily ritual that involved walking to a local market for a kilo of rambutan which I would eat during the morning.

    Although I’d never heard of the air-conditioning trick, I’ll have to give that a try next time.

  3. i love rambutan !!! and mangosteens! they are a bit like rambutan only yummy-er :) if you havn’t already you should try it but dont wear white…the juice stains :P

  4. Counting the days for my balikbayan trip with my family.and of course introducing and savouring those fruits with them which I missed so much.By the way we have Lychee here in Brazil and it taste like rambutan.Oh,my invitation for you to visit Brazil is still open…..
    Keep up the good work,I recommend it to my boys for a good overview about Philippines prior to their visit.

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