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Synonym: hairy litchi

botanical name: Nephelium lappaceum




Rambutans are native to the tropics, more precisely to Malaysia. Today, Thailand is the largest producer of this fruit.



Rambutans are sold practically all year round, but to date in only small amounts.


Appearance, taste, characteristics

The relationship to the litchi is undeniable. They are similar in taste as well as in outer appearance.

The fruit, approximately the size of a plum, is covered with a brittle, think, reddish or yellowish skin. On the skin are long, curved, pliable hairs; thus the name 'hairy litchi' is fitting.

Within, the fruit also resembles the litchi. The milky white pulp covers a smooth, shiny brown seed and tastes sweet-tart. The seed is difficult to remove from the pulp.



Rambutan is a fruit rich in vitamin C; 100 g supply half of the daily requirement for adults.


100 g contain:


Rambutan, fresh

Energy (kcal)


Water (g)


Protein (g)


Fat (g)


Carbohydrates (g)


Fibre (g)


Vitamin C (mg)


Folic acid (µg)


Potassium (mg)


Sodium (mg)


Calcium (mg)


Magnesium (mg)


Iron (mg)



Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Rambutans are difficult to store, as they dry out quickly. The fruits should be eaten as soon as possible after being purchased. They will keep for a maximum of 3-4 days at room temperature.

Rambutans attain the highest degree of ripeness, a pleasant soft pulp, and the greatest sweetness when the hairs have already dried out somewhat.

If the spines and skin are very dry and brown, you should not buy the fruits. Unripe fruits will not ripen after being harvested.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

The skin can be broken open with the fingers and the pulp removed. It is simpler, however, to cut the fruits in half with a knife, in order to remove the two halves of the seed with a teaspoon and then lift the pulp out of the skin. The seed is inedible.


The taste of very sour fruits can be improved with sugar, vanilla sugar, or cinnamon.

Like the litchi, further uses are in fruit salads, desserts or cocktails. Rambutans taste good with some types of soft cheese and with meat.


Jam or compote can also be made from rambutans. A special delicacy is rambutans with coffee ice cream.Because it is so difficult to detach the seed, industrial processing of the fruits is of relatively little importance.






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