If you’ve never had the opportunity to try rambutan, this exotic tropical fruit may appear intimidating at first glance. It’s spiky skin gives it a look that resembles something between an alien and a sea urchin. However, the prickly exterior is only a little bit prickly (or hairlike), and the entire fruit is edible. It’s a popular snack in many Southeast Asian countries, and is also found in the United States.
Fresh rambutans are sold whole and are commonly used as garnishes for cocktails, desserts, and smoothies. Their unique appearance adds an interesting texture and bright color to these culinary creations, as well as a hint of exoticism and intrigue. The juiciness and sweetness of the fruit also makes them delicious when eaten alone, with just a pinch of sugar or honey.
To prepare a rambutan for eating, start by making sure the fruit is ripe. A ripe rambutan will be vibrant in color, and its spiky skin should be soft to the touch. If the spines have already turned black, it means that the rambutan is past its prime but still edible.
Once you’ve made a cut into the rambutan, remove the peel to reveal its juicy flesh. The skin should come off easily with a little bit of pressure, and the inedible seed will pop out on its own. If you accidentally eat the seed, don’t worry, it will pass through your digestive system without causing any discomfort or affecting your health.