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An oval fruit, which is native to Malaysia, the Rambutan is a relative of the lychee and is often referred to as a hairy lychee. Growing in clusters of 10 or 12, this fruit ranges in size from 3 to 4 inches long, ripening into a crimson red colored skin covered with soft hairy spines. Inside is a juicy and translucent flesh with a slightly acidic flavor, similar to a grape.

To prepare, remove the thin leathery skin by cutting lengthwise around only the outside flesh and peeling off the skin, exposing the juicy pulp. The egg-shaped pulp will pull away easily from within the outer skin. Inside the pulp there is a small seed that should be discarded. The fruit can then be eaten out of hand or served in fruit salads. It can also be added as a dessert topping to ice cream or puddings or prepared as a pulp that can be made into jams and jellies.

To store, wrap the fruit in paper towels and store in bags that have some air moving through the bag. Rambutans can be kept at room temperature for several days or placed in refrigerated areas and stored for a week or two depending on ripeness. Commercial availability of rambutans is limited and is most often available as a canned product. Many Asian food stores ocassionally have rambutans available.

USDA Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1 cup, drained
Total Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates20g
Dietary Fiber0g

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