Its name comes from the Malaya word that means hair; Rambutan has an outer shell with green and red spikes that resembles hair. Its flesh is whitish with a gelatinous-like texture surrounding a seed in the middle. Some consider it to be like lychee but more acidic. It is a delicious fruit with a sweet and sour taste. Native to the Indonesian area and other regions of tropical Southeast Asia.
It is best to use Rambutans in fresh applications. You can slice the rind and open it with a knife or peel it with your hands. You can consume the flesh raw and discard the seed. The seed is edible, but it needs to be cooked before eating. You can slice the flesh and add it to fruit salads, ice cream, curries, and soups for a sweet flavor. Also, you can cook it into jellies and jams. Rambutan pairs well with the following: coconut, pineapple, kiwi, and mango, aromatics including ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, and mint, honey, and meats such as poultry, fish, and beef.
It is better to consume Rambutans immediately for the best quality and flavor because the fruits are prone to drying out. To keep Rambutans for 2 to 3 days, wrap them in a damp paper towel and store them in a ventilated bag in the refrigerator.
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