Other

What Is Rambutan?


A cousin of the lychee and longan, rambutan is a fruit worth traveling for

iStock/Thinkstock

Rambutans are native to Southeast Asia.

A rambutan is a tropical, jelly-like fruit that is native to Southeast Asia, and it’s one of those foods you’ll have to travel for, as it’s not easy to find outside that part of the world. The word rambutan comes for the Malay word for hair, which makes sense, because a rambutan is bright pink in color and very hairy. When skinned, what remains is a translucent, pearly jelly that tastes more solid and floral than a lychee.

Rambutans have small amounts of vitamins and minerals, the strongest among them manganese; 100 grams of rambutan (about 10 fruits) delivers 16 percent of your suggested intake. Manganese improves bone health, regulates metabolism, and helps lower cholesterol. You’re probably thinking, that’s a lot of fruits for a little bit of manganese! Here’s the thing: rambutans are so delicious and refreshing, you quickly lose track of how many you’ve eaten — especially if you are sightseeing in Vietnam or Malaysia in the hot sun. In his book Health Benefits: From Foods and Spices, John P. Hunter III writes that crushed rambutan seeds help clear skin, and rambutan skin has long been used to treat dysentery.

The shell of a rambutan is easy to break open and peel away with your fingers, leading you to the juicy, translucent flesh surrounding a large seed. Rambutan has a deliciously sweet flavor similar to that of grapes. Eating them is a great way to stay hydrated while traveling. An added bonus: their thick, leathery skins make them safe to eat in countries that don’t have drinkable tap water.


Lychees, Longan, Rambutan!

Some of my favorite fruit come in cans. I&rsquom not talking about tasteless, mushy pears or the stained red maraschino cherries, but the Asian stuff like lychee, longan and rambutan. These are fruits that I can rarely find fresh in the Tampa Bay markets where I live, so it&rsquos nice to have a tinned alternative. When mixed with other tropical fruits like mangoes, kiwi and pineapple, it becomes a super way to end an Asian inspired meal.

Actually, you won&rsquot find many sweet desserts in my cooking repertoire, as I really like to end my dinner with refreshing, light fruit like lychee, longan and rambutan instead of a heavy, overly sweet baked dessert. You&rsquoll find that true in most of Asia, too. Oh, but don&rsquot think that I don&rsquot have a sweet tooth&hellipau contraire! My sugar rush happens twice a day: smack dab in the middle of the afternoon (nothing accompanies work procrastination better than chocolate!) and then in the tippy-toe-wee hours after all is shush-quiet and I sneak a teeny bite of chocolate right before bed.

Oh, I&rsquom getting sidetracked, aren&rsquot I? Back to fruit. Let&rsquos talk a bit about each type of canned goodness: the lychee, longan and rambutan

Continue reading ASIAN FRUIT SALAD RECIPE and learn why my kids go BONKERS for fresh rambutan!

Lychee

Lychee (or Litchi) is pronounced &ldquolie CHEE&rdquo in Cantonese and is found in all parts of Southeast Asia and southern China. And yes, you can grow lychee here in Florida too, as it prefers a tropical climate. The fresh fruit has a thin, red, bumpy skin and the good quality lychee is sweet with a small seed. The canned versions are packaged in sugary water, which I always reserve as they make excellent juice for lychee martinis or added to champagne (ah&hellipbut for another column). Lychee has a delicate, floral taste, similar to the texture of peeled grapes.

Longan

The name in Chinese means &ldquodragon&rsquos eye,&rdquo and is my personal favorite of the bunch. I love the firmer texture and honey-like flavor. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees, and have a brown, leathery skin that easily peels off. Mom also uses dried longan in savory soups, as it has many health properties. When my brother, Jay, and I were kids, we used to pop a longan on each of our fingers and chase each other around the house.

Longan is pronounced &ldquolong AN&rdquo in Cantonese.

Rambutan

Photo from me! I found fresh rambutan last year at the Asian market.

This Southeast Asian fruit one is my kids&rsquo favorite, not because of the sweet fruit itself, but for the hairy skin the times I can find rambutan fresh:

oh, yeah, the kids had a ton of fun with the rambutan &ldquohats&rdquo

When I can find rambutans fresh, the skin is like a soft, hairy, ticklish ball! In fact, part of the name &ldquorambutan&rdquo means &ldquohairy&rdquo to the people of Malaysia. The canned version taste similar to longan, but is more oval in shape. Sometimes you&rsquoll see the rambutan stuffed with pineapple bits, which is whatI like.

To make a tropical fruit salad, try combining any of these canned fruits with whatever fresh fruit your market has!


Lychees, Longan, Rambutan!

Some of my favorite fruit come in cans. I&rsquom not talking about tasteless, mushy pears or the stained red maraschino cherries, but the Asian stuff like lychee, longan and rambutan. These are fruits that I can rarely find fresh in the Tampa Bay markets where I live, so it&rsquos nice to have a tinned alternative. When mixed with other tropical fruits like mangoes, kiwi and pineapple, it becomes a super way to end an Asian inspired meal.

Actually, you won&rsquot find many sweet desserts in my cooking repertoire, as I really like to end my dinner with refreshing, light fruit like lychee, longan and rambutan instead of a heavy, overly sweet baked dessert. You&rsquoll find that true in most of Asia, too. Oh, but don&rsquot think that I don&rsquot have a sweet tooth&hellipau contraire! My sugar rush happens twice a day: smack dab in the middle of the afternoon (nothing accompanies work procrastination better than chocolate!) and then in the tippy-toe-wee hours after all is shush-quiet and I sneak a teeny bite of chocolate right before bed.

Oh, I&rsquom getting sidetracked, aren&rsquot I? Back to fruit. Let&rsquos talk a bit about each type of canned goodness: the lychee, longan and rambutan

Continue reading ASIAN FRUIT SALAD RECIPE and learn why my kids go BONKERS for fresh rambutan!

Lychee

Lychee (or Litchi) is pronounced &ldquolie CHEE&rdquo in Cantonese and is found in all parts of Southeast Asia and southern China. And yes, you can grow lychee here in Florida too, as it prefers a tropical climate. The fresh fruit has a thin, red, bumpy skin and the good quality lychee is sweet with a small seed. The canned versions are packaged in sugary water, which I always reserve as they make excellent juice for lychee martinis or added to champagne (ah&hellipbut for another column). Lychee has a delicate, floral taste, similar to the texture of peeled grapes.

Longan

The name in Chinese means &ldquodragon&rsquos eye,&rdquo and is my personal favorite of the bunch. I love the firmer texture and honey-like flavor. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees, and have a brown, leathery skin that easily peels off. Mom also uses dried longan in savory soups, as it has many health properties. When my brother, Jay, and I were kids, we used to pop a longan on each of our fingers and chase each other around the house.

Longan is pronounced &ldquolong AN&rdquo in Cantonese.

Rambutan

Photo from me! I found fresh rambutan last year at the Asian market.

This Southeast Asian fruit one is my kids&rsquo favorite, not because of the sweet fruit itself, but for the hairy skin the times I can find rambutan fresh:

oh, yeah, the kids had a ton of fun with the rambutan &ldquohats&rdquo

When I can find rambutans fresh, the skin is like a soft, hairy, ticklish ball! In fact, part of the name &ldquorambutan&rdquo means &ldquohairy&rdquo to the people of Malaysia. The canned version taste similar to longan, but is more oval in shape. Sometimes you&rsquoll see the rambutan stuffed with pineapple bits, which is whatI like.

To make a tropical fruit salad, try combining any of these canned fruits with whatever fresh fruit your market has!


Lychees, Longan, Rambutan!

Some of my favorite fruit come in cans. I&rsquom not talking about tasteless, mushy pears or the stained red maraschino cherries, but the Asian stuff like lychee, longan and rambutan. These are fruits that I can rarely find fresh in the Tampa Bay markets where I live, so it&rsquos nice to have a tinned alternative. When mixed with other tropical fruits like mangoes, kiwi and pineapple, it becomes a super way to end an Asian inspired meal.

Actually, you won&rsquot find many sweet desserts in my cooking repertoire, as I really like to end my dinner with refreshing, light fruit like lychee, longan and rambutan instead of a heavy, overly sweet baked dessert. You&rsquoll find that true in most of Asia, too. Oh, but don&rsquot think that I don&rsquot have a sweet tooth&hellipau contraire! My sugar rush happens twice a day: smack dab in the middle of the afternoon (nothing accompanies work procrastination better than chocolate!) and then in the tippy-toe-wee hours after all is shush-quiet and I sneak a teeny bite of chocolate right before bed.

Oh, I&rsquom getting sidetracked, aren&rsquot I? Back to fruit. Let&rsquos talk a bit about each type of canned goodness: the lychee, longan and rambutan

Continue reading ASIAN FRUIT SALAD RECIPE and learn why my kids go BONKERS for fresh rambutan!

Lychee

Lychee (or Litchi) is pronounced &ldquolie CHEE&rdquo in Cantonese and is found in all parts of Southeast Asia and southern China. And yes, you can grow lychee here in Florida too, as it prefers a tropical climate. The fresh fruit has a thin, red, bumpy skin and the good quality lychee is sweet with a small seed. The canned versions are packaged in sugary water, which I always reserve as they make excellent juice for lychee martinis or added to champagne (ah&hellipbut for another column). Lychee has a delicate, floral taste, similar to the texture of peeled grapes.

Longan

The name in Chinese means &ldquodragon&rsquos eye,&rdquo and is my personal favorite of the bunch. I love the firmer texture and honey-like flavor. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees, and have a brown, leathery skin that easily peels off. Mom also uses dried longan in savory soups, as it has many health properties. When my brother, Jay, and I were kids, we used to pop a longan on each of our fingers and chase each other around the house.

Longan is pronounced &ldquolong AN&rdquo in Cantonese.

Rambutan

Photo from me! I found fresh rambutan last year at the Asian market.

This Southeast Asian fruit one is my kids&rsquo favorite, not because of the sweet fruit itself, but for the hairy skin the times I can find rambutan fresh:

oh, yeah, the kids had a ton of fun with the rambutan &ldquohats&rdquo

When I can find rambutans fresh, the skin is like a soft, hairy, ticklish ball! In fact, part of the name &ldquorambutan&rdquo means &ldquohairy&rdquo to the people of Malaysia. The canned version taste similar to longan, but is more oval in shape. Sometimes you&rsquoll see the rambutan stuffed with pineapple bits, which is whatI like.

To make a tropical fruit salad, try combining any of these canned fruits with whatever fresh fruit your market has!


Lychees, Longan, Rambutan!

Some of my favorite fruit come in cans. I&rsquom not talking about tasteless, mushy pears or the stained red maraschino cherries, but the Asian stuff like lychee, longan and rambutan. These are fruits that I can rarely find fresh in the Tampa Bay markets where I live, so it&rsquos nice to have a tinned alternative. When mixed with other tropical fruits like mangoes, kiwi and pineapple, it becomes a super way to end an Asian inspired meal.

Actually, you won&rsquot find many sweet desserts in my cooking repertoire, as I really like to end my dinner with refreshing, light fruit like lychee, longan and rambutan instead of a heavy, overly sweet baked dessert. You&rsquoll find that true in most of Asia, too. Oh, but don&rsquot think that I don&rsquot have a sweet tooth&hellipau contraire! My sugar rush happens twice a day: smack dab in the middle of the afternoon (nothing accompanies work procrastination better than chocolate!) and then in the tippy-toe-wee hours after all is shush-quiet and I sneak a teeny bite of chocolate right before bed.

Oh, I&rsquom getting sidetracked, aren&rsquot I? Back to fruit. Let&rsquos talk a bit about each type of canned goodness: the lychee, longan and rambutan

Continue reading ASIAN FRUIT SALAD RECIPE and learn why my kids go BONKERS for fresh rambutan!

Lychee

Lychee (or Litchi) is pronounced &ldquolie CHEE&rdquo in Cantonese and is found in all parts of Southeast Asia and southern China. And yes, you can grow lychee here in Florida too, as it prefers a tropical climate. The fresh fruit has a thin, red, bumpy skin and the good quality lychee is sweet with a small seed. The canned versions are packaged in sugary water, which I always reserve as they make excellent juice for lychee martinis or added to champagne (ah&hellipbut for another column). Lychee has a delicate, floral taste, similar to the texture of peeled grapes.

Longan

The name in Chinese means &ldquodragon&rsquos eye,&rdquo and is my personal favorite of the bunch. I love the firmer texture and honey-like flavor. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees, and have a brown, leathery skin that easily peels off. Mom also uses dried longan in savory soups, as it has many health properties. When my brother, Jay, and I were kids, we used to pop a longan on each of our fingers and chase each other around the house.

Longan is pronounced &ldquolong AN&rdquo in Cantonese.

Rambutan

Photo from me! I found fresh rambutan last year at the Asian market.

This Southeast Asian fruit one is my kids&rsquo favorite, not because of the sweet fruit itself, but for the hairy skin the times I can find rambutan fresh:

oh, yeah, the kids had a ton of fun with the rambutan &ldquohats&rdquo

When I can find rambutans fresh, the skin is like a soft, hairy, ticklish ball! In fact, part of the name &ldquorambutan&rdquo means &ldquohairy&rdquo to the people of Malaysia. The canned version taste similar to longan, but is more oval in shape. Sometimes you&rsquoll see the rambutan stuffed with pineapple bits, which is whatI like.

To make a tropical fruit salad, try combining any of these canned fruits with whatever fresh fruit your market has!


Lychees, Longan, Rambutan!

Some of my favorite fruit come in cans. I&rsquom not talking about tasteless, mushy pears or the stained red maraschino cherries, but the Asian stuff like lychee, longan and rambutan. These are fruits that I can rarely find fresh in the Tampa Bay markets where I live, so it&rsquos nice to have a tinned alternative. When mixed with other tropical fruits like mangoes, kiwi and pineapple, it becomes a super way to end an Asian inspired meal.

Actually, you won&rsquot find many sweet desserts in my cooking repertoire, as I really like to end my dinner with refreshing, light fruit like lychee, longan and rambutan instead of a heavy, overly sweet baked dessert. You&rsquoll find that true in most of Asia, too. Oh, but don&rsquot think that I don&rsquot have a sweet tooth&hellipau contraire! My sugar rush happens twice a day: smack dab in the middle of the afternoon (nothing accompanies work procrastination better than chocolate!) and then in the tippy-toe-wee hours after all is shush-quiet and I sneak a teeny bite of chocolate right before bed.

Oh, I&rsquom getting sidetracked, aren&rsquot I? Back to fruit. Let&rsquos talk a bit about each type of canned goodness: the lychee, longan and rambutan

Continue reading ASIAN FRUIT SALAD RECIPE and learn why my kids go BONKERS for fresh rambutan!

Lychee

Lychee (or Litchi) is pronounced &ldquolie CHEE&rdquo in Cantonese and is found in all parts of Southeast Asia and southern China. And yes, you can grow lychee here in Florida too, as it prefers a tropical climate. The fresh fruit has a thin, red, bumpy skin and the good quality lychee is sweet with a small seed. The canned versions are packaged in sugary water, which I always reserve as they make excellent juice for lychee martinis or added to champagne (ah&hellipbut for another column). Lychee has a delicate, floral taste, similar to the texture of peeled grapes.

Longan

The name in Chinese means &ldquodragon&rsquos eye,&rdquo and is my personal favorite of the bunch. I love the firmer texture and honey-like flavor. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees, and have a brown, leathery skin that easily peels off. Mom also uses dried longan in savory soups, as it has many health properties. When my brother, Jay, and I were kids, we used to pop a longan on each of our fingers and chase each other around the house.

Longan is pronounced &ldquolong AN&rdquo in Cantonese.

Rambutan

Photo from me! I found fresh rambutan last year at the Asian market.

This Southeast Asian fruit one is my kids&rsquo favorite, not because of the sweet fruit itself, but for the hairy skin the times I can find rambutan fresh:

oh, yeah, the kids had a ton of fun with the rambutan &ldquohats&rdquo

When I can find rambutans fresh, the skin is like a soft, hairy, ticklish ball! In fact, part of the name &ldquorambutan&rdquo means &ldquohairy&rdquo to the people of Malaysia. The canned version taste similar to longan, but is more oval in shape. Sometimes you&rsquoll see the rambutan stuffed with pineapple bits, which is whatI like.

To make a tropical fruit salad, try combining any of these canned fruits with whatever fresh fruit your market has!


Lychees, Longan, Rambutan!

Some of my favorite fruit come in cans. I&rsquom not talking about tasteless, mushy pears or the stained red maraschino cherries, but the Asian stuff like lychee, longan and rambutan. These are fruits that I can rarely find fresh in the Tampa Bay markets where I live, so it&rsquos nice to have a tinned alternative. When mixed with other tropical fruits like mangoes, kiwi and pineapple, it becomes a super way to end an Asian inspired meal.

Actually, you won&rsquot find many sweet desserts in my cooking repertoire, as I really like to end my dinner with refreshing, light fruit like lychee, longan and rambutan instead of a heavy, overly sweet baked dessert. You&rsquoll find that true in most of Asia, too. Oh, but don&rsquot think that I don&rsquot have a sweet tooth&hellipau contraire! My sugar rush happens twice a day: smack dab in the middle of the afternoon (nothing accompanies work procrastination better than chocolate!) and then in the tippy-toe-wee hours after all is shush-quiet and I sneak a teeny bite of chocolate right before bed.

Oh, I&rsquom getting sidetracked, aren&rsquot I? Back to fruit. Let&rsquos talk a bit about each type of canned goodness: the lychee, longan and rambutan

Continue reading ASIAN FRUIT SALAD RECIPE and learn why my kids go BONKERS for fresh rambutan!

Lychee

Lychee (or Litchi) is pronounced &ldquolie CHEE&rdquo in Cantonese and is found in all parts of Southeast Asia and southern China. And yes, you can grow lychee here in Florida too, as it prefers a tropical climate. The fresh fruit has a thin, red, bumpy skin and the good quality lychee is sweet with a small seed. The canned versions are packaged in sugary water, which I always reserve as they make excellent juice for lychee martinis or added to champagne (ah&hellipbut for another column). Lychee has a delicate, floral taste, similar to the texture of peeled grapes.

Longan

The name in Chinese means &ldquodragon&rsquos eye,&rdquo and is my personal favorite of the bunch. I love the firmer texture and honey-like flavor. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees, and have a brown, leathery skin that easily peels off. Mom also uses dried longan in savory soups, as it has many health properties. When my brother, Jay, and I were kids, we used to pop a longan on each of our fingers and chase each other around the house.

Longan is pronounced &ldquolong AN&rdquo in Cantonese.

Rambutan

Photo from me! I found fresh rambutan last year at the Asian market.

This Southeast Asian fruit one is my kids&rsquo favorite, not because of the sweet fruit itself, but for the hairy skin the times I can find rambutan fresh:

oh, yeah, the kids had a ton of fun with the rambutan &ldquohats&rdquo

When I can find rambutans fresh, the skin is like a soft, hairy, ticklish ball! In fact, part of the name &ldquorambutan&rdquo means &ldquohairy&rdquo to the people of Malaysia. The canned version taste similar to longan, but is more oval in shape. Sometimes you&rsquoll see the rambutan stuffed with pineapple bits, which is whatI like.

To make a tropical fruit salad, try combining any of these canned fruits with whatever fresh fruit your market has!


Lychees, Longan, Rambutan!

Some of my favorite fruit come in cans. I&rsquom not talking about tasteless, mushy pears or the stained red maraschino cherries, but the Asian stuff like lychee, longan and rambutan. These are fruits that I can rarely find fresh in the Tampa Bay markets where I live, so it&rsquos nice to have a tinned alternative. When mixed with other tropical fruits like mangoes, kiwi and pineapple, it becomes a super way to end an Asian inspired meal.

Actually, you won&rsquot find many sweet desserts in my cooking repertoire, as I really like to end my dinner with refreshing, light fruit like lychee, longan and rambutan instead of a heavy, overly sweet baked dessert. You&rsquoll find that true in most of Asia, too. Oh, but don&rsquot think that I don&rsquot have a sweet tooth&hellipau contraire! My sugar rush happens twice a day: smack dab in the middle of the afternoon (nothing accompanies work procrastination better than chocolate!) and then in the tippy-toe-wee hours after all is shush-quiet and I sneak a teeny bite of chocolate right before bed.

Oh, I&rsquom getting sidetracked, aren&rsquot I? Back to fruit. Let&rsquos talk a bit about each type of canned goodness: the lychee, longan and rambutan

Continue reading ASIAN FRUIT SALAD RECIPE and learn why my kids go BONKERS for fresh rambutan!

Lychee

Lychee (or Litchi) is pronounced &ldquolie CHEE&rdquo in Cantonese and is found in all parts of Southeast Asia and southern China. And yes, you can grow lychee here in Florida too, as it prefers a tropical climate. The fresh fruit has a thin, red, bumpy skin and the good quality lychee is sweet with a small seed. The canned versions are packaged in sugary water, which I always reserve as they make excellent juice for lychee martinis or added to champagne (ah&hellipbut for another column). Lychee has a delicate, floral taste, similar to the texture of peeled grapes.

Longan

The name in Chinese means &ldquodragon&rsquos eye,&rdquo and is my personal favorite of the bunch. I love the firmer texture and honey-like flavor. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees, and have a brown, leathery skin that easily peels off. Mom also uses dried longan in savory soups, as it has many health properties. When my brother, Jay, and I were kids, we used to pop a longan on each of our fingers and chase each other around the house.

Longan is pronounced &ldquolong AN&rdquo in Cantonese.

Rambutan

Photo from me! I found fresh rambutan last year at the Asian market.

This Southeast Asian fruit one is my kids&rsquo favorite, not because of the sweet fruit itself, but for the hairy skin the times I can find rambutan fresh:

oh, yeah, the kids had a ton of fun with the rambutan &ldquohats&rdquo

When I can find rambutans fresh, the skin is like a soft, hairy, ticklish ball! In fact, part of the name &ldquorambutan&rdquo means &ldquohairy&rdquo to the people of Malaysia. The canned version taste similar to longan, but is more oval in shape. Sometimes you&rsquoll see the rambutan stuffed with pineapple bits, which is whatI like.

To make a tropical fruit salad, try combining any of these canned fruits with whatever fresh fruit your market has!


Lychees, Longan, Rambutan!

Some of my favorite fruit come in cans. I&rsquom not talking about tasteless, mushy pears or the stained red maraschino cherries, but the Asian stuff like lychee, longan and rambutan. These are fruits that I can rarely find fresh in the Tampa Bay markets where I live, so it&rsquos nice to have a tinned alternative. When mixed with other tropical fruits like mangoes, kiwi and pineapple, it becomes a super way to end an Asian inspired meal.

Actually, you won&rsquot find many sweet desserts in my cooking repertoire, as I really like to end my dinner with refreshing, light fruit like lychee, longan and rambutan instead of a heavy, overly sweet baked dessert. You&rsquoll find that true in most of Asia, too. Oh, but don&rsquot think that I don&rsquot have a sweet tooth&hellipau contraire! My sugar rush happens twice a day: smack dab in the middle of the afternoon (nothing accompanies work procrastination better than chocolate!) and then in the tippy-toe-wee hours after all is shush-quiet and I sneak a teeny bite of chocolate right before bed.

Oh, I&rsquom getting sidetracked, aren&rsquot I? Back to fruit. Let&rsquos talk a bit about each type of canned goodness: the lychee, longan and rambutan

Continue reading ASIAN FRUIT SALAD RECIPE and learn why my kids go BONKERS for fresh rambutan!

Lychee

Lychee (or Litchi) is pronounced &ldquolie CHEE&rdquo in Cantonese and is found in all parts of Southeast Asia and southern China. And yes, you can grow lychee here in Florida too, as it prefers a tropical climate. The fresh fruit has a thin, red, bumpy skin and the good quality lychee is sweet with a small seed. The canned versions are packaged in sugary water, which I always reserve as they make excellent juice for lychee martinis or added to champagne (ah&hellipbut for another column). Lychee has a delicate, floral taste, similar to the texture of peeled grapes.

Longan

The name in Chinese means &ldquodragon&rsquos eye,&rdquo and is my personal favorite of the bunch. I love the firmer texture and honey-like flavor. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees, and have a brown, leathery skin that easily peels off. Mom also uses dried longan in savory soups, as it has many health properties. When my brother, Jay, and I were kids, we used to pop a longan on each of our fingers and chase each other around the house.

Longan is pronounced &ldquolong AN&rdquo in Cantonese.

Rambutan

Photo from me! I found fresh rambutan last year at the Asian market.

This Southeast Asian fruit one is my kids&rsquo favorite, not because of the sweet fruit itself, but for the hairy skin the times I can find rambutan fresh:

oh, yeah, the kids had a ton of fun with the rambutan &ldquohats&rdquo

When I can find rambutans fresh, the skin is like a soft, hairy, ticklish ball! In fact, part of the name &ldquorambutan&rdquo means &ldquohairy&rdquo to the people of Malaysia. The canned version taste similar to longan, but is more oval in shape. Sometimes you&rsquoll see the rambutan stuffed with pineapple bits, which is whatI like.

To make a tropical fruit salad, try combining any of these canned fruits with whatever fresh fruit your market has!


Lychees, Longan, Rambutan!

Some of my favorite fruit come in cans. I&rsquom not talking about tasteless, mushy pears or the stained red maraschino cherries, but the Asian stuff like lychee, longan and rambutan. These are fruits that I can rarely find fresh in the Tampa Bay markets where I live, so it&rsquos nice to have a tinned alternative. When mixed with other tropical fruits like mangoes, kiwi and pineapple, it becomes a super way to end an Asian inspired meal.

Actually, you won&rsquot find many sweet desserts in my cooking repertoire, as I really like to end my dinner with refreshing, light fruit like lychee, longan and rambutan instead of a heavy, overly sweet baked dessert. You&rsquoll find that true in most of Asia, too. Oh, but don&rsquot think that I don&rsquot have a sweet tooth&hellipau contraire! My sugar rush happens twice a day: smack dab in the middle of the afternoon (nothing accompanies work procrastination better than chocolate!) and then in the tippy-toe-wee hours after all is shush-quiet and I sneak a teeny bite of chocolate right before bed.

Oh, I&rsquom getting sidetracked, aren&rsquot I? Back to fruit. Let&rsquos talk a bit about each type of canned goodness: the lychee, longan and rambutan

Continue reading ASIAN FRUIT SALAD RECIPE and learn why my kids go BONKERS for fresh rambutan!

Lychee

Lychee (or Litchi) is pronounced &ldquolie CHEE&rdquo in Cantonese and is found in all parts of Southeast Asia and southern China. And yes, you can grow lychee here in Florida too, as it prefers a tropical climate. The fresh fruit has a thin, red, bumpy skin and the good quality lychee is sweet with a small seed. The canned versions are packaged in sugary water, which I always reserve as they make excellent juice for lychee martinis or added to champagne (ah&hellipbut for another column). Lychee has a delicate, floral taste, similar to the texture of peeled grapes.

Longan

The name in Chinese means &ldquodragon&rsquos eye,&rdquo and is my personal favorite of the bunch. I love the firmer texture and honey-like flavor. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees, and have a brown, leathery skin that easily peels off. Mom also uses dried longan in savory soups, as it has many health properties. When my brother, Jay, and I were kids, we used to pop a longan on each of our fingers and chase each other around the house.

Longan is pronounced &ldquolong AN&rdquo in Cantonese.

Rambutan

Photo from me! I found fresh rambutan last year at the Asian market.

This Southeast Asian fruit one is my kids&rsquo favorite, not because of the sweet fruit itself, but for the hairy skin the times I can find rambutan fresh:

oh, yeah, the kids had a ton of fun with the rambutan &ldquohats&rdquo

When I can find rambutans fresh, the skin is like a soft, hairy, ticklish ball! In fact, part of the name &ldquorambutan&rdquo means &ldquohairy&rdquo to the people of Malaysia. The canned version taste similar to longan, but is more oval in shape. Sometimes you&rsquoll see the rambutan stuffed with pineapple bits, which is whatI like.

To make a tropical fruit salad, try combining any of these canned fruits with whatever fresh fruit your market has!


Lychees, Longan, Rambutan!

Some of my favorite fruit come in cans. I&rsquom not talking about tasteless, mushy pears or the stained red maraschino cherries, but the Asian stuff like lychee, longan and rambutan. These are fruits that I can rarely find fresh in the Tampa Bay markets where I live, so it&rsquos nice to have a tinned alternative. When mixed with other tropical fruits like mangoes, kiwi and pineapple, it becomes a super way to end an Asian inspired meal.

Actually, you won&rsquot find many sweet desserts in my cooking repertoire, as I really like to end my dinner with refreshing, light fruit like lychee, longan and rambutan instead of a heavy, overly sweet baked dessert. You&rsquoll find that true in most of Asia, too. Oh, but don&rsquot think that I don&rsquot have a sweet tooth&hellipau contraire! My sugar rush happens twice a day: smack dab in the middle of the afternoon (nothing accompanies work procrastination better than chocolate!) and then in the tippy-toe-wee hours after all is shush-quiet and I sneak a teeny bite of chocolate right before bed.

Oh, I&rsquom getting sidetracked, aren&rsquot I? Back to fruit. Let&rsquos talk a bit about each type of canned goodness: the lychee, longan and rambutan

Continue reading ASIAN FRUIT SALAD RECIPE and learn why my kids go BONKERS for fresh rambutan!

Lychee

Lychee (or Litchi) is pronounced &ldquolie CHEE&rdquo in Cantonese and is found in all parts of Southeast Asia and southern China. And yes, you can grow lychee here in Florida too, as it prefers a tropical climate. The fresh fruit has a thin, red, bumpy skin and the good quality lychee is sweet with a small seed. The canned versions are packaged in sugary water, which I always reserve as they make excellent juice for lychee martinis or added to champagne (ah&hellipbut for another column). Lychee has a delicate, floral taste, similar to the texture of peeled grapes.

Longan

The name in Chinese means &ldquodragon&rsquos eye,&rdquo and is my personal favorite of the bunch. I love the firmer texture and honey-like flavor. Fresh longans are smaller than lychees, and have a brown, leathery skin that easily peels off. Mom also uses dried longan in savory soups, as it has many health properties. When my brother, Jay, and I were kids, we used to pop a longan on each of our fingers and chase each other around the house.

Longan is pronounced &ldquolong AN&rdquo in Cantonese.

Rambutan

Photo from me! I found fresh rambutan last year at the Asian market.

This Southeast Asian fruit one is my kids&rsquo favorite, not because of the sweet fruit itself, but for the hairy skin the times I can find rambutan fresh:

oh, yeah, the kids had a ton of fun with the rambutan &ldquohats&rdquo

When I can find rambutans fresh, the skin is like a soft, hairy, ticklish ball! In fact, part of the name &ldquorambutan&rdquo means &ldquohairy&rdquo to the people of Malaysia. The canned version taste similar to longan, but is more oval in shape. Sometimes you&rsquoll see the rambutan stuffed with pineapple bits, which is whatI like.

To make a tropical fruit salad, try combining any of these canned fruits with whatever fresh fruit your market has!