The rambutan (also known as hairy lychee) is a distant cousin of the lychee and has a red-brown skin covered in soft hairy spines. The flesh inside resembles that of the lychee in both taste and texture and has a flavour like a sweet, aromatic grape. Inside the flesh is an inedible brown stone.

The rambutan originates from Malaysia.

RAMBUTAN are classed as a fruit.


Eat as they are as a healthy snack, or poach peeled rambutan in a light syrup and serve for dessert.

Nutritional Information

Typical values per 100g (raw): energy 60 kcal, 240 kJ protein 1.31g carbohydrate 15.14g fat 0g.


Break open the shell with a knife or fingers and then peel away the hairy skin to reveal flesh. Discard skin along with the stone.


Store in a refrigerator. Rambutan do not ripen further after harvest.


Look for rambutan that feel heavy for their size. Avoid any with cracked shells or shrivelled spines. Look for fruit with as much pink or red on the shell as possible - they will be sweet and ripe. If the shell is pale beige or has a greenish hue its likely to be under-ripe. If the shell and spines are dark-brown or black the fruit is past its best.

Fun Fact

The name Rambutan comes from the Malay word for hairy.


Shown below is where this item grows in the world and where it may come from when you buy it at your supermarket or local shop.