Besides the sea of durians that can be seen at the Satok Market, you can also see the rambutan (红毛丹, Nephelium lappaceum).... the hairy fruit. We do not have a rambutan tree in our garden but they can be seen in most of our neighbouring gardens. The trees are big and the crown spreading but they do attract lots of ants - especially the big fire ants that we rather do without!!
The fruit is shaped like an egg and varieties are in red, yellow and all shades in between with soft spiny hairs. Some are red with green tips on the hair.
The Chinese called them 红毛丹 even for the yellow varieties except the character for yellow is added in front - 黄红毛丹.
These yellow rambutan are from the garden of TK's eldest sister, Sai Cheng. TK visits them regularly to collect these large plump juicy fruit :-P
The fruits can range in acidity - the yellow varieties tending to be more acidic than red. However, most cultivated varieties are plump, sweet, juicy and aromatic; the translucent flesh surrounding a large seed. Some cultivated varieties are freestone.
Here is what the fruit looks like cross-section longitudinally .
Some varieties tend to have the flesh comes off with the skin of the seed attached to it, known to the Chinese as "脱壳“.
We all love eating rambutan though my mum and I have a slight preference for those fruits that do not have this trait while TK does not seems to care. My nephew, Liang, loves rambutan and cannot get enough of them so he is the beneficiary of TK's largesse!
At Satok Market now, it is RM2 (USD0.70) for a big bunch. So it is time to indulge!!!