Rambutan is the Malay word for hairy, don't worry those spiky hairs wont hurt, just very soft spikes, easy to remove skin and just one big seed inside to get that lovely sweet rambutan flesh off of.

In Thailand, rambutan trees were first planted in Surat Thani in 1926 by the Chinese Malay Mr. K. Vong in the village Ban Na San. An annual week long rambutan fair is held at Ban Na San during August which is during harvest time for the rambutan.

Once the season is in full swing rambutan can be bought for just over 10baht per kilo, but any price 20 to 30baht per kilo is well worth it, also these days more often than not there is a price card on the fruits, this saves any arguements over how much.

You know a fruit is popular when they start canning it, this allows for longer shipping times and also storage times, rambutan comes in a can with syrup, and there is also a pineapple choice, these can be bought from importfood.com.

Ham on Rambutan-Lychee Glaze


1 7-8 lb cooked ham
whole cloves

Fruit Glaze

1/2 cup white wine
1 cup pineapple syrup (from canned pineapple)
6 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rambutan, meat only
1/2 cup lychees, chopped finely
3 tablespoons mango-pineapple preserve
1 cup brown sugar


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. To make glaze: Combine white wine, pineapple syrup and water. Boil. Add the salt, rambutan and lychees, pineapple and mango-pineapple preserve. Gradually add the brown sugar. Simmer for about 10 miutes until the rambutan, lychee is tender and the mixture has a very thick consistency. Separate the fruit mixture from the syrup. Place the syrup in a serving bowl. Set aside.

Using a sharp knife, scar the fat of the ham into a diamond pattern and brush generously with 2/3 of the mixture glaze. Press a whole clove into the center of each diamond. Place the ham into a roasting pan and bake for 1 hour, basting occasionally with the juice in the pan. After one hur of cooking , raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and continue to bake and baste for another 20 minutes. Brush the ham with remaining 1/3 of the fruit mixture glaze. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the ham and bake till surface is crisp and gold in color. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish and serve.

How to...Eat Rambutan

More Thai Recipes.

Thai Food For Newbies