La‘iku Organic Farm
P. O. Box 918KurtistownHawai'i(808) 966-7361
Ono Organic Farms
HanaMaui(808) 248-7779Website
Wailea Agricultural Group
P. O. Box 69HonomuHawai'i(808) 963-6373Website


Volcano Farmers' Market
19-4030 Wright RoadVolcanoHawai'iWebsite

Rambutan (Laguan, Chom Chom)

Rambutan is a tree that belongs to the same family as lychee. It is thought to have originated in Indonesian archipelago, growing naturally in Thailand, Vietnam and Philppines, it is also now being cultivated in Hawaii. It is small and round, and is shocking in appearance: numerous hairy tendrils cover its little body and the whole if it is a brilliant eye catching red.

The name rambutan, as you may have guessed, is derived from the Malay word rambutan – “hairy.” In Vietnam is also delightfully known as Chom Chom, meaning “messy hair.” Once you get the fantastic costume off, it is a soft and luxurious white similar to lychee, with a single brown pit. It is sweet with sometimes a possible hint of tartness. Ever enjoyable.

Rambutan contains good amounts of vitamin C, copper and manganese.

Prepping and Eating Tips

– If you can manage to hold off for 30 seconds, give your rambutan a nice refreshing rinse before peeling and eating.

– There’s always more than one way to do anything. Even peeling a rambutan. Easiest I have come across is the gripping bottom and top, twisting open. The rubbery hairs give you some traction. Thank goodness.

Rambutan, twisted open

– But most of us can’t resist just eating them as they are.

– Some have created desserts in its honor: rambutan sorbet, etc.

– Use like lychee in cocktails.

Selecting and Storing Tips

Rambutan only ripens on the tree, will not ripen on the counter.

Store in the refrigerator if you have to, in order to avoid kidnapping of fruit by ants. In air tight container, paper or plastic bag helps to keep moisture from escaping too quickly.

dumbbell french press