Mother Nature gives us amazing weather, Vietnam is truly a heaven of fruits. Anyone who travels to Vietnam will be amazed at the countless number of colorful fruits sold at a very reasonable price in every street and market all year round. Some fruits may be strange to foreign visitors. And they don’t know how to eat these kinds of fruits. I would like to share the way to eat most popular fruits in Vietnam.
A rambutan (chôm chôm) can be open in two ways. The first way is cutting part way into the rind. The second way is biting into it as the spines are quite soft. Once the rind is cut part way around the equator of the fruit it can be pried open. If the rambutan is really fresh there may be some juice that you should try to catch before it drips. The rambutan can now be removed from the rind by squeezing until it pops out. There is one bitter seed in the center that should be thrown out.
The flesh is tender and delicious. Its taste is described as sweet and sour, much like a grape. Besides vitamin C, there are many other nutritional components to savor. In the market, look for brightly colored fruits that are free from signs of leaking.
The name of this fruit means “hairy” as you can see, choose the brightly colored fruits that are free from signs of leaking
The flesh is flesh is semitransparent or pale pink
2. Star apple
The Vietnamese name of star apple is vú sữa (meaning milk from the breast), comes from the milky sweet juice contained in its flesh. There are two types of star apple: one being purple in color and the other being a green-brownish color. Both are sweet and fragrant. This fruit is served chilled as a wonderful dessert.
Orchard growers were grabbing star apples
Purple star apples in a basket
The star apple could be eaten in many ways. You can peel the fruit with a sharp knife and eat the flesh. Its black seeds are thrown away. A simple way would be to cut up the fruit into two parts and scoop out the pulp by a spoon.
Cut star apple in half to see the star
But eating in these two ways, you may waste most of its sweet-tasting juice. Orchard growers and rural people eat the star fruit in a different way. Firstly they squeeze the star apple until it becomes tender and that the juice mixes up with its meat. Then they drill a small hole on top of the fruit and drink the flow of mixed-up meat and sweet juice.
Drill a small hole on top of a green star apple to enjoy the fruit to its fullest
At markets, choose smooth, bright, shiny star apples without skin damage. The fruit can be stored at room temperature for up to a week and in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. The pulp can also be frozen. Blended pulp will set like jelly then stored in the refrigerator.
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Besides being sweet and nutritious, lychee fruit (vải) brings cooling effect on the human body to beat the scorching summer heat. Find a firm fruit, that gives a little when squeezed without collapsing or leaking. Relatively smooth skin is also a good sign, with slight bumps instead of major raised nubs.
Smooth skin, slight bumps are the sign of good lychee
Grasp the nub of the stem and peel away the pink or yellowish-brown skin at one end. The white, semi-translucent flesh inside is the edible portion of the fruit. The fresh lychee tastes sweet, crunchy and tender.
Lychee is peeled and semi-translucent, white flesh is revealed
4. Dragon Fruits
Dragon fruit (thanh long) is a stunning and beautiful fruit that exhibits vivirant colors and shape. The fruit comes in 3 colors: 2 have pink skin, but with different colored flesh (one white, the other red), while another type is yellow with white flesh.
To choose a ripe dragon fruit, look for bright, even-colored skin. If the fruit has a lot of blotches, it may be over-ripe. Hold the dragon fruit in your palm and try pressing the skin , it should give a little, but shouldn’t be too mushy or soft. If it’s very firm, it will need to ripen for a few days.
Dragon fruit with pink skin and white flesh.
Slice right through the fruit by a sharp knife, you will see bright white flesh with tiny black seeds distributed throughout the fruit. That looks similar to a kiwi inside. Then you use a spoon to enjoy the amazingly delicious flesh of dragon fruit. It tastes sweet and crunchy, with a flavor that’s like a cross between kiwi and pear. Dragon fruit is used to make smoothie that is extremely flavourful.
You should use a sharp knife to cut the dragon fruit into 2 parts.
Then use a spoon to get the flesh.
A spoonful of dragon fruit flesh and edible tiny seeds.
5. Custard apple
Custard apple, called mãng cầu xiêm in South Vietnam, na in North Vietnam, is delicious and very nutritious, perfect for eating every day. Custard apples have pale green skin with large bumps. They are heart-shaped fruit, with soft white flesh and large, shiny black seeds. Choose a fruit without dark blemishes. A custard apple is ripe when you gently squeeze it and it gives slightly under your hand. Much the same as an avocado. You can buy custard apples ready to eat, or still hard to the touch and let it ripen over the next few days after purchase.
Good custart apples look like this.
Hold the custard apple in your hand.
Remove the petiole from the fruit.
Use the other hand to remove the peel, it’s very easy to do.
Continue to do that
until the peeled area is large enough.
Just enjoy the fruit.
Dont forget to throw the seeds.
Their skin and seeds are inedible, but their custard-like flesh is sweet and creamy. The easiest way to eat custard apples is to just cut in half or pull apart with your hands and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh to eat. The taste of a custard apple has been described as like sweet custard mixed with cooked apple or pear flesh. The flesh closest to the skin
Longan (nhãn, nhan) grows in drooping clusters. The fruit is globose, 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter, with thin, brittle, yellow-brown to light reddish-brown rind. The flesh is whitish, translucent, somewhat musky, sweet. The seed is round, jet-black, shining, giving it the aspect of an eye.
A bunch of longan.
Choose longans that are firm and free of bruises and blemishes. Simply peel the longan, taste flesh and thow out the seed. Logan fruit can be eaten raw, dried or even frozen to enjoy later. No mater how it is used, the health benefits are plentiful.
Hold the longan on one hand.
Use the other hand to peel the logan.
Continue peeling the longan.
Continue peeling the longan.
Eat the Spectacular and mouthful longan flesh.
Do not eat the seed.
In Vietnam, king orange (cam sành) and sweet orange (cam xoàn, Citrus nobilis var) are two most popular types of oranges. Both has green skin when they are young and yellow when they are ripe. Vietnamese people eat the fruits when they have some yellow spots on the peels. These oranges are not too ripe and the flesh are sweet enough, a little crunchy and not mushy. King orange is usually bigger, its skin is thicker and rougher than the other. King orange has orange flesh, sweet orange’s flesh is yellow and sweeter than the other.
Choose plumpy fruits with bright and shiny skin. The oranges should not too tender but not to hard. It is better to choose the fruit with a stalk which proves that the fruit is fresh and has just been harvested.
Choose a green king orange with stalk and shiny skin.
Use a sharp knife to cut around the king orange to remove the zest – oily outer part of the peel and a part of pith referring to the spongy, white inner layer of the peel.
Use your hands to remove the remaining pith.
Divide the peeled king orange into segment.
Peel segments and eat the juice vesicles which are sweet and sour at the same time. They are juicy and refreshing.
Sweet orange which is partly yellow and partly green.
Use a sharp knife to cut the skin from top to bottom of the orange. Use your hand to remove the zest and a part of pith.
Use the knife to cut the peeled orange into segments or wedges.
Peel the outer skin of the orange segments, remove seeds and eat the juice vesicles which are really sweet. Sometimes, they eat the vesicles with honey.
In Vietnam, there are more than 10 types of mangoes. Xoài cát Hòa Lộc is one of the most favorite type mango which has thin yellow skin, sweet and tender flesh and rather small seed. This mango skin turns yellow when it is ripe. Choose mangoes with smooth yellow (or partly yellow, partly green) skin, tender and smelling.
Choose a tender mango with smooth skin.
Cut the mango with a smooth skin from top to bottom using a sharp knife.
Place the peeled mango so that the stem is on top. Cut 1/4 inch from the middle of the fruit, then cut the cut piece into cubes. Use a fork to eat the cubes of mango.
Vietnamese people also eat mango in another way. Make sure stem is on top, then cut vertically 1/4 inch away from the middle. Score the flesh criss-cross without going through the skin. Cut the cubes from the skin using a knife or detach the cubes from the skin using a spoon. Use a fork to eat the cubes of mango.
6 Ri durian and “Hạt lép” durian with small seeds are the most popular in Vietnam. This fruit is known as one of foods fear factors in the world. However, most Vietnamese people love this fruit’s lightly sweet and tender flesh as well as its amazing smell. They do not only eat the flesh but use it as an ingredient for Steamed sticky rice, Sweet soup, Pia cake and other foods.
Vietnamese people eat both green and ripe ambarella fruits. When ambarella is green, it is crunchy and rather sour. They love to dip pieces of ambarella in chili pepper salt mix or ground black pepper mix before eating. Vietnamese people soak green ambarella in syrup to make it less sour, sweeter and more tender. Ripe ambarella has yellow skin, yellow flesh, tender and sweet pulp.
Choose ambarella fruits with shiny skin.
Use a sharp knife to cut off the top of the fruit, cut the rind from top to bottom.
Cut a round about 1/4 from the bottom of the fruit but do not cut off the bottom. Slice from the cut round to bottom without cutting all the way. Use the knife to detach the bottom and middle of pieces from the seed but the top of the pieces stay intact on the seed. Serve the peeled and partly cut fruit.
Use fingers to detach pieces of ambarella from the seed to eat.
Sapodilla has sweet, tender, light or dark brown flesh and a few small black seeds. The fruit looks like a brown egg and has a rough, light brown skin.
Choose tender sapodilla fruits without holes and hard spots.
Use a sharp knife to cut the sapodilla in half.
Eat the flesh with a spoon.
Do not eat the peel and seeds.
Use a sharp knife to cut around the skin. Cut the peeled fruit into quarters and eat them.
Muskmelons’ flesh in Vietnam is soft or sticky. Its skin is in yellow color and has dark green, light green and white stripes from top to bottom. The melon can be long or round.
Muskmelon should be eaten when it is ripe and turns tender.
Cut opening the muskmelon. Remove all the seeds and liquid inside the melon.
Cut off the rind using a sharp knife.
Cut the flesh into pieces, eat them with sugar or condensed milk.
You can enjoy a plate of mixed fruit – a specialty food in Vietnam to eat all delicious foods at the same time.
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