Delicious Fruit in Vietnam
One of the biggest memories you will take home from your holiday is the delicious fruit in Vietnam.
Our guests always comment about the often unique delicacies on display at the breakfast buffet. And if you are in luck and happen to be in Vietnam during a fruit’s season, its fascinating to see the rows upon rows of fruit sellers along the roadside.
While travelling through Vietnam you will find that fruit is essential to everyday life in Vietnam and is served at most meals. Its for sale from street corners to bicycle vendors, at road-side stalls where it is grown and you will find stacks of colourful fruit at every market.
Make sure you enjoy some of the most delicious fruit in Vietnam while on holiday including..
Mangosteen (Măng Cụt)
An amazing fruit and my favourite – and a real taste sensation. Mangosteen is only in season from May until August so even the Vietnamese get excited for mangosteen season. The thick purple rind hides a delicious soft but tangy flesh. Very aromatic the fruit almost tastes as though it is perfumed. Mangosteens are easy to find in street-side vendors all over Vietnam.
How to eat it – Grab a knive if you take them back to your hotel and gently cut the skin in half in a circular motion. Otherwise, being careful not to get the purple colour on your clothes, gently squeeze the fruit along the middle to break the skin and twist its shell apart. Pull out a pod of fruit and pop it in your mouth to unleash the flavour, but watch out as there is a seed.
Star Fruit (Khế)
An unusual fruit, in the shape of… yes a star. Ripe and golden, star fruit is refreshing and juicy. Its season can be unpredictable as the trees bloom twice a year. The good news is, you can usually eat this tangy delicacy year-round, although you’ll have better luck finding it in the Mekong Delta.
How to eat it – Slice your star fruit horizontally to reveal perfect starry snacks. As the skin is thin and waxy, it’s edible and only requires a rinse before slicing. Throughout Vietnam, star fruit is also a staple ingredient in a home-style sweet and sour fish soup called canh chua cá.
Rambutan (Chôm Chôm)
Rambutan are as delicious as they are colourful. The bright red hairy exterior hides white translucent flesh with a mild sweet and sour flavour, like a grape. Harvested twice each year, big bunches of these striking fruits are easy to find in the summer and even winter.
How to eat it – Vietnamese people love rambutan as a healthy and refreshing snack. Dig in and peel or use a slight pinch and twist movement to remove the exterior and reveal the delicious flesh.
Longan (Nhãn Lồng)
Longan is a favourite snack in Vietnam and is easily spotted in big bushels throughout the country’s many street markets. Called ‘dragon’s eye’ in Vietnamese, this fruit is often compared to lychee, however it has a slightly sweeter flavour and more flesh.
How to eat it – Peel off the thin and brittle brown skin to reveal the translucent fruit holding a hard and shiny black seed. Vietnamese people quite often have longan on its own with a cup of tea, or in a cold sweet soup with lotus seeds.
Dragon Fruit (Thanh Long)
Probably the most popular fruit in Vietnam both with locals and visitors. Dragon fruit is grown widely in the Mekong Delta on amazing cactus like plants with drooping branches. With not a lot of taste, its still the most popular at the breakfast table, often described as a white water melon. The fruit has a bizarre look with thick blushing red exterior. Inside, the flesh is white or purple dotted with small seeds.
How to eat it – Slice it and remove the thick rind. While it has many health benefits, these cacti are not very flavourful but do have a fresh slightly crunchy taste. Often enjoyed by the Vietnamese at the end of a meal, it’s a great palate cleanser.
Rose apple (Quả Roi in the north, Quả Mận in the south)
Shaped like a bell, this unusual red fruit has crispy and juicy flesh, with a watery textured much like a melon. Rose apples have tender flesh, and the flavour can be described like unripe pears with a splash of rosewater. You’ll find this refreshing fruit growing most of the year in the south of Vietnam.
How to eat it – Despite its English name, the only similarities this fruit has to an apple is how it’s eaten. You can munch around the core (just avoid the base) or slice it into quarters and dig in.
Easily confused with the strong smelling Durian which is popular in Thailand and surrounding countries, Jackfruit are similar in size and colour on the outside, but different once they’re open. Jackfruits can grow to be the largest and heaviest fruits in the world. The skin is covered in ridged bumps, and the flesh has a strong meaty texture and a sweet, delicate taste.
How to eat it – Jackfruit is even more messy than durian to open so you’ll want help to get your jackfruit open before you dig in. It’s often served in a bowl of crushed ice, coconut cream and mixed fruits.