Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >
Sep 12, 2007 08:24 PM

Rambutans in Minnesota?

I recently had Rambutans on a trip to Panama and now I miss them... I think they can be shipped from Hawaii to here, fresh, but I was just wondering if anyone has ever seen them around the Twin Cities? Like at any of the Thai markets? Hmm.. I know they sell them in cans, haven't tried them yet. My mom says Trader Joes has them freeze-dried, haven't tried that yet either. I kinda doubt we have any here, but thought I'd ask. I want some fresh rambutans... & mamoncillos..yummmm.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I lived in Indonesia for a bit and came home craving all that good fruit. I've seen rambutans a few times at Kowalski's, but I'm fairly certain they don't have them year-round. Also, avoid the freeze-dried insanity at TJ's at all costs. Super Ick--I tried one and tossed the bag. Speaking of fruits from southeast asia--I found a package of frozen jackfruit at the United Noodle last week (imported from Vietnam). It's pretty good. I've been pulling pieces out of the freezer to gnaw on all week--more from nostalgia than any other reason, but it's a fun treat.

    4 Replies
    1. re: cinnamongirl

      At the Midtown Global Market today, I saw a dragon fruit - for $9.99!!!! Maybe call the fruit-and-veg place (Midtown Produce Exchange) to ask if they can ever get rambutans.

      Or check at United Noodles. If they can't get them, no-one can.


      1. re: AnneInMpls

        I've been to so many oriental markets, but I haven't even heard of United Noodles. And, I'll have to get ahold of Kowalskis. Wow I'm so excited!! THANKS so much :-D

        1. re: bijougem

          You're in for a treat! IMO, U.N. is THE Asian market in the Twin Cities.

          Such an odd name though. My sister first told me about them and she couldn't remember their name so she called it Underwater Noodles. Even odder, I know, but more memorable. Everyone in my family and all my friends now call it Underwater Noodle.

          1. re: Enso

            Love it - I'm going to call it "Underwater Noodles", too!

            Bijougem, be sure to get good directions before you go. It's hidden in an industrial complex on a dead-end street. If you find Coastal Seafoods on the corner, you're almost there.


    2. You can get piles of them at the International Hmong/SE Asian Marketplace on Como and Marion in St. Paul. I got a bunch there myself, just last week. Kowalski's in St. Paul does carry them, but in small amounts and usually later in the season. Several of the local Thai markets have them too, generally beginning in mid- to late-summer and continuing into late November or early December.

      5 Replies
      1. re: clepro

        YAY I bet it will beat the $80 for 8lbs from Hawaii! ;-)

          1. re: Enso

            seriously? rambutans now? daaanng i'm in. those are my most favorite. my friend even bought me a children's book from thailand b.c there was a character mr. rambutan in it.

            how about shuang hur on nicollet? any sightings?

            1. re: reannd

              When I got Rambutans at the Hmong market a few weeks ago, they were $5 for a (quart sized?) plastic container full, or $30 for a 5lb. box.

              We've gotten the canned version ot our local Cub, but it isn't the same.

            2. re: Enso

              Sorry. I'm a d-head when it comes to remembering prices. But the fact that the price wasn't memorable (as $80 for 8 lbs would have been) should tell you something. As does Danny's note above.

          2. United Noodles does have them in the fresh produce section. To all readers: Avoid canned rambutan at all costs.

            I bought a can after sampling the fresh fruit on a trip, and the canned version is hideous. I actually spit it out.

            4 Replies
            1. re: StPauliGirl

              United Noodles just e-mailed me back saying fresh Rambutan season is over!! NO!! Has anyone seen any locally recently? I guess they're probably at the market over on Marion (if they were last week) hopefully!

              1. re: bijougem

                Don't despair. I just put a call in to my friend who imports rambutans and supplies many of the local markets. The ones from Florida are in season right now, and they'll be bringing more in shortly. I'll keep you posted on when they're arriving and where you can find them. You MIGHT even be able to order a box directly from her; she's in Chicago right now but says she'll look into that when she gets back to the cities.

                BTW, your info from United Noodles doesn't make sense to me...They should be readily available now, and probably cheaper than before.

                1. re: clepro

                  After this thread, I went to the Hmong market for lunch. There are 4 or 5 vendors in the area with fruits who have rambutans.

                  The 5lb boxes were going for $25 today. All of the vendors selling them were willing to sell a whole box.

                  1. re: Danny

                    You guys are all awesome!! I'll have to go get some soon:)

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. The original comment has been removed