One of the best things about Asia is the delicious food. Still, besides the delightful noodle, rice, and other dishes, there’s plenty of exotic and delicious fruit native to various areas of the continent.
You can find many unique Asian fruits at farmers’ markets throughout the countries and sometimes in other parts of the world with some hunting.
If you’re interested in trying some unique fruits from Asia, you’re in luck. Many of these you can find in stores or markets in other parts of the world.
Let’s look at some of the best and tastiest Asian fruits.
Breadfruit is originally from Indonesia, Malaysia, and New Guinea.
The fruit is a member of the jackfruit and mulberry family, getting its name from the flavor it has once it’s cooked.
The fruit is green and bumpy on the outside and white on the inside. Most people enjoy it boiled, roasted, or first. You can even use it raw for dishes that need potatoes.
As the name might suggest, Chinese bayberries are native to China.
These delicious little berries are red with a red interior. The fruit is the perfect combination of tart and sweet.
Most people enjoy eating them raw, but you’ll want to avoid the single seed in the middle of the Chinese bayberry.
If you know anything about durian, it’s infamous for its stinky smell.
It’s so smelly that the fruit is banned in some public areas throughout Asia, like the Singapore subway.
Even though it stinks, the flavor is sweet and slightly sour. It’s a pretty polarizing fruit, but you should try it at least once.
Jackfruit is native to the Indian Subcontinent and South Asia.
Something interesting about this Asian fruit is that it’s the largest fruit worldwide. It can reach up to 50 pounds.
This exotic fruit is deliciously dried but has the flavor profile of a combination of banana, apple, mango, and pineapple.
Jackfruit is also often used as a vegan meat substitute, surprising as that may be as a fruit.
This Asian fruit is one you might be able to find in stores outside of Asia.
Kumquats look like oranges but are roughly the size of an olive. It’s deliciously sweet, but the rinds and seeds make it slightly sour.
Native to Southeast Asia, Langsats have different varieties like duku, lanzones, and longkong.
They grow in a similar way to grapes in little clusters. The flesh of the fruits is translucent and easy to pull apart like an orange.
It has a similar taste to grapefruit but is slightly sweeter.
Longan is a Chinese fruit with the Chinese meaning dragon eye.
It gets this unique name because it looks like an eye once you slice it in half.
It has a minimal aromatic flavor, but the juices are delicious, making it refreshing to eat.
Mangos are an Asian fruit that you can get throughout the world.
It’s the national fruit of Haiti, India, and the Philippines and is very special to Thailand.
This fruit is sweet and juicy and goes well with many dishes or on its own as a snack. Ripe mangos will have skin that’s red and yellow in appearance.
The flesh is silky and easy to cut if it’s grown. Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits of all the time, and they’re great in smoothies.
Native to several islands in Indonesia, mangosteen is a beautiful purple fruit with a sweet and tangy white flesh.
As pretty as the fruit’s rind is, you don’t want to accidentally eat it.
The flavor profile combines all your favorite fruits like peaches, strawberries, bananas, and even a hint of vanilla.
Asian countries love passion fruit so much that most people think it’s from there.
It’s not, but it’s a significant fruit in many Asian cultures. You’ll see maroon and yellow versions with a floral smell and sweet flavor.
They’re great in desserts, smoothies, and on their own. There is a slight tart taste, but it’s not bad.
Pulasan is a fruit you’ll most likely have to travel to Southeast Asia if you ever want to try.
It’s that hard to find outside this region. It’s eaten raw and is sweeter than rambutan. It has a red and bumpy exterior, and the flesh is a bright white color.
It’s great for helping control blood sugar or when you need a fruit serving.
Rambutan is from Malaysia and Indonesia and has relations to the fruit lychee.
It’s a little bit bigger because the rambutan has a lot of hair on its skin.
The skin is red and covered in little hairs that appear green on the tree and then turn red when picked.
The flesh is white or pink, and the flavor resembles grapes.
Snake Fruit or Salak
Salak, or snake fruit, gets its name thanks to the scaly appearance on its skin, looking similar to a snake.
You can bite directly into the fruit instead of having to peel it. It has a sweet taste that’s similar to honey, as well as a citrus flavor.
These fruits are easy to carry because they’re about the size of a fig.
You’ll find star fruit throughout the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
The fruit is yellow when ripe and has an oblong shape with irregular ridges.
It’s a genuinely unique-looking fruit that almost doesn’t look real. You can eat the skin if you want, but you don’t have to. It’s a little on the sour side.
Asian pears have several names like Japanese pear, Chinese pear, and Korean pear.
When this fruit starts growing, it’s a sign that spring has come. Asian pears have a grainy texture and a very high water content.
They’re expensive and are commonly given as a gift in Asian culture.
Much of the world’s coconuts come from the Asia-Pacific region, so while you can get them in many parts of the world, they’re significant to Asia.
Coconuts are used in various dishes throughout the continent and even for tropical beverages.
You’ll never want to eat the skin, regardless of the type of coconut, but the flesh and milk are delicious.
Taiwan is the world’s leading guava producer, and this fruit is very important to its economy and culture.
This exotic fruit has green skin with a bright pink or white interior.
There are other guavas around the world; depending on the type, they’ll be sweet, sour, or a little bit of both.
There are a lot of persimmons around the world, but you have to try a Japanese persimmon if you ever get the chance.
I love these fruits because you’ll see them in several desserts, bread, and fruit plates when they’re in season.
They’re pretty dense and sweet. You’ll love them in salads.
People have been eating part of the lotus plant for centuries, including the fruits inside the flower.
They’re small, seed-like fruits that are delicious when eaten raw.
You can add them to fruit bowls or on top of ice cream. It has high water content and plenty of nutrients.
You’ll find lychee widespread in Southern China but also throughout the rest of the continent.
This popular Asian fruit is small, has a rough texture, and can’t eat the skin.
The flesh is sweet, but you’ll commonly see people making it sweeter by adding it to their favorite Asian desserts.
If you drink, you have to try a lychee martini. I promise it’s worth it.
Noni is a fruit in the coffee family, but it doesn’t taste like coffee.
The exterior is light green with bumpy parts that don’t look appetizing. Despite the appearance, the flavor is delicious.
When you cut into the fruit, you’ll see pale flesh and several black seeds. It has an earthy and citrusy taste.
Papaya is another fruit that doesn’t have origins in Asia but is very popular in Asian cuisine now.
These orange fruits are commonly found in markets and stores worldwide, so you shouldn’t have an issue trying them if you haven’t already.
You’ll find it in fruit bowls, smoothies, and even savory dishes in Asia.
Pomelos are native to Southeast Asia and resemble giant grapefruits.
They can reach up to ten inches in diameter! As for the flavor, it’s a lot sweeter than a grapefruit which is why they’re so popular.
Once you peel the skin, it has peel-a-part wedges that make it super easy to enjoy.
If you’re looking for a unique Asian fruit to try, sapodilla fits the bill. It looks like a giant almond.
It’s light orange and white inside and has a pit in the middle. The flavor profile is a little starchy, resembling sweet potatoes, brown sugar, and pears.
Soursop is a weird-looking fruit. It’s green with spikes throughout, and at first glance, you probably wouldn’t think it’s edible at all.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact flavor profile of soursop, but if I had to try to describe the flavor, it tastes similar to pineapple.
Sugar Apple or Sweetsop
Sugar apples were brought to Asia by Spanish explorers, but most people would agree that they were thrilled they did.
This fruit has a green exterior that almost looks like an artichoke.
The flesh is white and creamy, almost like a custard. You don’t want to eat the skin, so be sure to peel that off first.
Tamarillos have an egg-shaped appearance, but the skin is orange and almost resembles a tomato in texture.
These fruits are great in salads and savory dishes where you want a citrusy bite.
The best way to describe the flavor of a tamarillo is a sweet tomato with a hint of citrus.
Yuzu is a citrus fruit and looks like a small lemon. It’s bright yellow when ripe and as it’s growing bright green.
In Asia, yuzu is used in many ways, from adding a hint of citrus to water and other dishes.
It’s the perfect combination of lemon, lime, and grapefruit flavor-wise.
Meyer lemons are lemons that are native to China.
They look similar to the lemons you’ll see in grocery stores in the United States, but the flavor is quite different.
It’s an exciting combination of citron, mandarin, and pomelo.
Pitaya looks similar to an artichoke if the artichokes were bright pink.
It has green leaves like artichokes do and a white fleshy center. Texture and flavor-wise, pitaya is similar to eating a kiwi and pear.
You may know pitayas as dragon fruit! There are also yellow varieties you can try.
Depending on the variety of Santol you get, it can be super sweet or sour.
You don’t want to eat the skin, but peel it off to explode the white, fleshy wedges.
You can easily pull the wedges apart and eat them.
Tamarind is another weird-looking Asian fruit. It almost looks like a peanut shell with little fruits inside.
The fruit is very dark in color, and the flavor can be sweet or sour depending on where it is in the ripening process.
The riper it gets, the sweeter it becomes.
You’ll find wax apples throughout the Malay Peninsula.
These fruits taste very similar to pears, and many people in Asia will add them to salads, saute them, and use them for medicinal purposes.
Some other names for these fruits include love apples, mountain apples, and water apples.
- Chinese Bayberry
- Passion Fruit
- Snake Fruit or Salak
- Star Fruit
- Asian Pear
- Japanese Persimmon
- Lotus Fruit
- Sugar Apple or Sweetsop
- Meyer Lemon
- Wax Apples
There are hundreds of fruits native and important to Asia. They’re all unique, and many of them you won’t be able to try unless you’re visiting one of their markets.
Either way, whether you can hunt them down in your local market or are planning a visit to Asia, you can’t miss trying these Asian fruits.
Learn more about fruit around the world with our list of unique African fruits!
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