How to Pick the Best Fruits: Southeast Asian Edition

How to Pick the Best Fruits: Southeast Asian Edition

Not sure what is fresh and what’s not? Here are supermarket hacks that our HappyFresh Personal Shoppers use to pick out the freshest fruits for you.

Most of us can tell when an apple has gone bad – bruises, lackluster colour and all – but do you know how to pick out the crunchiest, juiciest rose apple? Or a slightly soft and mellow sweet dragon fruit? Here’s how to identify the studs from the duds when your favourite local fruits arrive this season:


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Bright red lychees that are slightly soft to touch and smell subtly floral are the cream of the crop when it comes to enjoying this delicately sweet fruit. Ripe lychees swell when they ripen, and the amount of spread of the bumps on their skin determine how ripe they are. Overripe ones are sweet but bland, and under ripe ones carry sour notes – take your pick of this taste spectrum!


Eat rose apples fresh or chop them up for refreshing salads!

Used in salads and enjoyed raw with chili salt (yum!), Jambu or Rose Apple is a refreshing treat that is grown in many places in Asia including Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Taiwan. For this highly perishable fruit, pick those that are firm to touch and the deepest colour to ensure maximum sweetness and crunchiness. Avoid eating the stem and seed – the fleshy part is what you’re after! 


From Thai Steamed Red Snapper with Lime to Nonya-Style Ikan Bakar, lime adds that distinctive punchy sour taste to so many Asian dishes and desserts. It’s always handy to have a bunch of limes at home, and selecting the best ones ensure you can wring the maximum amount of sour goodness from them. Ripe limes are heavier and slightly soft when squeezed. Color-wise, pick the yellower ones if you want a slightly sweeter flavour and more juice, and the greener ones for more punchy sourness. 


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Mangos with a slight give when squeezed are your best bet when it comes to this vibrant fruit. Some mangoes like the Ambika or Kesar are naturally red or orange, so colour is not a good indicator of ripeness in this case. As with many other fruits with thin skin, check for bruising and worm holes before your purchase! 


Easy-to-peel and pretty addictive, you can look out for these little round fruits around mid-July to September. When it comes to picking out your longan bunch, select those that have dry brown skin, without any white mold spots, especially around the top. The skin should separate easily from the flesh, revealing the translucent ball underneath that’s bursting with honey-sweet flavors.


Sweeter than its grapefruit cousin, pomelo is widely used in Asian salads like the Diana Chan's Nhoam Krauch Thlong (Pomelo Salad with Prawns) or well-loved desserts like the classic Mango Pomelo. It’s difficult to discern a good pomelo based on color as it varies depending on species, but a good pomelo should always have shiny, unblemished skin and feel slightly heavy. 


Due to the size of this fruit, jackfruits are usually pre-packaged for convenience. When it comes to selecting the ripe fruits, just go for the packages with vibrant yellow flesh. If you’re getting the whole fruit, give it a whiff – there should be a strong fragrance. The spines should also be widely spaced and a tap on the fruit should indicate a kind of hollowness. 

Get the freshest fruits delivered directly to your doorstep with HappyFresh

Enjoy the best fruits of the season at the same prices as your local grocer when you order from HappyFresh. Their team of personal shoppers will save you time, money and energy from standing in the long queues, plus they’ll call and suggest replacement items when needed.

Every purchase will earn you loyalty points, and you can pay securely with credit or debit cards, DuitNow, Boost and Grab Pay.

  • Shop online at your own leisure and save more with HappyFresh’s exclusive promo deals by downloading the HappyFresh app here

This feature is produced in association with HappyFresh. 

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