How To Eat Lychee
Lychee (Litchi chinensis), sometimes called litchi, are small tropical fruits with jelly-like flesh and a dappled, waxy, pinkish red skin. The translucent white flesh of lychee has the texture of a juicy, dense grape. Their flavor is light and crisp like watermelon, yet sweet and juicy like a strawberry. There’s a hint of spring flowers in lychee’s sweet flavor that makes it a favorite around the world.
Lychees are juicy and flavorful with a crisp, watery flesh. The flavor of fresh lychee fruit is light and crisp like a green grape, yet sweet and juicy like a strawberry. There is also a floral dimension to lychee’s flavor that makes it so distinct.
There’s no guesswork in telling whether a lychee is ripe. Lychees are harvested when they’re ready to eat, so if you have one in your hand, it’s ripe!
As an ingredient in both sweet and savory recipes, Lychee fruits can be prepared in many ways. Raw lychee is delicious as a sweet snack, tossed into salads or as a special yogurt topping. Lychees are a versatile fruit for just about any recipe!
Keep reading for the most common ways to prepare Lychee.
Lychee fruits are easy to pop out of their thin, leathery peel. The lychee’s pit isn't very fussy, and is easier to remove than lots of other fruit seeds. Peeling a lychee couldn’t be easier. Using your clean fingers, gently pinch the skin and it will easily peel off. The brightly colored peel and hard pit are inedible, but the plump fruit inside is refreshing and delicious.
These dense, watery fruits are delicious raw, but also take well to cooking. In cuisines around the world, lychee can be found in both sweet and savory dishes. Here are just a few of the ways you can cook lychee into your recipes:
- Baking: Lychee can be baked into cakes, breads, creams and pastries.
- Confection: The lychee is delicious in jams, jellies, ice cream and candy making. Lychee can also be steeped in milk to make creamy infusions
- Salads: Warm or cold, with fruit, vegetables or protein, lychee adds sweetness, crunchy, jellylike texture and freshness.
- Main Dishes: Fragrant rice dishes, dumplings, sauces and meat dishes are all welcoming to fresh lychee.
Intensely drinkable, lychee is made of about 85% water and 100% tastiness.
- Cocktails: From the iconic Lychee Martini to tropical takes on sangria, lychee just makes great cocktails. Whole lychee or fruit made into a basic syrup are easy to add to classic cocktails and mocktails.
- Juicing: Lychee should be removed from the peel before juicing. Then, simply feed the delicate fruit into your juicer for a sweet and floral juice. It takes a lotta lychee to make a full glass, so it’s best to pair it with other delicately flavored juices.
- Smoothies: To prepare your Lychee for smoothies, pop the fruit from the pod and remove the seed. You can freeze separated fruit in ice trays to easily pop frozen Lychee cubes into smoothies.
Water: Chopped, chunky lychee flesh is a refreshing and sweet way to make everyday water more luxurious.
Fresh lychees are hard to find and have a pretty short shelf life. The good news is that they freeze beautifully. Simply set your lychees on a cookie sheet with a little space in between each one so that they don’t form frozen clumps, which can harm the peel and fruit. Once frozen, store lychees in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.
Do you feel like a Lychee eating expert now? Show us your favorite ways to prepare and eat Lychee by tagging us in your culinary masterpieces on Instagram @Fruitstandcom!