Loving Lychees

Walk into any Asian market and you're sure to see an ingredient or two that you don't recognize. Lately however, once obscure Asian ingredients have started to appear in mainstream markets as well. For example, just a year or two ago, if I wanted to buy lychees I'd have to go to Chinatown to get them, but yesterday, I spotted a heap of them, perfectly ripe and begging to come home with me, at my local market.

Lychees, a small, tree-borne fruit, have their origins in China, but are now also grown in many parts of east Asia, South America and the U.S. Lychees are roughly the size of a very large grape and have an inedible, bumpy, pinkish-red skin that easily peels away to reveal a translucent, fragrant flesh.

They have a distinctive, perfumed sweet, flavor reminiscent of muscat grapes and tropical fruit and lend themselves particularly well to desserts and beverages. They are also available canned and frozen, but much like canned or frozen peaches, they are substantially better when eaten fresh. They're a bit labor intensive to prepare, as they have to be peeled and pitted and are small and have a low yield, but once you get a hint of their heady aroma and delightful flavor, you'll realize that it's worth the effort to eat them fresh.

My favorite way to eat lychees is out of hand, peeling them and popping them in my mouth as I go. I have also had great success using them in sorbets and granitas, cocktails, and as a garnish for seared foie gras. I have also seen some delicious looking lychee recipes for panna cotta, cupcakes, and caramelized lychees served over ice cream.

The next time you come upon some lychees, pick a few up and give them a try. You’re sure to be pleasantly surprised.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            3 Program(s) Found
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits