Friday, July 6, 2012

Fruity Fridays - Lychees!

Welcome to the newest feature of my blog! I live in a place where there is SO much unusual and wonderful fruit available to me, so I plan to buy these fruits, show you what they are, how to eat them, and add a recipe or two featuring it. Unfortunately, this won't happen EVERY Friday, since I don't think I can keep up that kind of pace, but I'll do it as often as possible!

This Friday's Fruit: Lychee
Also known as: Litchi
Vietnamese name: Vải
Cost in the market outside my house: 20,000 VND/kilogram (roughly $1)
Season in Northern Vietnam: May-June

About 2kg of lychees

If you can get fresh lychees, look for ones with a pink tinge to them, but these ALL tasted really good so I think if they're in season it doesn't matter too much!

To eat a lychee, dig your fingernail (or a knife, I suppose) into the hard outer shell until it breaks and peel it off. You can often just open it a bit and then squeeze the whole thing into your mouth! Lychees are sweet, with soft white flesh inside, which has a texture a bit like a grape. The flavour is usually described as a cross between a grape and a strawberry, which I guess is about as close as you could come to describing it, but really doesn't do it justice!

Be careful, because there are these small stones in the middle. Don't eat them!

The first thing I made with these was lychee muffins from My Discovery of Bread, which required not just chunks of lychee but also lychee juice. I didn't have any but the lychees were so juicy, all I had to do was leave my peeled and pitted fruit in a bowl for a while and wait for the liquid to ooze out. Then a bit of squeezing and I had plenty of juice!

I doubled the recipe, but just as I was about to add the melted butter, I realized I hadn't doubled that! I had some leftover coconut milk in the fridge so I put that in instead.

They came out pretty tasty, but very dense and heavy (maybe because of the coconut milk?). I wasn't crazy about them, but others seemed to enjoy them, so give it a try!

Next I made Big John's Thai Roast Duck with Red Curry, but I didn't have any duck so I used prawns instead, and added red peppers and beans.


And finally, I made lychee and mango popsicles!

I started with 10 lychees and one small mango in the blender, and added some coconut milk for liquid, but I should've been more careful because when I tried it, all I could taste was coconut! So I added more fruit and ended up with about a total of 25 lychees and 3 small mangoes. Of course it was far more than I needed for my 4 small popsicles so I added ice to the rest and had a smoothie!

I'm editing this to add my friend's Lychee Vodka. He simply chops up some lychees, adds them to cheap vodka and infuses it for a week or so. It's absolutely delicious, and is great to drink just on its own.

The remains of the bottle my friend brought to the Bia Hoi.
It didn't last long.

These are just a few ideas of things you can make with lychees, and there are so many others, so just experiment! Combine them with any other kind of tropical fruit or ingredients and I can almost guarantee success, but I still think my favourite way to eat them is all by themselves, fresh from the market! 

1 comment:

  1. :) you could also make vodka :D. great post jen xox


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