Lychee gives sweet boost to several savory dishes
How to eat a lychee: Peel, pop in mouth, spit out seed.
If you need a lot for a recipe, though, a serrated knife will make quick work of the thin skin. Make one cut all the way around, all the way through the fruit, around the seed. The fruit will pop out of the skin and the seed can easily be lifted out.
What do to with lychee: Toss it into fruit salads or gelatin molds. Serve it with Chinese-style almond float. Add some sliced lychee to chicken salad or stir-fries. Puréed lychee is often added to sweet-and-sour or barbecue sauces, and lychee juice (purée fruit and strain) makes for a trendy martini.
Big Island caterer Fran Morales-McCully created these dishes for the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Cooperative.
Mahimahi with Lychee Sambal
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 mahimahi fillets, about 2 pounds total
1 egg white, beaten
Flour, for dredging
1/4 pound seeded fresh lychee, diced
1-1/2 ounces shallots, sliced fine
1 teaspoon finely chopped lemongrass, from inside core
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 clove garlic, pressed
To make sambal: Combine ingredients and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. After a couple of minutes, add oil to pan.
Meanwhile, pat fish dry, coat in egg white, then dredge in flour. Sauté in heated oil until edges begin to turn white and bottom is golden, a few minutes.
Flip over; sauté a couple of minutes longer, until the fish is cooked. Serve each fillet with about 1/4 cup of sambal. Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 380 calories, 12 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 165 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 45 g protein.
Bar-B-Q Lychee Chicken
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1-1/2 pounds lychee, seeded
» Lychee Bar-B-Q Sauce
12 to 15 lychee, seeded
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mash lychee with potato masher to release juice. Mix chicken with lychee juice and pulp; marinate overnight in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove chicken from marinade and place in roasting pan. Bake 20 minutes.
To make sauce: Purée lychee, then strain. You should have 1 cup juice. Combine with remaining ingredients; mix well.
Prepare a grill. Grill chicken pieces, brushing with sauce. Turn chicken and brush again; turn once more time and brush again. (Chicken will already be cooked through; grill just to heat chicken and provide barbecue flavor.)
Serve with sauce on the side. Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (assumes all sauce is consumed): 230 calories, 6 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 115 mg cholesterol, 275 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, no fiber, 15 g sugar, 27 g protein.
COURTESY MUTUAL PUBLISHING
Shake up a Lycheetini
"Hawaiian Tropical Cocktails: Created with the Fruits of the Islands," by Mark Sullivan with David K. McAteer, offers the following recipe for a lychee drink.
Sullivan has tended bar at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, Indigo Eurasian Cuisine and Big Island Steak House.
His collection of 90 recipes, recently released by Mutual Publishing Co., is available in bookstores for $24.95, or through www.mutualpublishing.com
3 lychee, fresh or canned
3 ounces lychee-infused rum
1-1/2 ounces peach schnapps (DeKuyper Peachtree preferred)
Cut lychee in small pieces and place in shaker glass filled with ice. Add run and schnapps and shake until fruit is pulverized. Pour into well-chilled martini glass, straining out ice, but not fruit. Garnish with whole fruit on skewer.
Nutritional information unavailable.
Nutritional analyses by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S.