It’s What’s Inside that Counts: Beneath the tough, rough skin of a lychee, you’ll find a fragrant, whitish flesh with unmatched flavor that not only tastes good, but is good for you too! Packed with vitamin C and other nutrients, lychee has a wealth of health benefits including boosting the immune system, improving digestion, lowering blood pressure, defending the body against viruses, protecting the skin, strengthening bones, and more.
Keep them Fresh: Once ripe, lychee begin to spoil after three to five days at room temperature. To save your precious fruit, store them in the refrigerator where they’ll last for several weeks—if the lychee lover in your house doesn’t get to them first! The red skin will turn dark brown after refrigeration, but the taste won’t be affected.
Frozen Treat: Freeze lychee whole with the skin on. Then thaw and peel them when you want a sweet treat. You won’t even know they’ve been frozen. You can also run frozen lychee under warm water for 15 seconds to soften the skin, then peel, and pop them in your mouth.
All in the Family: Lychee, rambutan and longan are all members of the soapberry family, but they’re easy to tell apart when whole. Lychee are red with a rough skin; rambutan have red-orange bristles; longan have a smooth, green-to-beige skin. Once peeled, they look virtually identical but differ slightly in flavor.
For a Twist: You’ve likely enjoyed lychee in sweet treats like cocktails and desserts and you may have even tried them stuffed with cream cheese. But in Asia, lychee are cooked with pork, shrimp, chicken or duck, the same way we might use orange, mango or pineapple. So don’t be afraid to add them to your favorite savory dish.