Just Desserts: 6 Criminally Delicious Lychee Dishes

If we had to pick a last meal, it would indubitably end on a sweet note. A perfect dessert is the crescendo to any dining experience, but we find that some chefs seem to play all the same chords. Show your patrons something new by including lychee on your dessert menu. Trust us, these dishes are criminally delicious.

Lychee Cheesecake

There are no bad cheesecakes, only bad techniques. Despite lychee’s “exotic” reputation, it’s actually a fairly mellow fruit flavor-wise, so it can serve as an excellent first foray into tropical cheesecakes! Additionally, it’s a great dish to have year round, because you can substitute in canned lychees instead of fresh ones when the season ends without drastically effecting the quality.

Lychee and Rose Ice Cream

In terms of classy flavor profiles, there are few that can hold a candle to lychee and rose. Deliberately subtle and complex, desserts made with the two offer tart, sweet, and floral notes that are positively divine. To bring a luscious texture that matches the refreshing flavor, we like incorporating the two into a creamy ice cream. Naturally, you wouldn’t use whole rose petals, so sub in rosewater or rose liqueur instead. 

Raspberry and Lychee Pavlova

An eastern take on the classic New Zealand dish, lychee pavlovas have a touch of the elegant and the exotic. The subtle sweetness of lychee shines when incorporated into the rich meringue and helps adds a pop of texture into the dish itself. It’s best to bring in some of lychee’s friends too; raspberries are traditionally used here, but we’ve found success with strawberries and rosewater too!

Berry-Lychee Tart

Lychee’s stateside summer season lines up perfectly with peak blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry season, so any combination can result in an explosion of quality and taste.  We like to bring a little more of the summer season when combining them into a fresh fruit tart. Aside from adding lychee to the tart itself, consider saving some fresh segments as garnish!

  • Pro Tip: Want to impress your guests? Top with fresh whipped cream or mint!

Lychee Dessert Soup

Stick to lychee’s Asian roots by offering a dessert soup! Particularly popular in China and Southeast Asia, dessert soups can be served hot or cold, a la Gazpacho, but we prefer the latter to offer a little comfort on hot days. To start, work with other tropical flavors like banana and coconut milk!

Lychee Pudding

This dish is for those who want to let their lychee do the talking. When mixed into a simple pudding, the flavor of pureed lychee disperses itself into the entire dish, creating an easygoing but rich finished product. Serve alongside a lychee nightcap for a tropical treat.