Lychee: Tips and Tricks

Feeling the siren call of luscious lychee but not sure how to crack the nut? With some tender love and care, it’s easy to bring the balanced flavor of lychee to Chinese inspired dishes and beyond. From selection and storage to flavor pairings and favorite varieties, here’s the information you need to start launching your lychee expedition.

  • When selecting lychee, look for smooth, red skinned specimens that feel heavy for their size and have a fragrant aroma. Bright colored skin and fruit are also telltale signs of quality.
  • Lychee should always be stored with its skin intact, as this will increase the shelf life of the fruit. If stored in the refrigerator with some light airflow, your lychee should last about a week.
    • Pro Tip: As lychees age, they ferment and gain an odd smell, so give yours a whiff if you think they may be going bad!
  • Similar to pomegranate or coconut, you need to crack into lychee in order to get to the fruit. For best results, we’d recommend piercing the skin, lightly peeling back a portion, and squeezing out the fruit. 
  • With their mellow sweet/tart flavors, lychees play nice with a lot of different ingredients. To start, we’d recommend pairing lychee with tropical fruits (like pineapple and coconut), chocolate, or ginger!
  • Having trouble deciding which variety of lychee to start with? The Brewster variety is a great jumping off point because of its classic flavor and large fruit!