As soon as you learn how to peel lychee, the exotic, tropical fruit might just become one of your favorites!
Lychees are native to Southern China, and are grown in tropical climates all over the world.
Just a bit bigger than an average-sized grape, they have a stunning reddish-pink, slightly bumpy skin. The flesh of a lychee is translucent and white and has a dark brown seed.
What does lychee taste like?
The flesh of lychee fruit is deliciously sweet and juicy with a soft, chewy, jelly-like texture.
I think the flavor is reminiscent of a sweet pear.
Lychee are very aromatic, and many people think lychee taste like the scent of a rose.
(The skin is inedible.)
When is lychee season?
Fresh Lychees are available in late spring through mid-summer.
How to Peel and Pit Lychee Fruit
- Gently use your fingers to easily remove the skin from the fruit.
The skin will probably come off in a few small pieces.
- Use your fingers to carefully dig into the lychee a bit to remove the pit.
You’ll likely notice a thin, brown layer of color from the pit, that will remain on the the inside of the fruit. Don’t try to remove this — it’s very soft and doesn’t detract from the flavor of the fruit. (If you try to remove it, you’ll loose a lot of juice in the process.)
(More detailed instructions are below.)
How to Use Fresh Lychees
As with most produce, eating the fresh fruit on its own is amazing! And they are also delightful in recipes.
A sweet and a savory recipe with Lychees:
- Lychee Ice Cream with Chocolate (pictured below)
- Chicken and Lychee Green Curry
Enjoy! I think you'll love how a lychee tastes.
When in season (late spring through mid-summer), you'll be able to find them in most Asian markets.
Lychee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 1 dozen fresh lychee fruit
- A ripe lychee should be easy to peel with your fingers. Be very gentle as you carefully remove the thin skin from the fruit. It will likely come off in just a few pieces.
- Use your fingers to dig into the lychee a bit to remove the pit. It should slide right out. You’ll notice a very thin, brownish layer from the pit, that will remain on the the inside of the fruit. Don’t try to remove this — it’s very soft and doesn’t detract from the flavor of the fruit. (If you try to remove it, you’ll loose a lot of juice in the process.)
Beautiful! Yes, I want to try some lychees! Wonder if I can find some in Vermont?
Hi Valentina! So good to see you at the food crawl; thank you for coming! Great tips. 🙂
Cathy @ She Paused 4 Thought
Wow. I have always been intimidated by a lychee. I can't wait to get my hands on some and try your ice cream.
I peeled off the cover and slit through the fruit dent line and pulled the seed from bottom up, worked like a breeze, Thank you.
That's great! So happy it worked for you. 🙂 ~Valentina
thank you cookingontheweekends for giving me wonderful information
So plump and juicy! I miss some good quality lychees and longans!
🙂 I love them, too. 🙂 ~Valentina