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Sunday, August 19, 2007


lychee recipes AFAM blog event lychee sauce flaming lychee daiquiri lychee ice cream

My earliest memory of Lychee is when I was about 6 or 7 years old: It was summer holidays  in Calcutta when I got my first taste of this fruit.

Lychee was a strange fruit for me as the flavor was very strong, but the flesh was sort of like the fruit of the palm tree (nungu), and unlike nungu, it had a pit...

And over the last several years, I had not touched Lychee, not so much as thought about it and didn't really miss it much... Until, that is, I saw Sig's announcement that this edition of AFAM, A Fruit A Month, features the exotic Lychee!

We managed to find some fresh lychees as well as canned ones. While shelling/peeling the fresh ones is a pain, I found that pitting it was manageable with a cherry pitter. Of course the juice kind of flows out and the lychee-pits are more intimately bonded to the lychee-flesh compared to cherries, but, hey, it worked!

I decided to go all the way and satisfy my long-dormant Lychee craving thanks to this AFAM event:

lychee recipes AFAM blog event lychee sauce flaming lychee daiquiri lychee ice cream

1. Chicken Breast in Lychee Chilli Sauce: The sweetness of the lychee and the fire of the chillies made this sauce quite delicious, if I may say so :-)

2. Lychee Strawberry Frozen Yogurt: Now, having become a fan of the Cuisinart® Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Maker, I had to make a lychee dessert, naturally...

3. Flaming Lychee Daiquirí : This is entirely D's idea, he enjoys this drink more than me and is a fairly good mixer of drinks!

Chicken Breast in Lychee Chilli Sauce

lychee recipes AFAM blog event lychee sauce flaming lychee daiquiri lychee ice cream

D likes chicken and fish, especially when served with some interesting sauce. Nothing special about the chicken breast: I used a couple of frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed, brined for 30 minutes and then rubbed with a spice rub made of ground pancha phoron; pan-seared it on both sides in a stainless steel pan and finished off cooking in a 375°F oven till the thickest part registered about 165°F, so that it is fully cooked, yet juicy (about 10-12 minutes).
Non-stick pan does not develop the fond that is great for making such a reduction pan sauce

The sauce, now that was the interesting part for me. After pan-searing the chicken, I made the sauce in the same pan so as not to lose any of the fond at the bottom.

Lychee Chilli Sauce:
2 shallots, diced finely (or red onion, if shallots are not handy)
8-10 canned lychee, drained and minced finely
2-3 fresh lychee, if available, or canned is fine, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 Tbsp red miso paste
1 Tbsp sambal oelek
6-8 fresh green chilies, chopped
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar (optional)
¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock
4 Tbsp lychee syrup from the canned lychee
1 Tbsp butter
1 tbsp canola oil
I used some green and red kung pao chilies from my garden :-)

In a blender or food processor, combine the lychees (reserving some), miso, sambal oelek, white vinegar and green chilies and grind to a fine smooth paste

Add the oil to the pan in which the chicken breast was pan-seared, then the shallots, grated ginger and garlic, and let the shallots cook a bit; then add the chicken stock to deglaze and then the ground lychee paste from above and let it simmer gently

Add the reserved chopped lychee, brown sugar (if using), stir the butter in and simmer till the sauce is reduced

Adjust salt to taste - miso is salty enough that I didn't need to add any more...

Smother the chicken breast in the lychee chilli sauce and serve warm.

(Am sure this sauce would be good with fish as well...)

Lychee Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

lychee recipes AFAM blog event lychee sauce flaming lychee daiquiri lychee ice cream

Lychee Strawberry Frozen Yogurt recipe is pretty much the same as my Mango-Strawberry Frozen Yogurt recipe, just substitute lychee and lychee syrup in place of mango ;-)

Flaming Lychee Daiquirí

lychee recipes AFAM blog event lychee sauce flaming lychee daiquiri lychee ice cream lychee recipes AFAM blog event lychee sauce flaming lychee daiquiri lychee ice cream

1½ shots Bacardi 151 Rum
1 shot lychee syrup
¼ tsp superfine sugar (optional)

Mix in a shaker filled with ice, strain and pour into a martini glass. Then carefully set it on fire :-)

Blow out the fire after about 15-20 seconds, and enjoy!

(overproof rum is best to get it flaming...)

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  • At 12:47 PM, Blogger Priyanka said…

    OH my!!! its raining lychees on ur blog.... great entries.

  • At 9:49 PM, Blogger Sig said…

    Wow, looks AMAZING Sheela... Just my kinda dishes, all three... I can just imagine a meal with all these three... that flaming daiquiri is HOT!! Thanks for the wonderful entries dearie...

  • At 4:27 AM, Blogger Arts said…

    Dropped in here thru AFAM roundup.. Lovely entries.. U have been real creative :)
    Loved all dishes.. esp the flaming daiquiri!

  • At 6:01 AM, Blogger bee said…

    that is really awesome.

  • At 6:04 AM, Blogger bee said…

    dear sheela, a request:

    could you pleae get your blog on food blog desam? it's an RSS aggregator for desi blogs. (you need to contact indira of mahanandi it makes it easy to stay in touch with your latest posts. if you are on there already, sorry for not checking the FBD list thoroughly.

  • At 1:22 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    thank you all!

    and, bee, thanks for pointing me to food blog desam - i will try to get myself on it soon...


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