Summertime is all about enjoying fresh, delicious, and refreshing fruits and experimenting with them. And one of our absolute favourite summer fruits is litchi. So, from salads to thirst-quenching drinks, here are some of the best litchi recipes to give the season a refreshing twist!
1. Thai Prawn & Litchi Salad
A handful of coriander leaves
For the dressing:
1 red chilli (optional)
1 tbsp brown sugar
Juice of 2 limes
2 tsp fish sauce
A handful of onions thinly sliced and sauteed
Start by making the dressing for the salad. Begin with mashing the chilli (if using) using a pestle and mortar. Then, in a separate bowl, add the remaining ingredients, mix together, and adjust according to your taste. Combine the prawns, mint, coriander, litchis, beansprouts, and half the peanuts with the dressing, and toss well. Place this onto a serving platter and garnish with the remaining peanuts and onions. Enjoy this refreshing litchi salad recipe for lunch or as part of a lavish weekend brunch.
2. Frozen Litchi and Mint Cocktails
400 grams canned litchi
A small bunch of mint leaves
100 ml vodka (swap with litchi juice for a non-alcoholic beverage)
Juice of 2 limes
A handful of ice
Take a blender and pour the litchi syrup from the can into it along with 4-5 litchis, a small bunch of mint leaves (leave some for garnish), vodka, and lime juice. To this, add ice and blend until it comes to a slushy consistency. Serve in glasses garnished with a mint sprig and litchi. Now, isn’t that a great way to enjoy this seasonal fruit?
3. Litchi Salsa
1/2 cup chopped litchi
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 chopped green apple
1/2 chopped spring onions
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp finely chopped green chillis
1/2 dried oregano
Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Mash the fruits lightly and refrigerate the salsa till you are ready to serve it as a side dish or starter.
4. Litchi and Passion Fruit Panna Cottas
5 sheets gelatin
6 tbsp passion fruit, orange or lemon curd
2 ripe passion fruits, flesh scooped out, to serve
For the passion fruit jelly:
200 ml strained passion fruit juice, plus 2 tbsp seeds
40 grams golden caster sugar
2 sheets gelatin
Passion fruit jelly:
Start by making the passion fruit jelly. For this, heat the passion fruit juice and sugar in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Meanwhile, put the 2 sheets of gelatin in cold water and leave to soak for about 5 minutes until soft. Then, take the juice off the heat, add the gelatin, and stir until it melts, followed by the passion fruit seeds. Pour into 6 steel or plastic moulds or a container that can be turned out and chill for 1 hour or until it is firmly set.
For the next part, puree the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla paste, and litchis in a food processor or a blender and then sieve and pour into a saucepan. While it is heating, soak 5 sheets of gelatin in cold water, as before, until soft. When the cream is just about to boil, remove it from the heat, squeeze the water from the gelatin, add sheets to the cream mixture, and stir until dissolved. Let it cool to room temperature, then stir and pour into the moulds. Let it chill for at least 3 hours or up to a day, to set.
Combining the dish:
Lastly, when you are ready to serve, pour boiling water into a bowl, and dip the sides of each mould into the water, holding it in for a second. Then, carefully place a plate on top and flip it over to turn out. Serve the Panna cottas with extra litchis, some curd, and more passion fruit flesh.
5. Lime Custards with Litchis
2 limes, zest removed in wide strips, plus finely grated zest for serving
A pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
2 and 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
450 grams canned litchis, drained
Take a medium saucepan and place it over medium-high heat. To this, add wide strips of lime zest, salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 cups cream, and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, swirling pan occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn’t overboil and until the cream is slightly thickened, for about 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat and stir in some lime juice. Then, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring glass, and divide it into 4 small glasses or bowls. Let it chill until custards are no longer warm, for about 30 minutes, and then cover with plastic wrap and continue to chill until set, at least 2 hours.
Just before serving, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of cream in a small bowl to soft peaks and whisk in the remaining 1 tbsp sugar. Lastly, top each custard with dollops of cream, a few litchis, and some finely grated lime zest. A creamy smooth litchi recipe to try for dessert this season!
6. Chicken & Litchi Green Curry
1 tsp olive oil
3 tbsp green curry paste
400 grams full fat coconut milk
1/3 cup chicken stock
3 large chicken breasts
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro
1 tsp honey
1 cup peeled litchis
3 kaffir lime leaves (or 1 tsp lime zest)
1 tbsp chopped red chilli
7. Litchi Cherry Blender Ice Cream
1 and 1/2 cup frozen cherries, whole
1/2 cup frozen cherries, chopped
Cream from 1 can of coconut milk (put the milk in the refrigerator to let the cream separate)
1 tbsp honey (or maple or agave syrup)
Place coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight to allow the cream to solidify and separate. Once done, scoop the coconut cream out of the can, and add to the blender with 1 and 1/2 cups of whole frozen cherries, litchis, and honey. Blend till it comes to a smooth consistency, remove it from the blender, and mix in 1/2 cup of chopped frozen cherries. You can serve this right away or freeze it for 1-2 hours until firm.
Featured Image Source