- Cristina Sison
Lychee Strawberry Salad
As the name of the recipe implies, that’s all it takes to make this dish! A very creative and imaginative name for a recipe with only two ingredients plus mint leaves to garnish. This makes a refreshing dessert or snack during the summer, but adding a shot or two of Bombay Sapphire Gin makes it a winter weather dessert or punch.
When we were growing up, my grandmother would bring home a couple of bundles of lychee fruit from Bangkok. It was such a treat for us because lychees were not available in the Philippines. This was before free trade, canned fruit, and strict quarantine at airports!
I do not find the lychee fruit (Litchi chinensis) very popular in the US and not everyone has a liking for its flavor. It is more popular in Asia but not cheap! In the US it is mostly sold in Asian stores, also not cheap, and resembles more the dying fruit! It is cheaper to buy it canned in syrup and more aesthetically acceptable. It is higher in vitamin C (71.5 mg) than an orange (53.2mg) based on a 100 g weight but without the sour flavor of a citrus fruit.
I am not sure what it is that makes this fruit unappealing to some since it has a very pleasant sweet flavor typical of a ripe fruit. I am guessing it is the texture of its flesh that is not as “crisp” as grapes, nor crunchy as the apple. Lychees are fibrous but not like the pineapple, soft but not like the ripe papaya or mango. It has a bit of crunch as you bite through the flesh towards the inner core where it was once attached to the seed. The color is not as attractive as the berries, and the oranges. The Lychee is usually mixed with black gelatin, which does not add to its appeal. If just for the flavor, it makes a good cocktail when blended with vodka, gin or tequilla.
It is definitely juicier and sweeter as a fresh fruit. Fresh is always better than the canned version. Unfortunately, good quality fresh lychee off the stem is hard to find so let’s settle with the canned version!
1 can Lychees in syrup
8 pcs Fresh Strawberries
Mint leaves to garnish
2 shots of Gin (or preferred liquor, optional)
Pour canned lychee with syrup on a serving bowl. Cut strawberries in half and add to the lychees. Take a few mint leaves and add to the fruit mix, then add two shots of liquor. Cover and chill before serving.