August 12, 2018

Longan Dragon Eye Fruit 龍眼

Longan, Dragon Eye, Fruit, chinese,   龍眼, summer fruit,
By Published: 2018-08-12
It's that time of the year for that exotic summer fruit, the lusciously sweet Longan Dragon Eye Fruit 龍眼, another fruit that originates from southern China.  This small rather humble looking fruit hides an inside of translucent soft white flesh that is unbelievably sweet.  I do believe it could be the sweetest fruit that I have ever tasted, even giving the summer favorite and Queen of Fruits, the Lychee 荔枝 , a serious run for the money.

Look for the Longan Dragon Eye fruit at your nearest asian grocer or the wet market here in Hong Kong in these summer months.  When buying these fruit look for firm fruits with hard shells and no hints of mold.  Get a good big bunch cuz you're definitely not going to stop eating after just a few!

Longan, Dragon Eye, Fruit, chinese,   龍眼, summer fruit,

Wash only the amount of fruit you're planning to eat right away.  Unwashed fruit can keep for at least a couple of days at room temperature.  Don't store in the fridge or in a tightly enclosed bag where the fruit would sweat. 

The fruits themselves are small and must be peeled before eating.  A bit of work, to be sure, but totally worth the sweet reward!  Actually the peeling is pretty easy once you know about this little trick on how to peel them.  The shell of the longan is hard but thin.  Just get a longan in between your finger and press gently until the shell cracks open, just like in the photo above.


Longan, Dragon Eye, Fruit, chinese,   龍眼, summer fruit,

Peel off one half of the shell, lickety split!


Longan, Dragon Eye, Fruit, chinese,   龍眼, summer fruit,

Pinch the remaining half shell and the longan should pop right off, into your mouth or a bowl, whichever you like.

Longan, Dragon Eye, Fruit, chinese,   龍眼, summer fruit,

And that's it, you've peeled your Longan Dragon Eye fruit, savored (don't eat the seed!) and enjoyed every last bit of the tender lusciously sweet flesh.   So succulent!  A sweetness is so intense, so alluring.  You just want to eat more and more.  The dried longan is delicious as well and great for making teas and even just as a snack, nom, nom!  Check out how to make homemade dried longan here!


And for the curious, have you guessed the reason for the Chinese name of Dragon Eye 龍眼 for this fruit?  Well, the translucent pearly whites of the longan flesh with a dark brown seed inside looks like an eyeball.  A dragon eye.  Sorta...I guess.  But heck, why not?  It's a fabulous name for a fabulous fruit!


More Fantastical Fruit at The Hong Kong Cookery:





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