How to Eat Fresh Lychees

Learning how to eat fresh lychees is a summer pleasure. These nuts, also called litchi, can be found in specialty grocery and Asian markets. Turn your fresh lychees into a martini, mojito or a liqueur.

After peeling lychees, they are ready to eat!
After peeling fresh lychees, they are ready to eat!

How to Pick out the Perfect Lychee

Find perfect lychee nuts in a grocery store.
Find perfect lychee nuts in a grocery store.

Lychee is usually in season from late spring to early fall. If you can’t find it in your grocery market, make sure to look for the nuts during the heat of summer – that’s always when I have the best luck.

It’s important to remember that since these fruit-like berries are actually nuts, they do not ripen once they are picked from the tree. They will, however, start fermenting. It’s best to use the lychees within one week after purchasing.

To check to see if your fruit is ripe, gently press on the skin. It should be give a little, but bounce back once you remove your finger. Overripe Lychees will feel squishy to the touch. Ripe Lychees will have a pinkish hue to the husk and have a pleasant, floral scent. Overripe or spoiled fruits will have a husk that is brown, moldy or a broken peel.

What do Lychees Taste Like?

Lychees are sweet and juicy.

When you bite into a lychee, it will be a juicy burst in your mouth. The initial flavor of a Lychee is incredibly sweet and then the sweetness fades to a more floral note, similar to the flavor of a rose.

Because Lychees are so highly desired, you will often see them in cans at the grocery market.

How to Peel and Eat Lychees

Learning how to peel lychees is critical if you want to eat them! Pick them up at Andronico’s or at your local grocery store.

First, you will start with your nuts whole.

Peel away the skin to reveal the white juicy flesh underneath.

Continue peeling the skin until it all comes off. Then, pop out the seed in the middle by peeling the white flesh away. Discard the seeds and use the flesh for eating on its own, or use it to make a Lychee Mojito.

Ready-to-Eat Lychees

This raw Lychee fruit is delicious when it is enjoyed fresh from the husk. Even though it is a great snack on it’s own, you can easily incorporate it into other recipes. It compliments cheese, wine and other delicacies because of its sweet and floral flavor.

Lychees also pair well with other fruits in a tropical fruit salad. Make a fresh fruit salad with Dragon Fruit, mangos, coconut and banana.

You will often see Lychees in Asian desserts. They easily add a sweetness to dishes without adding regular or palm sugar. If you enjoy the flavor of Lychee, look for Lychee jelly to add to milk teas, or blend the fruit into a smoothie.

How to Use Lychees

Are you wondering how to use your freshly-peeled Lychees?

If you can resist eating the Lychees all at once, there are a couple recipes that use Lychees.

  • Use them as a garnish for fruity cocktails such as a Long Beach Iced Tea

Nutritional Information of Lychees

In a 3.5oz serving of lychees, which is about 10 fruits, contains:

  • 66 calories
  • 16 carbohydrates
  • 15 grams of sugar
  • 1 gram of fiber
  • .5 gram of protein

Since Lychees are a sugar-rich food, it is easy to add them to other dishes to add sweetness while also adding nutritional benefit.

Lychees are also rich in vitamins and minerals. In the same 3.5 oz serving, you will receive about 72 milligrams of Vitamin C.

Lychees also provide the antioxidant Oligonol. This compound is thought to lower trigylcerides which will help you lose and maintain a healthy weight.

How to Eat other Exotic Fruit

How to Eat Fresh Lychees

5.0 from 2 votes
Recipe by Sarah
Course: Cooking TipsCuisine: AsianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


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  • Peel back the pink outer skin and peel away from the flesh.
  • Peel the white flesh away and pop out the dark seed in the middle. Discard.
  • Eat the white flesh of the nut or save for another recipe.

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