Lychee Fruit: A Delicious and Nutrient-Packed Tropical Delight in Hawaii (updated 2023)

There’s nothing like eating Lychee Fruit when it is fresh and ripe from the local markets or even picked from your own tree if you are lucky enough to grow some. One of the favorite Hawaiian fruit on the islands, lychee fruit are treasured and sought after when they are in season. You’ll find lychees for sale at all the markets or given from your neighbors who have loaded trees of the delicious fruit to eat.

For those that haven’t tried lychee fruit from anything but canned versions, here’s a great primer below.

Lychee Fruit is so amazing when it is in season on the islands. The wonderful taste and juicy fruit is so satisfying and also nutritious to eat.

Lychee Fruit - Wonderful taste and so good to eat

What is Lychee Fruit?

Native to China but now grown in many tropical areas including India and Southeast Asia and the United States in Florida and Hawaii, lychee is known as the “Alligator Strawberry Fruit” for its combination scaly skin and bright red color that shares the look but not the taste of either. The red bumpy skin is typically roundish with thin skin that is easy to peel with white translucent flesh that is both fragrant, sweet, flowery and very juicy.

The lychee fruit is composed of the red skin, white fleshy fruit and a dark brown seed with a thin skin and grape like fruit but even better and tasty to eat.  Lychees are best eaten raw when it is ripe but can be used for smoothies, salads, blended into fancy cocktails or dressing and even used in desserts and other sweet inspirations.

Lychee Fruit - Wonderful taste and so good to eat

How to select and eat lychee fruit

The lychee fruit is typically sold in bunches and it is easy to binge eat all of it when it is ripe and sweet tasting. The skin is easy to peel like a grape and revealing the translucent white flesh fruit. If you are preparing for a dish, it is easy to cut in half and pinch the seed out from the fruity layer or you can also chop it up into small slices.

Choose lychee that is vibrantly colored and typically a nice bright red color and sweetly smelling fruit that is slightly soft to the touch. Too mushy and musty smelling or brown fruit should be avoided because it is already overripe.

How to select and eat lychee fruit

Taste of the Lychee fruit

There’s a lot of complexity but the main thing that stands out in the taste of a lychee is a blend of strawberry, rambutan and citrus taste. You’ll find lychees have this sweet smell with the floral notes, and really juicy flesh that squirts everywhere.

Nutritional benefits to lychee fruit

The lychee fruit broken down to about 82% water, 17% of Carbohydrate and 1% protein and minimal fat. Lychees are fantastic for a variety of health and diet benefits and contains important nutritional benefits including:

Lychee is loaded with Vitamin C and B complex

Lychee contain anti-oxidants and also aids in the production of red blood cells.

Lychee helps to suppress your appetite

The fruit is known to help control heart disease,

Lychee fruit help to aid in digestion and increasing your metabolism.

Nutritional benefits to lychee fruit

What to do with Lychee and some delicious recipes

You can use fresh lychees in drinks, desserts and even savory type of dishes. In Asian style cuisine, lychee fruit and the sauce can be used in a stir fry and using chicken, sea food and fish dishes. Check out some of these delicious recipes below.

What to do with Lychee – delicious recipes

Make Lychee Martini with Hawaiian Ocean Vodka

How about making a lychee / lime sorbet?

Savory lychee fried rice

Hmmmm Lychee ice cream for a luscious dessert

Other inside tips for eating, storing and preparing lychee fruit

Selecting ripe lychee: Look for lychee fruit with vibrant red or pink skin, which indicates ripeness. Avoid fruits with brown spots or blemishes.

Storing lychee: Keep fresh lychee fruit in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. This helps maintain humidity while allowing some airflow, extending its shelf life for up to a week.

Freezing lychee: To freeze lychee, peel and remove the seeds. Place the fruit in an airtight container or freezer bag, and store it in the freezer for up to three months. Frozen lychee can be enjoyed as a refreshing snack or used in smoothies and desserts.

Seasonality: Lychee fruit is typically in season during the summer months, from May to August, depending on the region. This is when you’ll find the freshest and most abundant supply in markets.

Health benefits: Lychee is not only delicious but also rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. It can support immune health, promote digestion, and contribute to healthy skin.

Culinary uses: Apart from eating lychee fresh, you can incorporate it into various recipes. It adds a sweet and tropical flavor to fruit salads, cocktails, sorbets, and sauces.

Tips for eating: To enjoy lychee, gently peel off the skin, revealing the juicy flesh. You can remove the seed before consuming or simply suck on it to extract the fruit’s sweet and tangy juice.

Remember to enjoy lychee fruit in moderation as part of a balanced diet, and consult a healthcare professional if you have any specific dietary concerns.

Check out these other delicious Hawaiian inspired food topics

If you are looking for other delicious food and fruit topics in Hawaii, check out our posts below for more inspiration.

A complete Hawaii foods guide

Locals love these tasty Hawaiian snacks

Popular Hawaiian dishes you need to try

Traditional Hawaiian food favorite dishes

Comfort foods of Hawaii

Delicious Hawaiian tropical fruits

How to pick a ripe pineapple

Hawaiian Spam and recipes

Hawaii chocolate making and tour

Hawaiian style banana bread

Farmers markets in Hawaii

Avocado season in Hawaii

Mango season in Hawaii

Pineapple season in Hawaii

Are you hungry for some Lychee fruit?

Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Lychee fruit.  Do you have any other tips or suggestions to add to this post – please share in the comment section below thanks again.

Conclusion on Lychee Fruit from Hawaii

In conclusion, lychee fruit is a delicious tropical delight with a vibrant red or pink exterior and juicy, sweet flesh. It is available during the summer months and can be enjoyed fresh or frozen for later use. Lychee is packed with nutrients, including vitamin C and antioxidants, and offers various health benefits. It can be incorporated into a range of culinary creations, from salads to desserts. Remember to store and select ripe lychee properly, and enjoy this exotic fruit in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

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  1. Bola

    Pleased to learn that Lychee helps to suppress our appetite and helps fight heart disease . I can’t believe I’ve ignored this fruit for so long. Thanks for the insight!

    • emorata

      How can anyone resist delicious Lychee fruit, it is so delicious and healthy

  2. Karen Warren

    I’ve only ever had lychees out of a tin. I can imagine they would be delicious fresh…

    • emorata

      Yes fresh Lychees from Hawaii are fresh and so sweet unlike the sappy canned versions

  3. Doreen Pendgracs

    I love lychee, but haven’t had them for a long while. Thx for reminding this of this delicious delicacy, Noel.

    • emorata

      Fresh lychee from Hawaii, it really doesn’t get any better.

  4. Jeff & Crystal Bryant

    We never knew that Lychee was grown in Hawaii. This delicious fruit is so versatile. I just might give that martini recipe a try.

    • emorata

      You’ll have to visit Hawaii to try some fresh lychee in season here.



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Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.