Ingredient Name: Longan (fresh)
Traditional Chinese Name: 龍眼; (lóngyǎn)
What is this?
- A small, round fruit found in Southern China and Southeast Asia
- The longan (“dragon eyes”) is so named because the fruit resembles an eyeball when it is shelled (the black seed shows through the translucent flesh like pupil). The seed is small, round and hard.
- It is a close relative of the lychee.
- In Chinese medicine the longan, much like the lychee, is considered a “warm” or “heaty” fruit.
How do I prepare it?
- Wash and shell longans
- Longans may be eaten fresh, or add them into your soup as a natural sweetener
- The seeds of fresh longan can be boiled and eaten, with a distinctive nutty flavor
Where can I buy this?
- You can purchase at most supermarkets, especially Asian supermarkets
- They may be seasonal (available at different times of the year) depending on suppliers because longan trees require specific temperature conditions to bear fruit
- If in Asia, many street vendors sell them as well.
- Dried longan
- Canned, peeled longan in syrup
What is the cost?
- This is a seasonal fruit and prices can vary widely.
- Longan is considered to help with relaxation
- It may also help with insomnia
- Longan is considered a “heaty” fruit. Eat in moderation.
- Longans (in shell) will keep well in room temperature for several days. Because of the firmer rind, the fruit is less perishable than the lychee.
- The fruit can be frozen and will not break down as quickly as the lychee when thawed.