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The lychee’s tough pink rind conceals a fragrant white fruit that pairs perfectly with spicy Asian dishes and refreshing springtime desserts.

LYCHEE AND RASPBERRY SORBET

450g lychees

1 pint raspberries

1 handful ice cubes

Fresh berries, to garnish

1) Add the lychees, raspberries and a handful of ice cubes to a blender. Purée until smooth. 2) Pour the mixture into large ice cube trays and let it freeze. 3) Return the frozen fruit cubes to a blender and blend into a soft slush. 4) Spoon into glasses and top with fresh fruit. 

FROZEN VIRGIN LYCHEE MARGARITAS

1 handful of crushed ice

3 tablespoons of lychee purée (see circle)

30ml lime juice

To serve:

Coarse sea salt

1/4 lime

8 to 10 small ice cubes

1 lychee

2 slices of untreated lemon

1) For the salt edge, pour the salt on to a small, flat plate. Turn the rim of the cocktail glass in the lime quarter and dip into the salt. 2) For the drink, put the crushed ice cream with lychee purée and lime juice into a shaker and shake well. Put the ice cubes in the cocktail glass, strain the drink through a strainer and serve with lychee and fresh lemon slices.

LYCHEE AND DUCK BREAST THAI RED CURRY

4 duck breasts

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4cm knob fresh ginger, chopped

45ml Thai red curry paste

2 tbsp lime juice

30ml fish sauce

400g tin coconut milk

150g sugar snap peas

150g baby corn

100g pak choi

12 lychees, peeled, de-pipped and diced

Coriander, for topping

Steamed white rice, for serving

1) Score the duck breast fat with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut through to
the flesh below. Season with salt and pepper. 2) Heat a deep pan over a medium heat and cook the duck, fat-side down, until most of the fat has been rendered and skin is golden and crispy – about ten minutes. Flip and briefly cook on the flesh side. Remove from the pan and rest for five minutes, then thinly slice. 3) Drain most of the fat from the pan, then add the garlic and ginger and cook for a few seconds. Add the curry paste, lime juice, fish sauce and coconut milk and mix well. Gently simmer for five minutes. 4) Toss in the vegetables and lychees and cook for five to eight minutes, or until just tender. Ladle the sauce into bowls, top with the sliced duck and coriander and serve with rice.

LYCHEE BUBBLE TEA

125ml large sago or tapioca pearls

A few drops food colouring

80g lychee jelly

1 litre rooibos vanilla tea

250ml vanilla iced tea

750ml ice

10 lychees, peeled and de-pipped

Condensed milk, to taste

Rosewater syrup, for serving

1) Simmer the sago and food colouring in boiled water for 15 minutes or until just tender. Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 15 minutes before draining and rinsing in cool water. 2) Make the jelly according to the packet instructions, using only half the recommended quantity of liquid. Set in a shallow bowl. 3) Dice the set jelly into pieces small enough to fit through a straw. 4) Place the ice, lychees, rooibos tea and iced tea in a blender and blitz to form a smooth slush. 5) Spoon a generous amount of sago into the bottom of each glass. Top with iced tea slush, drizzle over some condensed milk and rosewater syrup and serve with straws and spoons.

SPICED INDIAN CHICKEN AND LYCHEE SALAD

4 chicken breasts

2 tbsp curry powder

Vegetable oil

1 tsp each black mustard and cumin seeds

6 cardamom pods, husks removed

16 curry leaves

1 tsp garlic, chopped

2 tsp ginger, chopped

1 chilli, chopped

150g mange tout

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

150g bean sprouts, blanched and refreshed

60ml mint and coriander leaves

10 lychees, peeled, de-pipped and halved

Lime juice, to taste

1) Chop the chicken breasts into chunks and toss in the curry powder. Season well with salt and pepper. 2) Heat a generous glug of oil in a pan and add the whole spices, curry leaves, garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook until the spices begin to pop, then drain the oil and spices into a bowl and set aside. 3) Heat a pan over a high heat and cook the chicken, mange tout and asparagus in oil, in separate batches. 4) Place the cooked chicken, chargrilled vegetables, bean sprouts, herbs and lychees in a bowl with the oil and spice mixture. Dress with lime juice and toss to coat, then season and serve immediately.

LYCHEE, GREEN COCONUT AND PASSION FRUIT ICE LOLLIES

1 green coconut

40-60ml lime juice

15 lychees, peeled and de-pipped

60ml castor sugar

Pulp of 4 passion fruits

1) Crack open the green coconut. Drain the coconut water into a bowl and scoop out the flesh. 2) Place the coconut water and flesh, lime juice, lychee flesh and sugar in a blender and blitz until smooth. 3) Stir the passion fruit pulp through half the mixture to make two flavours. 4) Pour each mixture into five lolly moulds and freeze until solid.