The nickname given this fruit by the Chinese is “Dragon’s Eye,” because of the characteristic white, eye-shaped mark on the pit. The longan is an edible fruit, and widely used in Oriental medicine. Taiwan have been growing longan on the hillsides of Kaohsiung as early as the Japanese Colonial Period. The limestone terrain of the area has made longan flesh particularly plump and sweet.
Taste and Texture
Longan Fruit is globose, about 1/2 inch in diameter, with thin, brittle, yellow-brown to light reddish-brown rind. The flesh is whitish, translucent, somewhat musky, sweet. It taste between grapes and lychee.
Ripe longans will have an intense tan color. Choose longans that are firm and free of bruises and blemishes.
Health Benefits of Longan
Fat free, saturated fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free and an excellent source of vitamin C.
Used as remedy for stomach ache, insomnia, amnesia, and dropsy. The fruit is said to invigorate the heart and spleen, nourish the blood and have a calming effect on the nervous system.
Origami Sea Bass
24 dried longan
24 goji berries
4 pieces sea bass (6 ounces each)
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, ribs and stems removed, and julienned
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded, ribs and stems removed, and julienned
8 shittake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and julienned
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and julienned
Freshly ground white pepper
2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small bowl mix together dried longan with 1 cup water; set aside until plump. In another small bowl, mix together goji berries with 1 cup water; set aside until plump.
- lace one half of each of the parchment paper boxes on a baking sheet; set aside. Place fish pieces on a cutting board with a long end facing you. Cut fish horizontally stopping about 1/2 inch before reaching the opposite side. Open cut fish like a book.
- Place one piece of fish in the center of each box. Divide peppers, mushrooms, ginger, dried longan, and wolfberries evenly between each box; season with pepper. Top each with 2 tablespoons of Origami Sauce. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon around each piece of sea bass.
- Cover boxes with remaining half of parchment paper boxes. Transfer baking sheet to oven and roast until fish is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve sea bass immediately in their boxes.
Longan Red Date Ginger Tea
A Beautiful Day
Serving: 10 cups
10 cups water
25 dried red dates, vertically sliced
2 inch ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
1 pear, quartered
10 dried longan
Brown sugar for taste (optional)
Pine nuts for garnish (optional)
- Fill a pot with water. Add dates, ginger, pear and longans. Cover and bring to a boil on high heat. Then turn heat to low and simmer for at least an hour.
- Strain juice to reserve and discard the ingredients.
- Longans, dates, and pear are natural sweeteners. Taste before adding sugar.
- Serve it hot or cold with pine nuts