Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bite me: Summer Fruit Bliss

This Summer I found out that I am a....FRUIT ADDICT. I eat fruit every minute of the day. If there was a Mad Fruit Disease, I would have caught it for sure. There are so many kinds of plums, grapes, mangoes and pears to choose from. And then came the 'unheard ofs'. I'm from the tropics, so I thought I had tasted it all. Well I was pleasantly surprised. I've forgotten most of their names but my taste buds have much better memory. So here is a review of my favorites.

Lychee fruit by SUJA on flickr

Lychee 荔枝  lì zhī

The shape and size reminds me a lot of the Caribbean chenette/chinup/skinup (we can argue about the names later). However it's a heavy sweet flavor with a smooth texture and juicy flesh I never get tired of eating. After a little reading, I learnt that they are a very good source of Vitamin C (1/2 cup can meet the daily requirement), Vitamin B complex, Copper, Phosphorus and also Phenols which are great antioxidants.

Longyan Fruit

Dragon eye Fruit 龙眼 lóng yǎn

It's the firmer version of the Lychee and sort of taste like a mango without the hairy issues. Although it's lower in Vitamin B, it also provides more Vitamin C and Potassium. Dragon eye fruit 'nourishes' the nervous system and help to treat insomnia and forgetfulness so I really hope these are in season next semester. Don't mess with the Dragon.

Dragon Fruit 火龙果 huǒ lóng guǒ

By now you've probably figured out that the Dragon is very important in Chinese culture. First of all, I was completely attracted to the color. What fruit comes in bright pink? A pretty and chic one, right? And the coat and layers scream 'freakum dress'. I've seen it in fruit salad and as a birthday cake topping, but this summer was my first time eating it. The insides hold a very delicate sweetness and tartness; a definite contrast to the party on the outside. Great source of Vitamin C, Potassium, Plant albumin which helps in detoxification and Anthocyanin which maintains the health of your blood vessels. And since it's low in calories and fat and high in cellulose, it perfect for the munchies.

Here is a roughly translated recipe using Dragon fruit and shrimp. I'm so sorry that I couldn't provide measurements but I know you'll make a boss dish from this inspiration.

Mystical Fried Shrimp

Dragon fruit
Sand Shrimp
Green onion

1. Peel fresh shrimp and remove moisture with a dry cloth.

2. Add salt and after some time, drain the water and squeeze with a dry cloth. Mix shrimp and egg white and then add dry starch, stirring in one direction. Finally add salad oil (to prevent sticking together of shrimp) and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

3. Without letting the pan get too hot, place the shrimp in and spin clockwise with chopsticks until you see a color change.

4. Put oil, several small celery stalks, dragon fruit, a few scallions (green onions not too much to  overshadow shrimp flavor). Fry for two minutes, then add the shrimp and fry for another five minutes. Isn't that exotic !!!