I’m very intrigued by lychees. They are what I call “ugly pretty”. Pretty but in an ugly sort of way. Rough and a bit prickly on the outside, but glossy translucent dreamy white on the inside. Truth be told if you buy them in the can they really are ugly, so try to find them in Asian markets if you are lucky enough to live near an Asian market so you can appreciate their true beauty. The smell is something that you can’t really begin to describe. You have to smell one once in your life to appreciate the fragrance. They smell very floral. When you peel back the leathery prickly skin they are so incredibly juicy that it is hard to peel one without getting juice all over you. This batter works well with very ripe bananas also, so if you can’t find lychees try the banana chunks. Either way they are delicious.
Lychee and Banana Fritters
1 Cup flour
1/2 Cup sugar + more for rolling
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil + more for frying
5 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 Lg. egg
1-2 very ripe bananas, cut into 1 inch chunks
10 lychees, peeled, pitted, and cut in half (fresh or canned)
1. In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients. In a liquid measuring cup whisk the wet ingredients; vegetable oil through the egg. Make a well and pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a fork to combine. Blot the lychees dry with paper towels. Drop both of the fruit pieces into the batter and stir to coat the fruit. Prepare a separate small bowl with granulated sugar to roll the fritters in once out of the fryer.
2. Heat 2 inches of oil in a deep saucepan to 340 degrees F. Using a tablespoon scoop batter covered fruit and carefully spoon into the oil (using another spoon to scrape off into oil works best). Note the batter will be very wet and it may seem like a lot of the batter drips off–that is fine–just do the best you can. You will have irregular shaped fritters. Fry the fritters for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from the oil and immediately roll in granulated sugar and let cool on paper towel lined plate.