How To Thaw Lychee

Lychees are hard to come by, so when you have frozen ones, you want to make sure to thaw them perfectly to fully enjoy their texture and sweet tropical taste. So, how do you thaw lychees properly? We've done the research to help you out.

The best way to thaw frozen lychees is to take them out of the freezer and let them sit in the fridge overnight to thaw slowly. You can also thaw the frozen bag under cold running water. If you thaw it too fast or put it in a warm environment, the meat of the fruit will end up mushy.

Do you want to know how to properly freeze, store, and eat lychees? Read on below and we'll give you more details on defrosting lychees, how to store them longer, and the best ways to eat them.


A bowl full of Lychee, How To Thaw Lychee

How To Properly Thaw Lychees

Lychees have an amazingly sweet, tropical, refreshing taste that will make you wish you could have them more often. Unfortunately, these are seasonal fruits that do not store very well at room temperature but can last up to a year when frozen.

Fresh harvested lychee

So we're guessing most of the time, you're probably buying them frozen from the store. If this is the case, you may want to know how to thaw them properly to enjoy them with texture and sweetness preserved. Here's how you do it.

Thaw In The Refrigerator

  1. Take the bag of frozen lychees out of the freezer.
  2. Place it in a bowl or tray and leave it in the fridge overnight.
  3. Place it in the area of the fridge with a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
  4. Open the bag and pour the lychees into a bowl to check if they have softened. They are ready to eat when you are able to peel the rind easily and the meat of the fruit feels soft but firm.

Thawing in the refrigerator should take around 6 to 8 hours or even longer depending on how large the batch of lychees is. You can place the lychees in any of the middle layers of the freezer to thaw.

A whole freshly harvested lychee

Thaw Under Cold Running Water

  1. Take the bag of lychees out of the freezer, and make sure the bag of lychees is airtight. If not, place it inside another resealable airtight bag so no water will leak inside.
  2. Run the bag under cold running water less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Put it under cold water every few minutes. It should thaw within 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Thawing lychees properly takes a long time, and you may be tempted to put them on the counter or submerge the bag in water to thaw faster. This may work, but there is always a risk that the meat of the fruit will end up mushy. The sudden change in temperature will break down the cells of the fruit.

Can I Eat Frozen Lychees?

Lychees are usually bought frozen, and you need to thaw them slightly in order to taste and enjoy the full texture and flavor of the fruit. If you want to eat the fruit cold, you can serve it with a few ice crystals even if it's not completely thawed.

Lychees are very rich in antioxidants and have just as much vitamin C as oranges. They are fat free and only contain 65 calories for every 100 grams. It's a light and healthy snack you will surely crave.

What's the best way to eat frozen lychees? You can serve them as sherbets, fruit salad, shakes, juices, fruit jelly, or added to cocktail drinks.

Check out this video blog below on how fresh lychees were frozen and some insights on what they taste like.

Can You Freeze Peeled Lychees?

If you find yourself with a bag of fresh lychees and nowhere convenient to store them, then the best way to keep them fresh is by freezing them for future use. Freezing lychees can make them last for 6 months or even a year.

The common practice is to freeze it with its rind intact. This serves as a protective barrier for the meat so you can still enjoy its texture when eating it after thawing. However, you can freeze peeled lychees if you prefer it that way, but the chances of getting mushy consistency after thawing are high.

You can freeze peeled and pitted lychees if you don't intend to eat them as is, but use them for drinks such as fruit shakes or cook them for a dessert recipe. However, to ensure that the taste will remain fresh, it's always recommended to freeze them with peels.

To freeze fresh lychees, you will need to put them in an airtight container and squeeze out as much air as you can. Do not put any other fruit or food items in the bag together with the frozen lychees.

Frozen lychee on the freezer

How Long Do Lychees Last In Fridge?

Fresh lychees are best eaten fresh or a little chilled. But if you want to eat them at a later date, you can put them in the fridge for up to 10 days or for 3 days at room temperature.

After a few days, the rind might have a slight change in color and turn slightly brown. This shouldn't affect the taste unless the fruit you purchased was already initially overripe before storage. You will know it is overripe if the fruit is too soft, the husk has a brownish color, or it has an intense fruity smell.

Craving lychees but can't find fresh or frozen ones? You can always have them in cans like the product below.

View this Roland preserved lychee in heavy syrup on Amazon.

How Do You Wash Lychee Fruit?

You can do a quick rinse of the lychees before peeling them, but there's no need to wash the meat of the fruit that's inside. The peel serves as its protective layer, and the meat inside is very clean and safe to consume.

Lychee photographed on the small plantation

Do not try to soak the lychees or rinse too much before peeling them. The husk is easier to peel when it's still a bit dry or not soaking wet. In fact, others do not rinse them at all and simply peel the husk and eat the lychee meat directly.

How Do You Make Lychees Last Longer?

A small wooden bowl filled with fresh lychee

Lychees are seasonal fruits and are mostly available in abundance during the months of December and January. To keep them looking fresh, they should be kept in an area with a humidity of 90-98% or in a refrigerator with a temperature of at least 5 degrees Celcius.

When stored on the counter at room temperature or on display at the market, you can keep the fruit looking fresh and reddish by lightly spraying it with water. This will keep the husk from losing moisture and keep the fruit looking fresh. The husk can easily turn brown when dehydrated.

Wrapping Up

A bowl full of Lychee

If you're not in a hurry, the best way to thaw lychee is to do it for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. If you're in a hurry, then putting the frozen bag of lychees under cold running water is recommended.

Thank you very much for reading through, and we hope you were able to thaw your lychees properly with the help of our guide. To learn more about thawing fruits and vegetables, check out these other helpful articles below:

How To Thaw Frozen Spinach And Use It In Recipes

How To Defrost Seaweed Salad

Shane Desuasido
Shane Desuasido
Articles: 3

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