Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Friday Food 168 – Longan

Friday Food is an occasional article about one of the more unusual food items to be found in Liuzhou that week. This time, we are looking at dragons looking at us.

It is longan season! One of the best.


Longan (龙眼 or 桂圆 – the latter being more common for the dried fruit) is a relation of the lychee, but smaller, less juicy and more sweet. The name 龙眼 literally means “dragon eyes” referring to the fruit’s appearance when shelled. It has a solid black seed which can be seen through the translucent white fruit, supposedly resembling a dragon’s ocular device.


The season is relatively short for fresh fruit, but they are also dried and, in this form, available year round. Usually known as 桂圆, these are used in some dessert-type preparations, but also added to soups or “sweet and sour” dishes. They come in two forms: the whole fruit can be dried as is, or the fruits are peeled and de-seeded then dried, Of course, they are also used in traditional Chinese medicine. What isn’t?

Dried Longan

Dried Longan Pulp

Drying the fruit also darkens it in colour. Some can be near black.

Fresh fruit is available now from all markets and supermarkets, but be quick. Around ¥20/kg. The dried whole fruit is around ¥30/500g, where as the dried flesh costs ¥100 and up/500g.

. This entry was posted on Friday, July 29th, 2016 at 7:00 am and is filed under Food and Drink, Friday Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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