Sunday, November 02, 2008


Longans are now in season! This is the longan tree in my backyard.

Longans 1

Longans 2

While you can find fresh longans at some Asian supermarkets, it just can't compete with the beauty of picking them straight from the tree. The fruit tastes much firmer this way.

Longans 3

They're also called dragon's eyes because of their appearance. In Vietnamese, there's different names for both kinds of longans. This kind with the bigger seeds is called long nhan. There's another kind with more fruit and a tiny seed called nhan tieu (Tieu as in peppercorn because the seed is that small.).

Longans 4

Which do you like more? Longans or lychees?

My longan recipes:
Longan Chicken Radicchio Wraps
Tropical Fruit Cocktail Delight

1 year ago today, ciabatta-ish no-knead bread.
2 years ago today, herbed escargot, bun cha Ha Noi (Vietnamese Hanoi-style vermicelli rice noodles and grilled pork), and roasted Cornish game hens at Saigon Bistro - Westminster (Little Saigon).


  1. I prefer longan cos the flesh is firmer. Good to grow own longan cos those we get here from thailand has got too much pesticides.

  2. You have longans in your backyard??Wow!
    Hmmm...I think I am more of a lychee gal...hehehe, am I the only one here? :)

  3. longans are my favorite. i miss being able to eat fresh ones. maybe i will find some when i go to the asian stores next week.

  4. You can grow so many cool fruit in California weather!! I always thought I prefered longans because it is firm and I like the flavour. But if I get lychees that are super juicy and sweet, then I can't make up my mind! I have to say I didn't like the longans I had in VN - they were soft.

  5. Longans, hand downs, no contest.

    I like their ever so slight tartness and subtler flavour. Lychees are much too sweet for my palate (not that I'd reject a lychee, mind...)

  6. Hey WC - The longan looks nice and juicy. Our neighbor growing up had a longan, and a lychee tree in their do I miss those days!

  7. I have to confess that I don't know. Sometimes I think that lychees are too sweet, but then I eat a longon and think it is sweeter. After eating a whole branch I still cannot decide but I will keep trying to find out :)

    Either way I am envious of your back yard fruit. I used to have a lychee tree when I lived in Indonesia. When I moved to Hong Kong I thought that I would have unlimited access to fruit again but then I realized that this is a tropical locale and not sub-tropical, which is where all the good stuff is from. Longons, lychees, mangosteen and rambutan (I just saw some finally) are exotic fruit here and hard to come by, but probably still easier to find than in most of the States.

  8. Definately Longan for me. Lychee is good, too ... except, I don't like it when the skin on the seeds comes off!!!

  9. I'm gonna have to say Chom Chom. Not an option? Fine! Lychees, please.

  10. I vote for longans, at least most of the time. Been testing out longans in ice cream but it's been too rainy lately. Lychee in ice cream=yummy.

  11. I def prefer logans. Where did you buy the logan tree?

    Do they sell both the nhan tieu and the long nhan here in California?

  12. My dad would LOVE a longan tree! Please do tell where you found one to plant! I love both longan & lychee but I would probably have to give the win to longan if push came to shove.

  13. So jealous! Wish I had one of those growing in my backyard.

  14. Longyan, all the way! Woot! It's nice and subtly sweet, also Lychee burns my throat after eating it (and TCM says it's fiercy hot and not so good for you).

    It's good to see Longyan fans here :D

    As for the Longyan tree, sometimes when we'd eat Longyan the seed is just starting to have a crack with a shoot just showing. We'd save those seeds, place them in a shallow tray with cotton ball padding soaked in water, to let the seed grow a bit. Then we managed to plant it into a pot and grow it.

    Sadly we didn't have a garden back in HK, so we gave the plant away to a camp site so they'd have longyan for generations to come (fingers crossed).

  15. PP,
    Malaysia doesn't have lots of longans, you have to import them? I never thought of that!

    Baking fiend,
    Me too!

    Yes, I think you are!

    I've seen fresh longans in the Asian grocery stores here.

    The longans I ate in VN were wonderful. I'd buy kilo after kilo. I like lychees when they're fresh too.

    Tartness. I've only ever had sweet longans.

    I wish SoCal weather was more conducive to growing lychees.

    I think that's a dilemma that everyone would like to have. Hmm. How to decide which one? Eat some more. :)

    Tigger Mum,
    Oh, yes, I don't like the peels on the seeds either.

    Haha. If I had a tree, then it'd be an option. But the rambutans we see here are all dried out and lost all their color.

    How 'bout a sorbet? I've made ginger lychee sorbets that turned out pretty nice.

    I've never seen nhan tieu here. My family bought our longan tree from Mimosa Nursery in East L.A.

    See above. :)

    Well, technically it's not mine but my oldest uncle's since he planted it. But it's in my yard. :)

    That was nice of you. I wonder if the camp site still has the tree? I can't believe you managed to grow them from seed. Amazing!


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