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Monday, November 03, 2008

Longan Chicken Radicchio Wraps

Longan Chicken 1

This recipe was actually inspired by this head of radicchio. I've only eaten small pieces of radicchio in salads so when I saw a whole head at the Farmers' Market - Alhambra, I couldn't pass it up.

Radicchio has a slightly bitter taste, so I needed to pair it with something sweet. As I peeled off one leaf at a time, I decided they would make great wraps. I'd been wanting to make lychee chicken after seeing Tigerfish of Teczcape's version, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to experiment.

Longan Chicken 2

I wanted to keep the filling white so the purple of the radicchio would stand out more. I like longans more than lychees so that's what I had in my pantry. Either works fine for this dish. There's no need to use fresh longans for this recipe, canned works just fine.

Longan Chicken 3

I kept this dish pretty simple so that there weren't other flavors to compete with the slightly bitter radicchio leaves and the sweet longans.

Longan Chicken 4

Longan Chicken Radicchio Wraps

For about 4 appetizer-sized servings, you'll need:
1 can of longans or lychees, drained, reserve the juice for later
1 or 2 chicken filets, thigh or breast meat, cut into 1 inch-by-2 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tblsp corn starch dissolved in 1 cup longan liquid
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp rice vinegar

Slice the chicken filet into 1 inch-by-2 inch pieces. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp rice vinegar. Set aside to marinate.

Finely mince 2 garlic cloves.

In a pan on medium-high heat, drizzle a bit of oil and add the garlic. When the garlic starts to soften, add the chicken and stir-fry until almost cooked. Add the longans.

Dissolve 1 tblsp corn starch in 1 cup longan liquid and add that mixture to the pan. Let simmer for a few minutes so it can thicken into a sauce.

Meanwhile, wash and prepare your radicchio wraps.

When the longan chicken has thickened to your liking, spoon some of the filling into the center of each wrap.

Longan Chicken 5

Longan Chicken 6

Or you can serve the longan chicken over rice.

Longan Chicken 7


Although some people might be familiar with this tropical fruit, using it in savory dishes is a bit unusual so I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Herb Blogging, a world-wide food blogging event created by Kalyn's Kitchen celebrating herbs, vegetables, or flowers. WHB is now managed by Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once. If you'd like to participate, see who's hosting WHB? This week, WHB is hosted by Wiffy of Noob Cook.

1 year ago today, Croutons with Garlic and Seasoning.
2 years ago today, I "autostitched" together a panoramic photo of my visit to Parga, Greece.


  1. hehe, I am so delighted to see a tropical fruit being featured. The sweetness of the longans really complement the slight bitterness of the veg, and so do the colours ... great pairing! thank you for your whb entry ;p

  2. This looks like it's worth making just for the brilliant contrasting colors of the purple and gold. I have a can of lychee nuts in the pantry and now I know what I'm going to do with them.

  3. Nice, WC. I like how you don't discard the juice from the can and instead make a sauce from it. It's like sweet and sour chicken.

  4. Wiffy,
    I figured I should do something tropical since you were hosting. :)

    I hope you try the recipe. Not sure if anyone else would like it except me.

    Yup. Well, more like sweet chicken. :)

  5. This is such an intriguing proposition: longan with chicken. And radicchio: that puts it over the top for me. I'm very curious about how it would taste like and I must admit I don't know/can't imagine if I would love it or not. Getting curiouser and curiouser. . .

  6. JS,
    Only one way to satisfy that curiosity - by making it! :)


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