Every now and then, I'll try a dessert and think, "Mmmmm that was really good!" and then forget about it and move on. But sometimes, I'll try something and I'll cherish it as one of my fondest food memories ever. Even years later, I can still remember how much I loved this delightful little dessert I ate in Paris.
While Hubby and I were walking the streets of Paris, we came across this unassuming little Vietnamese restaurant. Since Hubby's Vietnamese, he was pretty excited to check it out. Me, on the other hand, was less than thrilled. I mean don't get me wrong, I love Vietnamese food. I love pho and spring rolls and I could eat banh xeo everyday if I could. But I was thinking, "We're in Paris. We should be enjoying as much French food as possible."
Well anyway, we ended up going in and checking it out. As usual, Hubby ordered pho but for the life of me I don't remember what I ordered. But what I do remember is what I had for dessert. I was looking at the menu and saw the words "lychee" and "beignet" and I immediately thought, "Ooooooh that sounds interesting. I wanna try that.'' So after I ate whatever it was I ordered for dinner, the waiter brought out this simple dish of lychee beignets. They were coated in this tempura-like batter and then sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. At first, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it but as soon as I took my first bite, I was surprised by how simple yet so amazing these were.
I wanted to recreate my wonderful food memory of those lychee beignets from Paris so I came up with this simple recipe. I made an egg-free and dairy-free batter so my kids can enjoy them but if you're not allergic to eggs or dairy, maybe you can try a regular recipe for tempura batter or fritter batter. I'm sure you'll be delightfully surprised by these lychee fritters :-)
Makes about 16 fritters
Allergy Note: contains wheat ingredients
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup coconut milk
20-ounce can lychees in syrup, drained
1/4 cup flour for dredging
oil for deep frying
powdered (confectioner's) sugar for dusting
Heat oil in a skillet or deep fryer to 375 F degrees. (Tip: Another way to test if the oil is hot enough is by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil. If the batter starts bubbling and rise to the surface quickly, then the oil is hot enough. If the batter bubbles slowly and doesn't rise right away, the oil isn't hot enough)
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in coconut milk; stir until combined. In a small mixing bowl, dredge the lychees in the 1/4 cup of flour. Dip into the batter then carefully drop into the hot oil. Only deep fry a few at a time. Cook until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Allow to cool then dust with powdered sugar and serve.