Inspired by my recent trip to Kenya, I thought it would be interesting to delve into my local wet markets and see what produce they have on offer. Aside from the usual suspects – your bananas, pineapples and lemons – we are fortunate to live in a country where tropical fruits are in abundance. Our location in Southeast Asia means Hong Kong gets a large influx of its stock from surrounding areas as well as across the globe so we are never without some sort of tropical goodness. So after a little bit of research, some taste testing and experimenting in the kitchen, here are my must try’s for those of you wandering the fruit stalls.
From May-August you will see these little reddish round fruits for sale throughout Hong Kong. The Lychee originated from China but are now grown throughout South East Asia. Once the rough, thick skin is peeled away, you are left with a white fleshed ball of juiciness – sweet tasting and delicious smelling.
Blend it: Watermelon + Lychee + Coconut Water
I often glance over these strange looking things and wondered what they were. I was pleasantly surprised to find this fruit gets its name from the taste – sweet and delicious! Found in various shapes and sizes – lopsided, irregular, spherical heart shaped or round – these subtropical fruits have a creamy and granular textured flesh which is surrounded by seeds. The tough skin of the fruit is green in colour however it is prone to bruising so you will often find brown or black spots on its surface.
Freeze It: Blend flesh of fruit, plain yoghurt, honey and lemon juice. Pour into ice trays, freeze. Re-blend before serving to make a sherbet!
Or in Latin - “Food of the gods”. Persimmons are originally from Japan and are the nations national fruit. Red-brown-orange in colour, these fruits grow on trees and look not dissimilar to a tomato., Opt for paler varieties that are tender to touch. The skin is edible, however peel it for a sweeter, juicer tasting snack. These fruits are also a powerhouse of nutrition, containing everything from Vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids and antioxidants. But eat in moderation; they are also higher in fructose.
Toss it: Peel and slice and add to your next salad. Delicious combined with your regular old greens, feta and nuts!