Native to southern and Southeast Asia, the longan is a tropical fruit related to the lychee. They grow on trees in bunches and appear at first glance to be a ball of tan bark-like rind. On the inside, however, is a sweet, clear-white flesh with a small black seed in the middle. Because of the visual of the round black seed inside the white sphere, in China longan are also called “dragon eyes.”
In China, longan have historically grown in the south and are used to treat a number of ailments including for stress relief and healthier skin. In cooking, longan are common in sweets, desserts, canned, dried, and in some savory dishes to create a more complex sweet hint to an otherwise sour or salty profile. Otherwise, longan can also be eaten by themselves!
Uwajimaya carries longan in our produce section alongside other fruits, and you can also find canned or dried longan in their respective departments.