A Salad Starring Luscious Lychee

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - March 05, 2008
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One of the most famous names in Hawaii’s history is that of Duke Kahanamoku. The Olympic swimmer and famed surfer is honored annually at the Duke’s Ocean Fest, which takes place on Waikiki Beach Aug. 19-26.

To get in the spirit, the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation is holding a kickoff at Compadres Bar & Grill in Ward Centre Wednesday, March 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Chaired by Jim Fulton, the “fun”-raiser will feature great Compadres food and margaritas as well as beer for a $25 donation. The highlight of the party will be the auctioning of a dozen artistically designed surfboards created by local artists, shapers and surfers. These are great for riding the waves as well as design elements in your home or office. And the best part of all: Proceeds from the sale of these donated surf-boards will be used to fund ODKF’s scholarships and grants program which assists youngsters who excel academically and in water sports.

If you’d like to attend, call Michelle Morihara at 255-5604, or visit www.dukefoundation.org for reservations.

With Duke in mind, here’s a dedication to all the hardworking volunteers who make the event in his honor such a success.

Lychee originated in southern China and has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. Some common names of this fruit are: lychee, litchi, leechee, lichee and lichi.

The flesh of dried lychee is eaten like raisins, but is most popular fresh. Peeled, seeded lychee are canned in sugar syrup in India and China and have been exported from China for many years. When dried, they’re often referred to as litchi nuts because they resemble a nut. The shell turns a dark reddish brown and the flesh becomes brown and crisp. They’re eaten as a snack much in the same way as nuts or candy.

They are a good source of potassium and vitamin C and contain phosphorus, magnesium, fiber and thiamine.

Great for potlucks, this salad disappears fast. The contrast of flavors and the crunch of coconut and almonds make for great mouth appeal. Keiki love the little marshmallows, too!


* 1 (11-ounce) can lychee, drained

* 1 medium fresh pineapple, cored and cut into small chunks

* 1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained, and reserve syrup

* 3 medium Gala apples, cubed and soaked in reserved syrup

* 1 cup green seedless grapes

* 2 6-ounce containers Yoplait Pina colada low-fat yogurt

* 2 cups miniature marshmallows

* 1/4 cup chopped almonds

* 2 teaspoons shredded coconut

In large bowl, combine lychee, pineapple and mandarin oranges, mixing carefully. Add cubed apples with syrup and grapes; mix to combine. Add yogurt and stir to coat all fruit. Chill covered for about two hours for flavors to meld. Carefully stir in marshmallows. When ready to serve, sprinkle with chopped almonds and coconut.

Makes 12 servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 265

Fat: 3 grams

Cholesterol: 10 milligrams

Sodium: 60 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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