Orange, Banana & Lychee Compote

During a busy sesshin with forty people, I accidentally discovered that slicing the oranges and lychees the night before and letting them marinate with the lychee syrup and lemon juice taste even better than serving them immediately. All the flavours mingle into the yummy syrup. The bananas mingle well too, becoming soft and oozy, but don’t expect them to look too pretty the following day! If you prefer them looking clean and fresh, I would suggest cutting the bananas up at the last-minute, just before serving. If not, let them happily marinate with the oranges overnight.



120 g (4 ounces) canned lychees in light or natural syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 large oranges
1–2 bananas
4 tablespoons unsweetened dessicated coconut (or shredded coconut)

  • Reserve the syrup from the can of lychees and combine with the lemon juice.
  • Peel the oranges and remove any pith, or slice the peel and pith off with a very sharp knife. Slice into clean wedges. Slip them into the lychee syrup. To preserve their lovely shape, refrain from stirring them.
  • Cut the canned lychees into halves, and scatter over the sliced oranges. (Optional: refrigerate overnight.)
  • Set a frying pan over a low-medium flame. Put in the dessicated coconut and slowly toast until the coconut begins to blush. Set aside.
  • Peel and slice the bananas. Scatter through the oranges and lychees.
  • Serve sprinkled with toasted coconut and drizzled with honey.

    Orange Banana &Lychee Compote

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