Dragon Fruit & Lychee Taho

Dragon Fruit & Lychee Taho

Hello Everyone! So somewhere around November time last year, I shared a recipe for a classic breakfast (or merienda) staple here in the Philippines – none other than the famous tahhoooooo that you hear from yodelling street vendors. I shared a recipe for homemade taho back then, and tonight I’m going to share a recipe for using store-bought silken tofu. Upon doing research, this approach was adapted by our kababayans living or residing overseas, who truly miss having street taho readily available at their doorstep.

Dragon Fruit & Lychee Taho

The very basic and classic version would be warm bland silken tofu that is sweetened with a caramelised brown sugar syrup known as arnibal, and is topped with tiny sago (tapioca) pearls. Nowadays you can find other variants such as Strawberry Taho or even Ube Taho, commonly found in the province of Benguet, more specifically in and around Baguio. Instead of a brown sugar syrup, a strawberry or ube syrup is made to sweeten the bland silken tofu.

Taking that into mind, I had this light bulb moment: what if I made a dragon fruit version of the arnibal? That had been my original for many months, and it was only lately that I decided to pair it with lychees since the two together had a great flavour profile for when I tackled a recipe for Dragon & Lychee Pork just last week.

Dragon Fruit & Lychee Taho Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 30 MINS | SERVES 2-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pack (500g) soft silken tofu, roughly cut

For the dragon fruit and lychee arnibal

  • 1 & 1/2 cups water
  • 1 medium-sized dragon fruit (about 600g), peeled and roughly chopped*
  • 1 can (255g) lychees in syrup, drained*
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup lychee syrup

For the tapioca pearls

  • 4-8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup large tapioca pearls, uncooked

*Reserve some of the fruits to garnish before serving

METHOD

  1. Tapioca Pearls: In a medium-sized pot, bring about 2 cups of water to a rapid boil before adding the tapioca pearls in. Leave to cook for about 15-20 minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of the pearls that you use.
  2. Strain the tapioca pearls and add another 2 cups of clean water back into the pot. Bring to a rapid boil before adding the tapioca pearls back to the pot. Cook for a further hour until they become completely translucent ensuring that there are no white spots at the core. Add more water when needed to keep the pearls submerged in water as it evaporates.

I know I have said this before in a previous post, but I’ll say it again for those just tuning in:

Tip: For better results, leave the pearls in the cooking pot until it reaches back to room temperature. One hour of boiling will completely cook the pearls, but the core will still be slightly opaque. Leaving the pearls in the cooking pot for several hours (with the heat turned off) gives them a chance to absorb more water. Which makes the core translucent overtime.

Dragon Fruit & Lychee Taho

  1. Once the core is no longer opaque, strain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  2. Dragon Fruit & Lychee Arnibal: Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients (except for the lychee syrup) for the arnibal in a small pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally and simmer until it thickens into a syrup and until the fruits are soft enough to mash, about 15 minutes.
  3. Once done, strain the syrup into a bowl to rid of any chunks of fruits. Stir in the lychee syrup and then set aside to cool down.
  4. Assemble: Layer each element into a tall glass; taho, syrup, dragon fruit, lychee, and repeat. Of course you can do it in any order you wish. Serve chilled and enjoy! Makes 2 large servings or 4 smaller servings.

The result was absolutely amazing! The sweetness from the dragon fruit and lychee was subtle, but that’s only because I didn’t go overboard on sweetening the syrup, for health reasons. It was just enough to cater to my tolerance of sweet. Of course, feel free to add more sugar in the recipe to your level of liking. Just think, whenever I buy bubble milk tea, I always ask for 0% sugar, or if I’m feeling naughty, then slight sugar only!

Dragon Fruit & Lychee Taho

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Binignit)

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Binignit)

Hello Everyone! For some reason I felt that the week went by so slowly, yet so fast at the same time. Has anyone ever had this feeling before? Maybe it’s because I’m growing bored of being home all week for the past several months. For those of you just tuning in, I quit my job back in Brunei last August 2018 and until present day have yet to find a new job to keep me busy. I’ve applied to many places and attended a handful of interviews, but none have been successful so far. I’m hoping to find a job soon – my savings are slowly deteriorating away…

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Binignit)

Anyway, small tangent aside, Ginataang Halo-Halo, or also known as Binignit in some parts of the Philippines, is a popular Filipino dessert dish. Aside from it being a dessert, it is also widely served as a mid-afternoon snack.

As mentioned in previous posts, Ginataan is a cooking process that involves stewing in coconut milk/cream. Halo-Halo, when directly translated into English means mix mix, is referred to the combination of different ingredients that are used to complete the dish – a mix mix of various root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yams, and taro, plantains, tapioca pearls, and glutinous rice balls (bilo-bilo) are simmered in coconut milk. Bilo-bilo are glutinous rice balls simply made from a mixture of glutinous rice flour and water. You don’t have to add any colouring to them, I just made mine purple to add colour to the dish.

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Binignit) Bilo-Bilo

Most, or all recipes I guess of Ginataang Halo-Halo have shredded langka (jackfruit) in them. I personally don’t like langka, which is why I’ve omitted them from my recipe. Instead, I wanted to replace them with shredded young coconut flesh which I didn’t end up adding to the dish because they went off in the fridge having kept them in there for a few days before using it *whoops*

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Binignit) Ingredients

PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups coconut milk (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup young coconut flesh, shredded
  • 3/4 cup white granulated white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or essence
  • 3-4 pcs ripe plantains (saba), sliced
  • Medley of sweet potatoes (I used 1 medium-sized each of orange, yellow, and white), diced

For the bilo-bilo (makes about 20-24 balls)

  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp purple food colouring (optional)

For the tapioca pearls

  • 1 cup big tapioca pearls (sago)
  • 6 cups water

METHOD

  1. Tapioca Pearls: Add the water to a large cooking pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add in the tapioca pearls. Turn the heat down to medium, cover, and leave to boil for about 50 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes. Add more water if needed to prevent the pearls from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Once done, turn the heat off and set aside.

Tip: For better results, leave the pearls in the cooking pot until it reaches back to room temperature. One hour of boiling will completely cook the pearls, but the core will still be slightly opaque. Leaving the pearls in the cooking pot for several hours (with the heat turned off) gives them a chance to absorb more water. Which makes the core translucent overtime.

  1. Bilo-bilo: Combine the purple food colouring and water together and add to the glutinous rice flour. Mix thoroughly – a soft yet sticky mixture should take form.
  2. Scoop about 1 & 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of the mixture and roll into a ball shaped figure using the palm of your hands. Wet your palms with a bit of water to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
  3. Place the balls on a plate or container that has been dusted with a bit of glutinous rice flour to prevent them from sticking to the plate. Set aside.
  4. Ginataang Halo-Halo: Add the 2 cups of water to a large cooking pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 cup of the coconut milk and bring to a slow boil. It is important to bring it back to a boil slowly to avoid curdling the coconut milk. This happens when it is heated too quickly.
  5. Once boiling again, add in the sweet potatoes and simmer for about 8 minutes.
  6. Pour in the remaining coconut milk together with the sugar, and glutinous rice balls. Stir and simmer for a further 5-7 minutes. Then add in the sliced plantains and simmer for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Add in the young coconut flesh together with the cooked tapioca pearls. Stir for about a minute and then turn the heat off.
  8. Transfer to a large serving dish, or individual bowls. Serve either hot or cold and enjoy!

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Binignit)

I definitely prefer to have this dish warm for an afternoon snack. To have this right after a main meal might be too heavy for a dessert – just my opinion! And no! You don’t need basil leaves for this dish. It just so happens that I had some lying around from a dish I made for lunch that day and used a sprig of it to add some green for photography purposes only *cheeky grin*

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2015: Josephine Geronimo

Ginataang Munggo (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk)

Hello Everyone! Alas, we’ve come to the end of my mini collaboration series for this month! My last post for this Auguest that my Mom has kindly shared with us is another mung bean recipe that she grew up eating during her childhood years.

Ginataang Munggo (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk)

If you haven’t read Wednesday’s post, my Mom mentioned there that once a year when her whole family went to visit the province that they were from, they would always bring back one 50kg sack of munggo (mung beans) to the city, where they lived, from their farm. Everyday, Munggo Guisado (Sautéed Mung Bean Soup) was what they had for lunch and dinner, and for merienda, they’d have mung beans as well – there was no escaping the wrath of the mung beans – whether savoury or sweet! After lunch, everyone would take a 2-hour break before they’d be back in the kitchen, preparing and cooking Ginataang Munggo for merienda at 3pm.

Ginataang Munggo (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk) Process

Ginataang Munggo is basically roasted or toasted mung beans cooked in coconut milk together with some glutinous rice. It is a simple Filipino dish that can be eaten for either merienda (light afternoon meal or an afternoon snack) or dessert that is best served warm. toasted Mung beans and sticky rice are cooked in coconut milk. Though this dish has been a part of my Mom’s family tradition way back when she was still in her younger years back in the Philippines, today is the first time my Mom cooked this dish and served it to my sister Angela and I. Now that my Mom has passed on her two favourite mung bean recipes from her childhood, she said to me that it is but right that I pass them on to my children to be and keep tradition going – hopefully my children won’t be as fussy as I was before when I used to hate munggo!

Ginataang Munggo (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk) Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5L boiling water water
  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
  • 1 cup glutinous rice
  • 1/2 cup mung beans
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

METHOD

  1. First, heat up a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high and add the mung beans. Toast until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Be careful as to not over toast them otherwise they will become bitter. Likewise, you can roast the mung beans in the oven for about 10 minutes at 200C.
  2. Turn the heat off and set the mung beans aside to cool down.
  3. Once the mung beans have cooled down slightly, crack the toasted mung beans using a mortar and pestle, or as my Mom prefers, by using a rolling pin. Set aside.
  4. Add the boiling water and sugar to a large pot over medium-high heat and dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved, add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, add the glutinous rice and mung beans, then give it a good stir. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the coconut milk is almost absorbed, stirring once a while to make sure that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Once done, turn the heat off and let it sit in the post for a further 5-10 minutes. Then,transfer to individual serving plates.
  7. Share and enjoy! You may serve this either hot or cold. I prefer having this hot with a pinch of salt on top to further enhance the flavours.

Ginataang Munggo (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk)

Ginataang Munggo (Roasted Mung Beans & Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk)

And that about wraps up guest blogging month for this year! Many thanks to Jialing, Brendon, Marissa, and my Mom for participating in my very first Auguest series. I’m actually pretty happy with how this all came together in the end. It was hectic at first trying to find the how ever so many bloggers I had in mind for this collaboration series, but then narrowing it down made it much more simpler and much easier to communicate with my friends and fellow bloggers. If you enjoyed this mini collaboration of mine, let me know in the comments section below and I’ll see to organising this into a yearly series 🙂

My Mom and I at Bondi Beach, Australia 2015
my Mom and I at Bondi Beach, July 2015

PS: Back in the day in the 70s, canned coconut milk was not a thing yet and so my Mom had to buy a whole matured coconut and manually grate it. From the grated coconut, she then had to squeeze the milk out of it for this dish. This dish was a lot of hard work for her back in the day, which is why she was so confused as to why this dish took no effort at all for her to make, and then she realised it was because we already had coconut milk readily available.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com