July 4, 2006

GrassJelly + Watermelon?!

Chinese readers may already be going "EEwwww~~" in disgust at the combination; but trust me, nothing tasting "eww" gets a spot on my blog *wink*
Every Sunday my friends and I make our way to a classy chinese restaurant which serves extrodinary Dim Sum. It's a little more expensive than your regular 'yum-cha' restaurant but we don't get to eat out very often and the quality of food and variety served up is well worth every penny (in-my-opinion). One of their many innovative dishes would be this; a Grass Jelly dessert served with Watermelon. In Malaysia, it's common to find grassjelly (leong-fun) with longan's, soy milk, lychee's or just on its own in syrup; but i've never seen anyone serve it with watermelon before and I was excited to try it! I was amazed at how refreshing it was! The huge bowl of dessert which I didn't think I could finish was cleaned up in no time! Ever since, we make an effort to go on Sunday; as that's the only day they serve their delicious leong-fun dessert. Disappointed to find out there was none this week, I purchased a small watermelon and made some on my own to console our little tummies which were craving the yummy drink!
1 tin grass jelly-juice removed (use fresh unsweetened one if possible) and diced into cubes
2 cups ice + 1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup water + 3 tbsp castor sugar dissolved
1 tiny seedless watermelon
Slice the top off the watermelon and remove the insides with a melon baller or a spoon. Dice the watermelon flesh into cubes if you didn't use a baller. Mix the rest of the ingredients + 1/2 cup of the watermelon juice which leaked out as you scraped. Add the sugar syrup a little at a time to gauge its sweetness according to your own preference. If you have a sweeter watermelon, you'll probably need less sugar. Ladle the drink into the water melon shell and place the lid on top to serve! Best eaten chilled!

What is grass jelly? some may wonder:
Contrary to popular believe, no; it isn't made from regular grass on the fields! LOL

Grass jelly (Chinese: 期粉 liĂĄng fÄ›n or ç‡’äť™č‰ shāo xiān cÇŽo; Minnan (Hokkien): äť™č‰ sian-chhĂĄu; Malay: cincau) is a type of food with a jelly-like consistency that is used in China and Southeast Asia in drinks and desserts. It is sold in cans or packets in Asian supermarkets.

Grass jelly is made from boiling grasses in the mint family (specifically Mesona chinensis) with potassium carbonate, and then cooling the liquid down to a jelly-like consistency. This jelly can then be mixed with syrup to produce a drink thought to have cooling (yin) properties. This has a slight iodine flavour and looks like a clear, deep brown liquid with strands or cubes of translucent blackish jelly in it.


Anonymous said...

Yum. I love grass jelly! I often have it with ice cream in summer but I can imagine it would taste great with watermelon too. Which yum cha joint serves this classy dessert dim sum?

Su-Yin -Décorateur said...

hey helen...that would be the delicious Kam Fook in Westfield Bondi Junction. They have good "har gaw" and egg tarts!

Liz :) said...

WOW! Such a cool idea! My gosh, I am so amazed at how creative you are with your cooking and the fact that you are so creative everyday! :)

Su-Yin -Décorateur said...

thanks liz :)...
i try; but will probably be a little too busy the next week or so.