Coconut fruit plays an important part in Vietnamese cuisine because it’s must ingredients of enormous delicious traditional dishes. Vietnamese people have create many recipes of desserts and main dishes from fresh, light sweet coconut water and greasy coconut meat. Coconut milk – the liquid that comes from the grated meat of a mature coconut is used to cook a lot of cakes, savory dishes, sweet soups…
1. Use of coconut water
Caramel sauce is used popularly by Vietnamese cook to make braised dishes brown-yellow. Braised fishes, pork are most common dishes at home in Vietnam. They can burn sugar until dark brown to have burnt sugar caramel sauce. There is a caramel sauce made from coconut water which is tastier and more fragrant than burnt sugar caramel sauce. The cook must cook coconut water in a big pot/pan and stir continuously until the liquid turn thick and dark brown. Caramel sauce made from coconut water is a must natural food color used to cook the famous Braised pork and egg in caramel – a must food at Tet festival in South Vietnam.
Young coconut jelly is a favorite dessert in Vietnam, the jelly made from coconut fruit is molded in drained out coconut. To eat, dinners use a spoon to get the jelly out of coconut. Light sweet, refreshing, tender but chewy Young coconut jelly is a good choice on hot days.
Boiled shrimp in coconut water is usually served at weddings and death anniversaries in Mekong Delta. Coconut water add a great flavor and smell to fresh shrimps. Vietnamese people also use coconut water to replace water to cook broth of Hot pot or roasted duck, braise fishes.
In addition, shredded coconut meat are usually topped on many desserts and sweet dishes such as Steamed sticky rice, Sweet soup…
2. Use of coconut meat
Candied coconut – the most common candied fruit at Tet festival is made by sugar-preserving tender and chewy coconut meat strips. The cook can add juice of magenta plant’s leaves, juice of pandan leaves, coffee and milk to add flavor and color to this food.
Braised dishes with coconut meat is a popular food at home in Mekong Delta, greasy and chewy pieces of coconut meat is a good choice to cook with pork, snail, fish and shrimp.
3. Use of coconut milk
Coconut candy originated in Mo Cay ward (Ben Tre province) where there are hundreds of families producing this kind of candy. Main ingredients of coconut candy are coconut milk and maltose which are mixed, stirred until thick, cooled down and cut into pieces. Cashew, peanut, durian, pandan juice, chocolate… are also added to make coconut candy diverse.
Steamed sticky rice is a cheap, healthy and yummy street food in Vietnam. There are a lots of Steamed sticky rice recipes, Vietnamese cooks mix coconut milk into soaked-in-water sticky rice before steaming to make the food greasier and sweeter.
There aren’t less than a hundred of Vietnamese Sweet soups. Ingredients of each kind of Sweet soup could be a combination of beans, peanuts, jelly, nuts, seeds, fruits, dried fruits, candies, tapioca balls, sticky rice, vegetables, milk, cream, coconut milk, shredded coconut meat, tapioca starch… The broth could be clear of gelatinous. Coconut milk is added to the broth to make the Sweet soup greasier. Nuoc cot dua – a gelatinous sauce cooked from coconut milk, tapioca starch, sugar and a little of salt is added while eating some kinds of Sweet soup.
Coconut milk is must ingredient of most of Vietnamese traditional cakes (savory or sweet). Some of famous ones are Vietnamese pancake, Cylindrical glutinous rice cake, Cow cake, Rice paper with coconut.
Gelatinous and greasy Sauce from coconut milk and tapioca starch is usually served with Grilled banana, Cow cake and Sweet soups…
Coconut milk is added into Vietnamese Curried dishes about 5-10 minutes before stopping cooking.
Stir-fried frog with coconut milk and creek premna leaves is a strange, special and unique in South Vietnam. Besides, Braised pork, shrimp, fish, soy bean, tofu with coconut milk are favorite of people in Mekong Delta, Vietnam.
4. Use of coconut oil
Coconut oil is extracted from mature coconut meat. It’s very good for health and used in many Vietnamese dishes such as salad, cakes, stir-fried dishes and grilled dishes.
Every Vietnamese people love Coconut fruit, and you should love it too. Please come to Vietnam and try Coconut fruit like local people.
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