I’d been trying to create a half ice, half jelly concoction for the Royal Selangor Jellyriffic Challenge, but didn’t quite know how to go about it.
The problem was, if I froze the ice portion then made the jelly, the ice portion would be too heavy and cause the jelly to collapse under the weight. If I made the ice portion on the bottom, the jelly portion would be frozen while waiting for the ice portion to freeze. So that wouldn’t work either. Hmm….
And then, I figured it out.
Basil Pesto Panna Cotta with Honey Macadamia and Cherry Tomatoes
I was surfing the Saveur magazine site when I came across this recipe for pesto panna cotta. The idea of using basil to create a panna cotta was so intriguing that I immediately bookmarked that page. Normally, I would not consider using basil in a dessert but the recipe looked good and the green color of the panna cotta looked very inviting.
Now, if I could only find some basil here, I would be good to go. Yes, dear readers, it’s really hard to find sweet basil here. Thai basil, on the other hand, is easily found. I was ready to make this and substitute with Thai basil when good fortune smiled on me.
Today’s creation for the Royal Selangor Jellyriffic Challenge is something near and dear to my heart: Spam musubi. Being from Hawaii, I grew up eating these all-in-one meals. We still do make Spam musubi here in Kuching, from time to time, breaking into our supply of Spam that my Mom thankfully brings each time she visits (Spam being substantially cheaper in Hawaii than anywhere else). But we haven’t done it lately, so this challenge is a good excuse to make some again!
Spam Musubi and Ume Musubi
Most musubi are trangle-shaped, like the ones sold at Mana Bu’s musubi shop in Honolulu. We don’t have a triangle-shaped musubi mold, but we do have the Royal Selangor Jelly Mould to shape the musubi! Putting the musubi together couldn’t have been easier.
We wanted to recreate a Vietnamese dish that we loved to eat back when we were living in San Jose: chả lụa or Vietnamese steamed pork roll. This tasty sausage is usually sliced thinly and served alongside favorites like bánh cuốn or inside banh mì sandwiches. It’s been a while since we had it, so we decided to try making it ourselves.