Es Campur

What do you think of eating or drinking on a hot day? A tall glass of iced tea? Some ice cream? In Hawaii, we do shave ice – I like mine with ice cream on the bottom.

The countries of Southeast Asia have taken cold treats to the next level. Aside from ais kacang and cendol from Malaysia, you also have halo halo from the Philippines and es campur from Indonesia.

This dessert contains palm fruit, jackfruit, syrup, young coconut, avocado, condensed milk and ice. Very nice, very cooling, and very quickly eaten!

Aloha, Nate

Hearts, eyes, and frog eggs

Our Vietnamese neighbor’s son was having a birthday party, and we were invited to come over and join in the celebration. Even after stuffing ourselves with all the amazing salads, rolls, noodles, and fried chicken, we couldn’t say no to dessert – a lovely bowl of hearts, eyes, and frog eggs.

No, there aren’t really animal parts in this dessert. It’s actually made up of hearts of palm, dragon eyes (longan fruit), and what Annie calls “frog eggs” or biji selasih, (otherwise known as the seed of Holy Basil), swimming in a cold, sweet syrup.

It was so good, I had seconds, and thirds, and took home a container full to enjoy the day after. :-)

I wish I knew where they got the Holy Basil seeds. I’ve only seen them sold in the Asian grocery as a drink. I wonder if the Indian store has them.

Aloha, Nate

Red Bean Buns

Annie was inspired to make some red bean (azuki) buns after reading some Chinese dim sum and Japanese pastry recipe books she borrowed from the library. She’s made azuki bean buns before but this time she cut each dough ball into three smaller balls, filled those with the azuki bean paste, and placed the three balls into a muffin tin.

Here they are proofing in the tin:

After proofing, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 350*F for 12 minutes until golden brown.

They were great – the bread so light and just the right amount of azuki bean. It was hard to stop popping them, one by one, into my mouth!

The buns in the background that don’t have sesame seeds on them are baked char siu bao. Annie made her own char siu the other day, and then made a filling from that. (That’s another blog post…)

Aloha, Nate

Portuguese Sweet Bread

Growing up, we used to have slices of King’s Hawaiian brand Portuguese Sweet Bread for breakfast. The bread had a sweet, eggy crumb and a dark, almost coffee-flavored crust. I’d smear on pats of spread and devour the loaf. It would be gone within a few days.

Annie found this recipe from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” that was quite easy to do and produced two wonderful loaves. The crust was soft and delicious while the cumb was tight but light.

 

We gave one loaf away and kept one for ourselves. The kids devoured the loaf within a few days.

Aloha, Nate

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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