Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Christmas Present- Sugar Apple (Man Cau)

This year I got a yummy Christmas present, home grown sugar apple. I planted this sugar apple from seed 2-3 years ago and this year it fruited for me. The fruit ripen on Christmas day. This is a Vietnam variety. I was surprised by the size of the fruit. It was 10.7 oz and very tasty. This is the chewy type...which I love most. Mom and dad got a piece of it and they were like wow. :))

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hot Pot Time!!!

The weather is getting cold and hot pot is the best. I'm missing it already....yum yum yum....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sesame Tang Yuan (Sesame Dumplings)

I was craving for some sesame tang yuan but the frozen one always leaks so I decided to make my own. First time making this and it's good. The only thing I would change is instead of using lard I should use butter. I think lard doesn't smell that good compared to butter. I also should make the tang yuan a little smaller....guess I was too greedy...hehehe.


1/4 cup black sesame
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour

Syrup water- boil slap sugar and water. Add ginger if you like.


1. Clean the sesame by rinsing it over water. Add the sesame in the heated pan and stir continuously until roasted.
2. In a grinder, grind the sesame into power. Back to the pan and add in the butter, sesame power, sugar and stir them together. If it's too dry then add in more butter. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Form the sesame into small balls and refrigerate.
4. Add water to the glutinous rice flour to form a dough. Add little at a time to prevent over watering.
5. Using the dough to wrap the sesame balls. Drop them into boiling water and then turn the heat lower to prevent dumplings from opening. They're done when float to the if keep in for another 1-2 minutes.
6. Drain the dumplings and serve with syrup water.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ready to eat my dragon fruit!

So after many years of disappointment, my dragon fruit finally hold it's fruit. Yes, just one this year. I have three different variety, magenta, red, and yellow. Well, I thought this one is the magenta one....but I was wrong after cutting it in half. It's not pink or red...but white! Not sure what happened but the size of the fruit is small but inside is not pink. The fruit was ripe on the vine so it was very sweet. I wonder what variety is this. Small in size, pinkish skin, and white inside.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Banh bo (Vietnamese steamed rice cakes)

I recently received a few questions about my banh bo. I then question if my recipe works or not, so I decided to use the recipe and make some banh bo. I followed the recipe step by step. At the end my banh bo turned out delicious!!

Here is the recipe to the banh bo: Click

Friday, September 9, 2011

My dragon fruit finally fruited!!!

I am so shock as my dragon fruit finally fruited for me here in PA! I have this plant for 5 years and this year it fruited. It was funny because I told myself I will give it a severe pruning if it doesn't fruit this year since it was a pain to drag it in and out of the basement.

I hand pollinated the flowers every year at around 5 am but this year I pollinated them at 6 or 7 am. I guess I didn't do it right before with the time? I will from now on pollinated the flower at 7 am. I think this dragon fruit is the magenta color. I could not wait for it to mature so I can taste it. YAY!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Homemade Grass Jelly (Suong sam )

I am so happy and excited because my plant grass jelly finally had enough leaves for me to make some fresh jelly. Yes, this grass jelly is not made from powder but from a plant. The grass jelly is also called suong sam in Vietnam . It is a vine with heart shaped leaves. The leaves are extracted with water using both hands rubbing on leaves back and forth until all the green part in the leaves are out in the water. Strain and collect the green liquid water. Then put a little of the cuttlebone powder to make into jelly. This jelly is very different than any jelly from the store. It is very refreshing, chewy, and it have a cooling effect on the body. The botanical name of this plant is called tiliacora triandra. This is such a natural and yummy dessert!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Potted Figs

It's the fig season here in PA. My fig trees are loaded with figs! The ronde de bordeaux is the early fig because I already getting some ripe figs. The figs this year are larger than last year. I have six different fig trees. These fig trees grow so fast!

Figs are so sweet when ripe and good for your health. It is rich in potassium and calcium which helps to maintain blood pressure and prevent bone thinning. The soluble fiber, called pectin, in figs helps in reducing blood cholesterol. Consuming figs also helps in aiding digestion and taming various stomach and bowel-related problems. It's also a good source of dietary fiber that have a positive effect on weight management....meaning a sweet way to lose weight! I'm going to eat a lot of figs now....hehehehe.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Potted Sugar Apple Trees (Man Cau)

I have a lot of tropical fruit trees and I have quite a few sugar apple trees (5 +) because the fruit is my family favorite. There are a few variety of sugar apple but the best one is the one that is chewy with more flesh than seed ratio. The green variety seems to be the best but the kampong mauve sugar apple looks very pretty. So I have both varieties and also planted a few green variety from seeds. They are pretty easy to grow and fruit in 2-3 years. I think I will get a lot of kampong mauve sugar apple this year. :)

Kampong Mauve Kampong Mauve

Thai Lessard

Seed from Vietnam

Fruiting at 2 years

More seedlings

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Potted Mango Trees

I'm so excited as my two potted mangoes are fruiting. I have the Carrie and Nam Doc Mai mango trees. Got the trees from Nipa Hut Garden last year (May 2010). Both tree flowered and fruiting. I think I will only leave one fruit on each tree if the fruits stay. But I think most of the fruits will drop by themselves since the tree can not support all of them. As you can see the flowers on each tree is different. The Carrie flowers are closer together in clusters compared to the Nam Doc Mai. The color of the flowers are also different.
Nam Doc Mai

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Benefits of Young Coconut Water for Pregnant Women

I am 35 weeks pregnant and after some research I find that drinking young coconut water is very beneficial. I start to drink the young coconut water at 34 weeks. I drink one young coconut water every day or every 2 days. It was said when drinking young coconut water to regularly -especially in the third trimester of pregnancy- the amniotic fluid will be clean and babies born will have clean skin, bushy hair and clear eyes. Young coconut water is not just good for pregnant women but for all ages.

List of benefits:
  • A natural isotonic beverage with similar levels of electrolytes as the human body.
  • Helps prevent dehydration and relieves exhaustion by replenishing the natural salts lost by the body.
  • It is high in chlorides, potassium, and magnesium and has a moderate amount of sugar, sodium and protein.
  • Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and heart function.
  • Coconut water is also a good source of dietary fibre, manganese, calcium, riboflavin and Vitamin C.
  • It is essentially fat free and has zero cholesterol and some studies have reported that it can have some effect on improving "good" cholesterol levels (HDL) in the body.
  • Coconut water is a natural diuretic and so increases the flow of urine; this helps prevent urinary tract infections (UTI) as well as reduces the incidence of kidney stones.
  • Coconut water also helps relieve constipation, improves intestinal function and promotes digestive health -– it is often recommended to people suffering from acidity and ulcers.
  • Young coconut water contains lauric acid, an acid that helps fight disease. Lauric acid contained in coconut water the same as those found in breast milk and has the characteristics of antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral, so maintaining the health of mothers and infants from viruses such as herpes and HIV, protozoa, giardia lamblia and bacteria chlamydia and heliokobater.
  • Coconut water can help increase the speed of digestion.
  • Pregnant women drink young coconut juice as it will give their babies strength and vitality.
  • Good for feeding infants suffering from intestinal disturbances. It kills intestinal worms.
  • Eliminates swelling in hands and feet

Monday, May 9, 2011

Jackfruit and Cherimoya

My recent craving is for jackfruit and cherimoya! This is a great time to order cherimoya and lots of jackfruit available at our local Asian stores. The cherimoya is so good and sweet! Same with the jackfruit. I've been eating them for a couple days....hehehe