Weather in Singapore can be really warm. At 36 – 37 deg Celsius with high humidity levels, it can be quite dreadful walking out of air conditioned offices or homes. Due to the vast difference in temperatures, many also fall sick with cough or colds.
To beat the heat and provide some nourishing goodness, here’s introducing the ‘sea coconut’ dessert which is a very simple dish and tastes light and refreshing when eaten cold. We had about 12 pieces and this was how we prepare them.
‘Sea coconut’ is actually the fruit of toddy Palm. The real sea coconut is rare and may not be easily found. They are actually good remedy for cough in Chinese medicine. In place of the real deal, we will use what is available to us. This fruit looks interesting. It’s covered in a thin layer of beige brown case which needs to be removed before eating or cooking. The case can be easily removed using a paring knife. On the younger fruit, it would just come off with a slight pry. The jelly like fruit can be eaten raw but on the ‘not so young’ fruits, they can be hard and would be good to cook them.
After removing the casing, rinse them. Slice the flesh into 1cm thickness
Heat up a pot of boiling water, about 1 liter. When boiling, add some red dates (2 handfuls) and pandanus leaves if desired. When the fragrance can be detected, add the sea coconut and cook till the flesh whitens. Add rock sugar (they can look like chunks of crystals or cubed like those I have) and stir till sugar dissolves. Leave to simmer for another 15min and turn off the heat.
Keep this dessert in the fridge for 6 hrs or more and serve chilled.