Asian Desserts

One thing I love about Asian food is the dessert.  American desserts still reign supreme (e.g., NY cheesecake, Mississippi mud pie, key lime pie, banana split topped with whipped cream), however, after you’re done eating your dessert you feel as if you’ve just finished an IV lard drip and ready for a heart attack.  For some of us these desserts are a bit too sweet and way too high in calories.  Most Asian desserts, on the other hand, tend to use more natural fruits, no butter, little sugar, and even less cream.

When J was here this weekend, he made taro coconut milk with tapioca, a Cantonese tong sui (糖水).

Taro coconut milk with tapioca (西米露)

It’s actually very simple, though I needed him to repeat the recipe to me several times.

  1. Dice up the taro into cubes and boil it in water (1:3 ratio)
  2. Add tapioca before the taro is completely cooked (softened).
  3. When everything is softened, pour in a can of coconut milk and add sugar ‘to taste’ as well as a pinch of salt.

You can serve it either hot or cold.

My all time favorite is something a whole lot easier to make – papaya milk (木瓜牛奶).  Like avocado, papaya comes from Mexico which means we have access to cheap papaya year round here in the Southwest.  There’s no cooking involved.  Just blend 1/8 of a papaya with 1/4 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of ice, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and voila…

Papaya milkshake

Papaya smoothie (minus the milk)

This baby fills you right up and can even replace a meal.

One interesting fact I learned about papaya is that it has some contraceptive properties (especially the unripened ones).  That is not to say you should abandon your usual contraceptive methods, as I do not want to be held responsible for any ‘oops’ child ;).

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