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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sương Sáo is where it's at ...

i had a fierce hankering for grass jelly last night while watching the summer olympics. i grew up eating grass jelly or sương sáo. grandma always hooked it up and when i got older, i took over the making of this dessert. it's actually the only vietnamese dessert that i really like. which is odd because normally, the color black is just not appetizing to me. um hello? licorice is icky. squid ink (which i saw on Iron Chef America last night), gag. let me know if there's any other black foods that could potentially make me shudder, i could only think of 2.

anyway, to make this is quite easy. grass jelly is sold in cans at asian markets. it's over by the canned fruit stuff. when it comes out of a can it reminds me of the store bought cranberry stuff found on most Thanksgiving tables. i usually cut them into bite size cubes. i hold the grass jelly in the palm of my hand and cut and drop right over the bowl. not the safest and that is why i use a dull knife. i add a few tablespoons of sugar, half a bottle of water and a splash of lemon juice. done.

semi-cut grass jelly


this is supposed to keep the body cool during the summer months.

done

what do you eat to keep cool?

11 comments:

  1. mini ice pellets; love those... although they're extremely elusive, I only see them at certain restaurants and always forget where it was that they served it. So every time I discover a place that has it, I'm get so excited, then obviously forget after a time.

    my food challenges are going well too. I only have one more to do, but all of them to blog about! :) good luck on yours! Oh, and I made an executive decision to drop from one so I had more time to play.

    I'm also wondering if I've had grass jelly before.. it looks hauntingly familiar, from a time when my grandparents lived nearby. But I'm unsure. One more thing that's black - black pudding (made with pig's blood) which most definitely doesn't sound appetizing, but I've never tried it so who knows.

    ok long comment, but all necessary info right? :)

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  2. Haha! I made this last week with a bunch of other canned fruits. And when I photographed cutting the jelly, I put it on my hands too. Must be a VNese thing. :P

    Black sesame paste is pitch black. Yummy! Ha! And guo ling gao (tortoise jelly).

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  3. I used to think my parents had magical powers when they cut grass jelly in their hands with a knife.

    Grass jelly also goes really well with vanilla ice cream as a refreshing summer dessert.

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  4. i work for a company that makes a wicked blender, so i make smoothies in the summertime to keep cool.

    black beans and caviar are yummy!

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  5. Jen -
    they sell already made grass jelly drinks in the asian markets too, you should try it to see if it's what you think you remember. i don't like black pudding either!!

    Wandering Chopsticks - so i did a search of the tortoise jelly and yeah, i would def. not like that! i don't think i've ever had black sesame paste either ...


    Toxo bread - i've never had grass jelly with vanilla ice cream before. i will have to try it now!

    Dragonfly71 - i don't have a traditional blender, i have a hand blender to make smooth soups. i've made yoghurt smoothies before and they are delish! as for black beans, hmmm... they're ok, i don't love them tho, i like chinese black bean tho and i LOVE cavier. kudos to you for making me think of 1 black food item that i actually like! :)

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  6. I think black licorice and squid ink is pretty "ick" too...I sadly cannot think of any other black foods...I hate anchovies and black (and green) olives...does that count?

    Other than to indulge in sorbet or sherbert in the summer (cliche, I know), to keep cool I drink water with lemon or cucumbers. mmmm...

    I LOVE Vietnamese food pretty much any time of year, even if it doesn't keep me cool!

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  7. Grass jelly is definitely an acquired taste. Before I read your post, I thought the photo was of Gwei Lin Go--the Chinese medicinal jelly made from severely bitter herbs and boiled turtle shells. Have you had it?

    This is what it looks like: http://eatfirstthinklater.blogspot.com/2008/05/kwai-lin-kou.html

    My mother used to make me eat it when I was a pimply teenager. It did nothing for zits but made me gag!

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  8. Your comments form doesn't allow name/url :(
    I found your site when you left a comment on my post about culinary school at http://finefuriouslife.com--thanks!

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  9. Chessa -
    oh wait... i looooove black olives... another black food item i love. i've never had my water with cucumbers, sounds very refreshing! vietnamese food is yummy, isn't it? i hope to post more viet recipes in the coming weeks, stay tuned.

    michele --
    i've definitely never had Gwei Lin Go and another blogger called it Guo Ling Gao, wonder if it's the same? and i totally feel you on the medicines moms give us for pimples. nothing worked and it all tasted awful! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your comments form doesn't allow name/url :(
    I found your site when you left a comment on my post about culinary school at http://finefuriouslife.com--thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Chessa -
    oh wait... i looooove black olives... another black food item i love. i've never had my water with cucumbers, sounds very refreshing! vietnamese food is yummy, isn't it? i hope to post more viet recipes in the coming weeks, stay tuned.

    michele --
    i've definitely never had Gwei Lin Go and another blogger called it Guo Ling Gao, wonder if it's the same? and i totally feel you on the medicines moms give us for pimples. nothing worked and it all tasted awful! :)

    ReplyDelete