First up, thank you to the most loyal of you for still sticking around. I do apologise for my erratic posting and the general slackness in following up comments. This month, life just kind of took over, I’m sure you know what I mean. In fact, I’m guessing a lot of you are probably in the same boat since the Malaysian Monday vault is looking rather forlorn. If you are toying with the idea of joining our Muhibbah Malaysian Monday event, this is the last week to make it for the round-up! I’ll be posting next Monday, so if you can get your entry in by Friday, I’ll add you on.
Now back to this week’s Malaysian Monday dish. It’s a super speedy one - I wanted to make something cool and refreshing, and I’d always wanted to experiment with jelly (agar-agar) decorating. Actually, instead of the more traditional agar-agar, I used konnyaku instead because it sets so clear, and because I like the “bounciness” when you bite into it.
Konnyaku sets really easily and the texture is sort of strange if you're not used to it. Set konnyaku can be peeled off the sides of the pan.
These jellies are really way too simple. The only ingredients needed are water, sugar and the setting agent of choice (agar/konnyaku). Add a dash of food colouring and use a fun mould, and you’ll be churning out lots of colorful eye-candy in no time. Most packets of agar-agar will have a recipe on it, and since that will tell you exactly how much water/ sugar to use, I won’t type out a recipe.
Since I’ve actually featured agar-agar before, I thought I’d show you another “trick” we sometimes use to make agar-agar more exciting. Beat an egg white until thick and foamy, then pour the hot agar-agar liquid into this meringue, keep whisking to incorporate everything evenly. This makes the agar-agar very opaque and imparts an interesting texture, although I suspect the texture would only be appealing to those who grew up with it. It does rather feel as if you’re biting into a sponge. Not a sponge cake, but a scouring sponge! Interesting but very different for most Western palates ;).
Thanks for sticking around, and do send in your entries for the Malaysian Monday round-up to its(dot)sharon(at)gmail(dot)com. My friend Suresh, over at 3 Hungry Tummies, definitely deserves a huge serving of thanks for keeping the wok fires burning while I was off gallivanting :)
Have a great start to the week, and enjoy the last month of the year!