I just looked at the date of my last post and realised that it’s been almost a month since my last update! A whole month! How did it get to this? And I missed another Daring Bakers outing to boot.
No matter, we’ll just move along now shall we?
How about some fruit? I know, I know, it doesn’t sound very exciting and doesn’t involve cooking, but wait till you see the sort of fruit I have to offer.
First up, feast your eyes on this humungous soursop. I should have placed something next to it for a comparison, but trust me when I say this thing was HUGE. All 1.2 kg worth of it. The MCs kept calling it a “monster heart” and were suitably impressed. If it looks slightly familiar, that’s because it is closely related to the custard apple (also sometimes called a sweetsop).
The soursop should only be eaten when ripe and very soft. If you press gently on the skin, it should dent, perhaps even split. When I was growing up, a trick we used for hastening the ripening of green fruits was to bury it in the raw rice container (most Malaysian households keep massive tubs of rice, none of this buying rice in small quantities nonsense). However, I bought this one already ripe from the markets, and I think the fruit vendors wrap it in newspaper to hasten ripening - if you do this, make sure to leave some “breathing room” or the fruit will rot.
Everyone in the Skewer household loves the taste of soursop; the flavour is really hard to describe. It’s sour of course, but a mellow sour without any bitter undertones, and also slightly sweet, almost strawberry-like. The texture is creamy yet “chewy” and so moreish especially when eaten straight from the fridge. To prepare soursop for eating, you simply slice it into half or quarters, peel the skin off (it should come off very easily if the fruit is ripe), and cut away the middle core which is edible but tasteless. Cut into chunks and refrigerate until needed. Warn everyone that it contains lots of seeds before serving.
We ate this fresh, but you could probably add the flesh to jellies or sorbet. I actually saved some in the freezer to make slushies - very refreshing on a hot day. Just blend sugar syrup, lemon juice, de-seeded frozen soursop flesh and water (proportions to taste).
Next up, we have have Pulasan. This here fruit is a close cousin to the Rambutan which some of you may be familiar with. How do you tell them apart? Well, the Rambutan gets its name from the word Rambut which means ‘hairy’ in Malay. The Pulasan on the other hand, comes from the root word “Pulas” which means “to twist” - probably from the action you use to get the skin off the fruit. Essentially, hairy=Rambutan, not so hairy=Pulasan, got it?
Twist it like this...
Flavourwise, the Pulasan is very sweet, almost like a cross between a rambutan and a lychee. The skin comes off a lot easier compared to a Rambutan, but I actually prefer Rambutans because they have a tangy undertone while the Pulasan tends to be a bit more one-dimensional.
And finally, let’s take a look at this Buah Salak, also known as Snake fruit. Ok, I’m cheating a little bit, this fruit is more popular in Indonesia than it is in Malaysia, but for the purposes of this post, I’m claiming it as our own ;P.
This is a type of palm fruit, and the skin comes off really easily and does look remarkably like snake-skin. MC Senior took great pleasure in freaking out her classmates with this at school lunch.
Flavor wise, it tastes very much like pineapple crossed with apple, but without that numbing acid aftertaste you get from pineapple. The texture is crunchy and the fruit slips off the seed easily. I think you have to eat it very fresh, otherwise the flesh tends to get a bit “powdery” like old apple, not appealing to my taste at all. I have never tried to cook with it, but according to Daddy and Mummy Skewer, they’ve seen this used as a pickle.
And that brings us to the end of this post. Am I forgiven for being slack?
To all my Muslim friends, I wish you “Selamat Berpuasa” for the month of Ramadhan.
Also, don’t forget to get your entries in to Suresh of 3 Hungry Tummies [(sureshchong(at)yahoo(dot)com] for next Muhibbah Malaysian Monday Round-Up. I think we are back to monthly round-ups now but I’m not sure, let me get back to you on that one.
Take care lovelies and I shall be back soon with more tales from the Skewers in Singapore :)