Summer is here… well for the other part of the equator that is (Winter is about to start down under!)
So the Kulinarya Cooking Club Challenge for the month of March we have been tasked to make our own version of ice candy.
Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney, who are passionate about the Filipino culture and it’s colourful cuisine. Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family recipes. By sharing these recipes we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.
Summer in the Philippines wouldn’t be complete without iced candy. It is not uncommon to see makeshift “Ice Candy 4 Sale” signs around some (a lot) of the neighbouring houses – the most popular flavours being Orange (i.e. Ritchie’s Orange diluted – and rediluted again – in water) and Chocolate (i.e. Ovaltine or Milo). Those everyday drinks are placed in small tubelike plastic bags and then frozen rock solid, which you then bite off to get the sticky flavoured ice inside. They sold for 50cents to P1 each – this was during my time so I’m not sure how much they’re worth now!
Just recently, a lot of my Facebook friends have been posting status updates and photos of Magnum icecream (seriously didn’t get it as I thought Magnum has always been around.. until I was told that it was just launched by local celebrities and trendsetters nonetheless, thus the fuss!) to which I’ve always commented – “Mas masarap ang ice buko”, but then my cousin told me that it’s no longer available… what?! !
Ice buko was my favourite summer treat when I was younger. Yummy coconut juice and strips of coconut meat with red bean on top in one handy stick! How can one go wrong?! So when I’ve read the theme for March, I immediately knew what I was going to do!
Coconut juice although available is something that you need to look for here in Melbourne – coconut meat is another story altogether. I’ve seen a few bags in the frozen section of our local Asian supermarket, but I’m not sure of it’s texture. And although I have red beans at home, I’ve been saving them for another project – so I decided to make another version of ice buko.
The ingredients :
Coconut water, canned lychee and a few mint leaves. Easy right? Especially as I’ve just started my very own herb garden.. uhmmm okay that’s a lie as I only have the potted mint plant in our little courtyard – but I’m planning on buying more, so whatever!
I just chopped up the lychee and mint mixed them with the coconut water and placed them in this little plastic contraption and then it went straight into the freezer. Took less than five minutes. If you have more time, you can steep the mint leaves in the coconut water and then fish it out, so you have the minty flavour without the little leaves. Also, I didn’t add sugar as I think the coconut water is sweet enough, but you might do so if you wish.
And then after a few hours… Voila! Ice buko con mint lychee!
Now as I only had one container and a lot of leftover, I decided to put the rest in ice cube trays and then use them for iced tea – as I’m thinking it would go well with black tea (maybe? maybe not? we’ll see!)