Jul 30, 2012

Thab thim krob aka red rubies

Whenever hubby and I visit a Thai restaurant in Malaysia, we never fail to order this dessert. Strangely enough, it's not on the menu in Thai restaurants here!

Since I went to Eastwood and bought a bunch of water chestnuts,  I tried my hand at it. After I made it, I think I discovered why it's not on the menu here.

Red rubies is bits of water chestnut covered in cooked tapioca flour - bite through the glutinous chewy texture of the tapioca and get to the heart where the water chestnuts deliver a crunch. They swim in fresh, light coconut milk, occasionally spiked with thin slices of jackfruit to give it aroma and added sweetness.

You slice the water chestnuts into tiny chunks, place it in a ziploc bag, pour in tapioca flour and red colouring, then shake it vigorously. Sieve out the extra flour.

Boil the bits and you get a beautiful 'red ruby'! Add them into sweetened (sugar syrup) coconut milk. Some people add jackfruit slices or pandan or rose essence to add a beautiful kick.

Unfortunately, this is something that really needs fresh, light coconut milk, and the sort that comes out of the box is all wrong. You can disguise the inadequacy of boxed coconut milk in a cake, or kuih, or even sparing bits of it is required, but not in this dish. And that (the difficulty of getting freshly squeezed coconut milk) is my theory on why they don't serve it here.

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