Thai Jewels and Fruits on Crushed Coconut Ice

The Thai Jewels and Fruits on Crushed Coconut Ice Recipe is incredibly popular dessert was the endless variations on shaved ice snacks enjoyed in street markets throughout Asia. At its core, the dish is just a heap of tapioca dumplings, crushed young coconut juice, and chilled coconut sauce. I found that fragrant jasmine flowers, in the form of mali syrup, pair perfectly with earthy, aromatic vanilla beans. Adding vibrant tropical fruits turns this dessert into a veritable greenhouse of goodness.

Makes 8 servings

Coconut Sauce:
1 cup (7 1⁄2 ounces/212 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1⁄2 cups (307⁄8 ounces/875 grams unsweetened coconut milk
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise in half,
seeds scraped out, and seeds and pods reserved
1 cup (8 ounces/227 grams) whole milk

Mali Syrup:
2⁄3 cup (4 ounces/112 grams) crushed palm sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise in half, seeds scraped out, and seeds and pod reserved
1 3⁄4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon mali syrup

Thai Jewels:
9 ounces (255 grams) fresh water
chestnuts, peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch dice
1⁄2 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) red sala syrup
2 1⁄2 teaspoons green pandan paste
3 cups (121⁄2 ounces/354 grams) tapioca flour
2 2⁄3 cups (21 ounces/597 grams) frozen unsweetened coconut juice, thawed, coconut pieces removed and sliced, and juice refrozen
1 cup (4 ounces/114 grams) palm seeds, rinsed and quartered
1 cup (5 ounces/142 grams) thinly sliced jackfruit
1 cup (5 ounces/142 grams) diced papaya, preferably red

1. To make the coconut sauce: Put the sugar, salt, coconut milk, and vanilla seeds and pods in a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk and the remaining palm sugar syrup. Transfer to a container with a tight lid, cover, and refrigerate until completely chilled.

2. To make the syrup: Put the palm sugar, vanilla seeds and pod, 1 1⁄4 teaspoons of the salt, and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, stir in the mali syrup, and let cool to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, make the Thai jewels: Divide the water chestnuts between two small mixing bowls. Add the red sala syrup to one bowl and the green pandan paste to the other and mix well to coat and color the water chestnuts. Let sit for at least 10 minutes, or cover and refrigerate overnight.

4. Drain the water chestnuts, reserving the soaking liquid in two large bowls and keeping the red and green chestnuts separate. Add 1⁄3 cup of the palm sugar syrup to each of the two bowls.

5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Toss the red water chestnuts with half of the tapioca flour in a mixing bowl shake vigorously to coat well. Transfer the water chestnuts to a sieve and tap the sides to remove any excess starch, which could cause clumping. Add the chestnuts to the boiling water and cook, stirring constantly, until they float to the surface, about 5 minutes.

6. Drain, transfer to a large bowl of ice and water, and cool completely. Drain again and add to the bowl of red syrup. Repeat with the green water chestnuts, putting them in the green syrup after cooling them. Refrigerate both until ready to serve.

7. To assemble: Transfer the frozen coconut juice to a large sturdy plastic bag and pound it with a heavy skillet until it becomes finely crushed ice. Drain the water chestnuts and toss with the coconut pieces, palm seeds, jackfruit, and papaya.

8. Divide the coconut ice among eight serving bowls and top with the red and green jewels and mixed fruit. Shake the coconut sauce until foamy, divide among the serving bowls, and serve immediately.

If you can’t find red sala syrup, substitute grenadine.

Thai Jewels and Fruits on Crushed Coconut Ice
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