Meet Traveling Spoon host Nayna. As a freelance food and travel writer, Nayna knows a lot about good food. While Nayna lives in Manila, she is also an avid traveler and adventurous eater, having grown up surrounded by the tastes and aromas of her grandmother’s kitchen. She loves experimenting with family recipes and adding new dishes to her repertoire, always ensuring that everything she prepares is made from scratch. Read on for her recipe on how to make a delicious dish of tofu & kangkong adobo, Filipino-style.
The coconut has been acknowledged as one of the most versatile fruits on the planet, and it has even been called the world’s most versatile superfood. Coconut milk, in particular, a creamy, non-dairy alternative made by processing coconut meat with water, is widely used as a food ingredient in many South and Southeast Asian countries. Coconut milk is so delicious and versatile that famous American actor Dustin Hoffman once said that “all you need to sustain life is coconut milk and sunshine.”
If you’re still not convinced of the power of coconut milk, here are five delicious Asian dishes where coconut milk plays an extremely important role of bringing the dish to life, check them out!
1. Tom Kha (Thailand)
Tom Kha is a spicy and sour hot soup from Thailand, and compared to its twin, Tom Yum, which is a clear broth with lemongrass as the leading spice, Tom Kha is clearly defined by its use of coconut milk. Here is a recipe for you to try!
photo courtesy of Akito-X
2. Nasi Lemak (Malaysia)
Widely considered to be the national dish of Malaysia, Nasi Lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. The name literally means “creamy rice” because the rice is soaked in coconut milk before it is steamed with the other ingredients. Often served with spicy sauce, cucumber, roasted peanuts, or fried eggs, Nasi Lemak is a dish that enjoys a wide popularity even in countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei and Thailand.
Photo courtesy of mila0506
3. Watalappan (Sri Lanka)
Watalappan is a delicious sweet steamed coconut custard from Sri Lanka, and it is particularly popular amongst the Muslim community. With a taste that is heavily built on coconut, watalappan has become one of the must-have desserts in any special occasion such as a wedding in Sri Lanka.
Photo courtesy of Sajana D. Ratnayake
4. Laksa (Malaysia)
Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup in the Peranakan cuisine, which is a combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine. Based on rich and spicy curry coconut milk, the Penang Laksa has been ranked 7th out of the 50 most delicious food in the world by CNN in 2011.
Photo Courtesy of dion gillard
5. Halo-halo (The Philippines)
The name “halo-halo” is the Tagalog word for “mix mix”, so it should not be a surprise that halo-halo is a popular Filipino dessert made from sweet beans, sago, gulaman, tubers, fruits, and of course the coconut. As chef Leah Cohen describes, the idea is to mix everything together and eat it like a sundae. Here’s a video recipe for you to try!
Photo courtesy of dbgg1979