Sunday, June 5, 2011

Welcome To Fourspice - Ô Mai Gừng Cam Thảo

Welcome to my fourspice blog. I am excited to launch the first blog ever in my life. This blog will be my refuge where I want to share with you my journey in life, my interest in cooking, sewing, crafting, gardening and much more. Why Fourspice? You know, there are 4 emotions in everyone's lifes, happy, sad, love, and hate (hỉ, nộ, ái, ố) and our life cycle include four phases; born, aged, sick, die (sinh, lão, bệnh, tử), hence, everyway you look there are FOUR spices in everything.
I came to the US in 1975 after the fall of my homeland Vietnam to the communist. In highschool I had always excel in home economic class, where we were taught to make áo dài, make fancy pillows for the sofa, make silk flowers, embroidery, cook bún bò Huế, fried chả giò to treat the Ameican advisors who came to visit the school. Through out those years back home, I've always enjoyed eating food, mostly from street vendors on the way to my school bus stop, or at the stalls in the market everytime I was sent there to get something.
I was at the age when some of the writers labeled this as lứa tuổi thích ô mai, 16. I still remember going to my aunt home in cư xá truyền tin to watch her making ô mai. She didn't have  store to sell her ô mai, but people who knows of her ô mai would refer others to her, and this kept her busy enough. She passed away a few years back in the West coast. In honor of her, I am making her ô mai today and share the recipe with you all as an introduction gift to my blog. Hope you will enjoy it.

250 grs salted dried plum (xí muội)
250grs ginger
250 grs sugar
4 Tbsp licorice roots (cam thảo) - you can get this at any of the Chinese herbal medicine store
1) Soak the salted dried plum in water to rinse off the color and salt. Do the soaking and rinsing process several times.
2) Let the plum dry off in a colander. Tossing the plum a few times while they are drying off in the colander.

3) Peel the ginger, boil in water couple times to reduce the bitterness. Use a pestle and mortar to grind them up. Put ginger in a piece of paper towel and squeeze off excess moisture from them.

4) Finely chop licorice roots using the chopper blade of the Magic Bullet

5) Mix 2/3 of the sugar with ginger, put in a non-stick pan over low heat and stir constantly until the sugar melted and incorporate with the ginger.

6) Add remaining sugar into the plum, then add this mixture into the ginger sugar mixture in the pan, cook over the lowest heat and stir constantly (the stiring helps sugar to crystalized and drying up the mixture).

7) Take the pan off the heat, mix in ground licorice. Let cool, store in airtight container.

No comments:

Post a Comment