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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Black Sugarcane Infusion 黑皮甘蔗凉茶

This infusion is made with Black Sugarcane. In Chinese it is called 黑皮甘蔗 or 药蔗. You can google this can see lots of pictures of this beautiful sugarcane.

There's a lady who lived near my brother and she often comes by the house to chat. One day while my mom brought Hannah to tuition class opposite this lady's house, she asked my mom whether she wants to have some black sugarcane. Of course my mom won't said no. And this lady gladly pulled up 2 stalks of this sugarcane, chopped it into smaller pieces, packed it into some strong HDPE rice bag and handed it over to my mom. My mom happily brought them home.

I was lucky to be there the day mom got them. And she made me this wonderful drink.

Just in case some one gives you a bunch of this or there are lots in you backyard, here's how to do it. Works the same way with any other sugarcanes. We like it plain. Plainly sugarcane. A lot of people will add in other herbs, but we don't. Feel free to do what you like.


1. With a sharp knife, clean the nodes by paring off any roots or hardy parts.
2. Wash sugar cane and cut them into smaller pieces to fit your pot.
3. Use a mallet or pestle or a hammer, hit the sugarcane until it splits.
4. Put them into a pot and cover with water.
5. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for 3 hours. There is no need to sweeten with sugar.

*If the sugarcane is still flavourful, you can boil with some more water (but not full amount) and mix with the first infusion.

So, how do the plant look like

And how do other sugarcanes look like

And of course there is the red sugarcane, but I don't have a picture of it :)
Red sugarcane stems look like black sugarcane. But to distinguish it, look at the leaves. Leaves of the black sugarcane is green and organized.
And the red variety's leaves are red and not so nicely upright..

And the final cup of the infusion, I let you drink.... ok??

All pictures (except for 3 in the instructons part) are taken with my phone :)
I can't believe that it can produce such pictures :)

But now, it's lost.. gone at the disabled washroom in Ikano's LG floor, near Manhattan Fish Market.
I went in there to change Lyanne's diapers cos she was so wet, then I accidently hurt her while buckling her on her stroller. She cried so loud that I forgot about everything else.  Then stupid me only realised my missing bag after 10 minutes. Somebody already took my bag to the info counter and somebody also took my phone.
It's not an expensive phone, but sigh... all my contacts gone.

Luckily I was with Pei-Lin, she looked after Lyanne while I ran looking for my bag. And when I realised the phone was missing 20 minutes later, (yeah I only know that it was missing when it was time to call Mike), Pei-Lin lent me her phone to call hubby dearest. I'm glad I was with her that day.

I can't retrieve my numbers via my service provider, as I have never subscribed to their back up service,
And I can't block the phone using the IMEI number because this service do not exist in Malaysia. One can only block the number and SIM card, but not the phone.  Maxis's Customer Assistance over the phone went all blank when I asked him about blocking phone using IMEI. He totally didn't know what was I talking about and keep asking me my number and block that instead, even when I've told him few times, this is my new SIM card and the old one was already blocked, and a new SIM was issued. Maybe his ears were made of wood or that he needs some cotton bud.

*****Sigh.. *****
I'm now using my old Nokia.. wonder when will my new phone come.............................
***** Sigh  *****


  1. I miss having this type of sugar care drink. My grandma used to plant lots of these at our backyard and we will make this drink out of it and we also love munching on it. It is much sweeter than the normal yellow kind.

  2. I used to drink black skin sugar cane in my back home Indonesia, here in Singapore, they only provide yellow skin sugar cane.
    And so sorry to hear that you lost your hp, but at least you get back your bag :)

  3. ICook4Fun,
    Wow, this is pretty hard man!!! You must be blessed with teeth of steel to chew on this.

  4. DG,
    Thanks for your concern, there's nothing much in the bag actually, except for the important documents.
    Maybe if you ever buy groceries in JB, you can get some there

  5. Wendy, good suggestion, I am going to look for some of this when I go JB for groceries shopping. thanks for sharing.

  6. I miss the drink! No way I can find something here...sighs...

  7. waaaaaaaaaaa...ok the drink is good enuf d but ur last pic is better love the contrasting colors...

  8. I'm sorry about the phone, dear! And this is my favourite drink too especially during this heaty weather. Hope your new phone will arrive soon. Have a nice day!
    Cheers, Kristy

  9. Wendy, so sorry to hear about the missing stuffs. 10 minutes is short time but in Malaysia, thefts are everywhere. Be careful.....if you must, I'd say an iPhone is very very convenient if you're pretty tech savvy.

  10. Angie,
    Yeah... I don't think sugarcane grows over there, right???
    Nvm, there are dry ones at Chinese grocers or get those ready to drink in cans/packs.

  11. Sonia,
    Hehehe, yeah, any Leong Cha is good.

  12. Manglish,
    Print it out and stick it to your bed post.

  13. My grandma used to make this drink for us a lot!

  14. Kristy,
    I like this too, but it is not easy to get, unless one plants it at home.

  15. Quinn,
    Hahaha, I'm not tech savvy.
    Any basic phone with camera will be good for me.

  16. Cannot block using IMEI? I thought can all this while...but I heard that You'll have to call the manufacturer's HQ, not service provider. Eg if your phone is a Nokia, then you call Nokia HQ to do that.

    i didn't know that there were black and red sugarcane...I thought they were the same kind. Thanks for teaching me that.

  17. Wendy, you were damn lucky to have the real McCoy! This is what I call 100-percent pure sugarcane drink! Ahh ... I miss it! All the pics have reminded me so much of my childhood ... when I got to gnaw on sugar and suck away all the SWEET juice ... Ah ... those days ... So innocent and carefree ...

    Hey, why Mike treating you this way arr? I thought he's more tech-savvy than you're!!?? Hahaha!

  18. nice! can i have one cup... weather is very hot! i need some coold sugar drink. please!

  19. Mel,
    At first I check internet on how to do it, they say call service provider. That's why I called Maxis.
    After that I checked some forums, and they say cannot woh, cos AP phone's IMEI on box dun match the phone's IMEI one woh.

  20. Pei-Lin,
    Now you surprise me again. I never knew pure KL girl would've ever gnawed and chewed cane before.

    BTW, what's with Mike??? He is indeed a lot lot more tech savvy than me. Me tech dungu.

  21. I love sugar cane. Sometimes I see the canes sold, but I never learned how to prepare it before. The ones I've eaten have always already been pre-cut and peeled.

  22. This brings back alot of memories... Liang Teh, I haven't had a home brewed one for a long long time...

  23. Kirbie,
    Haha, this not a recipe usually found in cookbooks. And we have to learn this from someone, and mostly mothers or grandmothers.
    Which is why I posted this and most of younger generation have no idea how this beverage is done.

  24. Shirley,
    Haha, I only knew what was "liang teh" when I was chatting to a Hokkien boy who was trying to tackle me during Uni days :)

  25. No lah ... I was born and raised in KL. But to be more in-depth, I'm half KL-ite and half Malaccan ... Hahaha!

    No lah ... I just think you two are tech-savvy, at least more than I'm ... Me, tech noob ... Sob, sob.

  26. THrow in some ice cubes and this is the perfect thirst quencher and cool-off drink for me!

  27. ooh. i have not drink sugarcane leongcha for a long time!

  28. Pei-Lin,
    ICIC...then maybe I can expect you to do some nyonya dumplings soon since you are half malaccan??

  29. Petite Nyonya,
    Hey, since you have a garden, plant some sugarcanes, they don't take up too much space, plus they don't need much maintenance. Just don't let the dog pee near the roots. If not the sugarcane will turn salty.

  30. Renaye,
    Hahaha, I'm making so many miss the drink with this post.
    Guess it shows that sugarcane is either getting harder to find, or humans are too busy to prepare this.


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