Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Those of you from Kampar will definitely remember the Herbal Drink stall infront of Kam Ling Restaurant. One old uncle together with his fair and pretty wife will be selling wintermelon tea, Wong Lou Kat, Hui Sap Sui, sometimes Sugarcane drink too and some other stuff that I can’t remember. And my favourite will be the wintermelon drink.
Actually they live just 200m down my house in Kampar. Everyday I’ll see the man on the bicycle, peddling the mobile stall to location, with the wife pushing the stall from behind. Such a lovely couple… but I got to know from my mom that the man has passed away, few years back. Actually the couple have already retired more than 15 years ago, and sold the business to another couple. It’s no longer the same thing..something’s missing.
So, for those of you who loved the lovely couple’s wintermelon tea, this is a close attempt to that version that is the favourite of so many in Kampar.
480gm candied brown sugar (I prefer this over rock sugar here)
*Please reduce accordingly if you want to make a smaller portion, here’s the ratio
1kg wintermelon : 2.5L water (10 cups/rice bowl): 2pcs candied brown sugar(160gm), you can put more if you like it sweeter.
1. Wash the wintermelon, scrubbing the green skin with a soft scourer (green Scotch Brite, not stainless steel scrub) to get rid of the white powder.
2. Cut the melon up, discard seed, do NOT peel and cut into chunks, about 2 inch cube, not too big so that they’ll cook faster, not too small so that you can easily fish them out later.
3. Put in in large pot (10 or 11L capacity) and put in 8L water. Put in sugar.
4. Bring to a boil on high heat and lower to a simmer until wintermelon turns soft, means you can poke thru the flesh easily with a chopstick, skin will still be hard, so don’t poke thru the skin instead. It took me about 4 hours.
5. When wintermelon is soft, fish them out and scrape the flesh with a spoon and mash them with a fork.
6. Discard the skin and put the flesh back into the pot. Cool down and chill.
With no additional stuff like candied dates or longan, the flavour of the wintermelon really shines through and it feels so "yoon" on the throat
By the way, these picutres were taken more than a year and half ago. Can you see those floating bits of wintermelon, all mushy mushy.