Thursday, May 29, 2014

Food Talk: The Other Incredible Nut, Coconut

After visiting many Asian and Latin countries over the past years, I see how essential coconuts are in tropical culture. With many purposes, this marvelous fruit has many various stages of growth.
Coconut Flowers found by the rain forest in Colombia
Milk of the coconut is the key in making delicious curries and enhancing many dishes and soups. The creamy texture brings its thickness and richness in flavors. There's coconut meat and its milk in Beef Rendang, has been one of my signature dishes that I cooked often, one of main ingredients of the 26 for this rich flavorful dish..
Classic Cambodian Fish Dish with Coconut Cream, served in Coconut Shell
Growing up in Burma (Myanmar), natural coconut oil in shampoo give nice sheen on long  beautiful hair for Burmese ladies and also as home made natural sunscreen - saving our skin from sun burn. In the spring time, farmers use the processed coconut husk and the fiber as part of the soil mixture for sowing seeds. The dried coconut husk is used to stuff mattresses at an orphanage that I have been supporting for over ten years now to supplement their income. In homes, many also use it as fuel.

The bed frame I recently purchased is made with coconut trunks which is sustainable alternative to wood.

On one of my visits to Vietnam on a scorching hot afternoon in Ho Chi Minh City, the coconut vendor on the street was a life saver. The cold coconut water was a quick thirst quencher, a refreshing  and nutritional energy boost. I also noticed coconut is a popularity key ingredient in everything from energy bars to Greek yogurt that I consumed on my recent trekking trip in Colombia.  Coconut has so many benefits, it is rich in protein, contains enormous fiber and is high in Vitamin E that I am sure there will be more products with coconut appearing soon in the market.

View the delicious Amok Fish recipe here: