Ingredients:
-winter melon
-sugar
-mali flavor
-alum
-limestone paste
-water


Prepping the Melon:
Peel the melon, remove seeds. Cut melon into chopstick size pieces, about 3-4 inches long. For every liter of water mix in 1/2 tsp limestone paste. Soak melon slices into limestone solution for 3 hours. Remove and wash. For ever liter of water mix in 3/4 tsp alum. Bring alum solution to a boil, turn off the heat, and remove the pot of water off the heating element. Add in melon slices; remove the melon when they appear transparent. Wash thoroughly.

Weigh the melon to determine the amount of sugar. Sugar should be ¾ the weight of the melon. Mix together melon and sugar, add mali flavor. Next morning drain the melon from the excess sugar (by now the sugar will have turned into a syrup). Follow instructions for “dry” version to complete the recipe.


Notes:
To make the Chinese version of this treat, simply cut melon into bigger (thicker) strips and omit mali flavor. Alum, and limestone paste is optional. For a faster method, simply cut melon, boil for a few mins, and soak in cold water until cooled. Weigh and determine sugar, then make into final product. Alum makes the melon transparent and white. Limestone solution helps gives it the crispy and plump texture. However, too much limestone paste in the solution will make the melon yellowish in color. Alum is acidic, thus make sure the melon is thoroughly washed after soaking in alum solution.

Comments (4)

On 2:27 AM , lily said...

hi hoangtam,
i follow the link but cant find limestone, and i dun know where i could get it.:((do they sell it in the market?
many vietnam food recipes before called for "han the" which is now banned as an additive,i heard that thus people now use limewash instead, in order to make food crispy.
do you know how i could get it? (pls dun tell me go to the construction site :P )or any substitute for it?
thank you :)
have a nice day

 
On 10:24 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

lime stone and han the (borax) are two different things, they have different effects thus you cannot use lime stone in place of borax.

you can fine limestone paste at asian stores.

 
On 9:45 AM , lily said...

http://www.nguoivienxu.vietnamnet.vn/vanhoaamthuc/2004/04/59450/
for more detail:"..Để làm cứng dòn một loại thực phẩm nào đó, công nghệ chế biến thực phẩm dạng công nghiệp đã dùng nhiều loại hóa chất khác nhau cho tùy loại thực phẩm, mà ít khi dể ý đến sức khỏe người tiêu dùng. Trong đó thí dụ hàn the gần như là một hoá chất phổ biến nhất mặc dù đã được khuyến cáo là không nên dùng. Trong khi ông bà chúng ta đã “lưu truyền” một trong nhiều phương pháp thú vị và vô hại – bằng chứng là không có liệt kê trong những hoá chất thực phẩm không nên dùng – đó là dùng vôi ăn trầu. Và ông bà chúng ta thì đã nhai trầu từ… ngàn năm trước rồi. Mời bạn thử làm cứng nha đam (còn gọi là lô hội, long tu…) với loại “hoá chất dân tộc” này...."
maybe different people hv different opinions.
thanks anyway.
p/s; sorry to who cannt read vietnamese

 
On 10:46 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

It’s not a matter of different opinions but rather a matter of science and experience. Chemically speaking han the and voi have different chemical formulas. This means they will produce different reactions and render different results. Try making banh duc with nuoc voi instead of han the...you'll see that the texture will be different. The one with nuoc voi will be chewy and the one with han the will be crispy…proving that voi cannot be used in place of han the to help make foods crispy. In this recipe nuoc voi is used to make the melon transparent not crispy. The melon is crispy due to the amount of sugar and method of producing the final product.