Sweeten your Tet holiday with home-made coconut ribbons

By Thu Thuy, Thanh Nien News

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Make mut dua, or candied coconut ribbons, at home for Tet Photos: Thu Thuy Make mut dua, or candied coconut ribbons, at home for Tet Photos: Thu Thuy


You can see mut dua being sold at every market, shop and supermarket around the city these days as Vietnam is gearing up for Tet, the most important holiday.
This year, the Lunar New Year falls on February 8.
If you have no spare time you can buy mut dua and other delicacies to celebrate the event.
However, if you are not very busy, roll up your sleeves and make mut dua at home. The simple snack is very easy to make and can be offered as a great gift to relatives and friends.
One kilogram of coconut flesh
800 grams of white sugar
It’s easy to buy coconut flesh at local markets.
For the DIY enthusiasts who want to do everything from A to Z, buy coconuts and get the white flesh from the fruit.
First drain all the water out by poking a hole through the shell then use a chopping knife to break the coconuts into halves before removing the flesh with a large spoon or butter knife.
A quick tip: Heat the drained coconuts over a stove for around 10 minutes. It helps you remove the flesh more easily after the coconuts cool down.
After getting the flesh, remember to remove all the brown skin and wash the meat with water before using a sharp knife to cut them into thin ribbons.
Put the coconut flesh in a large pan or wok. Add water, enough to cover them, and bring to a boil for around 15 minutes to get rid of some of the oil. Transfer them into a basket and cool them in cold water. Drain the ribbons.
Put the coconut strips back to the pan or wok, and then add white sugar. Try to do so in layers: start with a layer of coconut flesh then cover it with a layer of sugar, then continue. This is to make sure the ribbons are evenly coated.
Leave them for more than three hours. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Simmer and keep stirring the strips carefully in the syrup.  
When the syrup has evaporated completely, the coconut ribbons will be coated by a thin layer of white sugar. Use a pair of long chopsticks to check if all the strips are complete dry.
Lay the ribbons out onto a tray and let them cool.
You can also put the ribbons out to dry in the sun for around half an hour, before storing them in an airtight container.
The sweet delicacy can stay fresh for a month.

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