Make candied coconut ribbons at home for Tet

By Thu Thuy, Thanh Nien News

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One of the delicacies for Tet, Vietnam's most important holiday, is the candied coconut ribbon known as mut dua.
The sweet treat, which is easy to make and looks pretty, is considered a great gift as many Vietnamese, especially children, love it.  
Ingredients
One kilogram of coconut flesh and 700-800 grams of sugar
Preparations:
To get the meat from coconuts, first drain all the water out by poking a hole through the shell. 
After that, use a chopping knife or a hammer to break the coconuts into halves. Use a butter knife or a large spoon to remove the flesh from the shell.
A quick tip: Heat the drained coconuts over a stove or bake them at 400 degrees F for around 10 minutes. Let them cool down and start remove the flesh. It will be much easier. 

 Photos: Thu Thuy

Make sure all the brown layer parts are removed. Then use a sharp knife to cut the meat into thin ribbons. 
Put the coconut flesh strips in a large pan or wok. Add water, enough to cover them, and bring to a boil. Then continue cooking for 10 more 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 sugar.
Try to do so in layers: start with a layer of coconut meat then cover it with a layer of sugar, then continue. This is to make sure the ribbon are evenly coated by the sugar. 
Leave them for around two 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 leave them to cool.
You can also put the ribbons out to dry in the sun for around an hour, before storing them in an airtight container.
They can be stored for up to a month. 

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