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Waiting for the Rain

>> Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rain Drops on Leaves
Extreme heat and fierce sun light, Melbourne is awaiting for some much needed rain. They say the summer rain will come in a week time. Until then, the 40C heat will be around for a couple of days, then the cool change, then… the summer rain! We are all waiting for the moments when the rain comes down and renew everything. The heat will be gone, and the air will be crisp and refreshed...

I am waiting for that summer rain, and also something to nourish my spirits. Ten days into the New Year and so many things are happening. There are hopes, determinations, ambitions, wishes and also rays of despair and sadness. Certain things are harder than others, but like my loved ones always say, things will be better.

I am going home for a very short period of time for a much needed trip back to Hanoi. This time I will be travelling with Mr. B. We are going to my home, and how much I hope he will find Hanoi home also. My family will be there. My dearest sister has grown up so quickly, and each time we meet she surprises me with much deeper thoughts and ideas. My parents, I will need to sit down and talk to them. As I grow up, I have understood them better. Then, I will also see my grandparents, my relatives and friends… I will be walking in those Hanoi streets again. It comes as a surprise but I miss the freezing rain in the middle of winter, the constant noise in the streets, the traffic jam, the dust in the air…

And of course, the food. I just want to taste my mom and grandmothers’ cooking again. My sister also wants me to cook for her, too, just like the old days…
Taro Black Rice Pudding

Naturally enough, the first dish I post for 2008 is a Vietnamese dessert. This lovely sweet rice pudding can also be found all around Asia. A bowl of comfort for a lot of Asians! The version I include to day is from a really lovely Sydney restaurant called the Red Lantern. Can I just say that this Southern Vietnamese Restaurant is simply the best I have tried outside the country so far? Do try it if you have a chance.

I like my black sticky rice not too soft but with a bit of bite. The taro bits give lovely starchy texture. Served with a little (as much as you wish really) coconut milk sauce, this dessert is heavenly for hot summer days.

Taro and Black Sticky Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk Sauce

Adapted from this book
200g taro, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
100g black sticky rice
250ml coconut cream
1 tsp salt
About 100g castor sugar
Boil the taro in salted water until just done. Drain and set aside.
Wash the rice carefully then put into a saucepan. Add in enough water to cover the surface of the rice by 2.5 cm. Add half of the coconut cream. Boil, then, simmer for 30 mins or until the rice is as soft as you like. Now, add in the taro. Boil for about 5 mins. Put in the sugar and salt. Cool down.

Coconut Sauce
You won’t probably need this entire amount. I suggest make half if you don’t really like coconut milk that much.

250ml coconut cream, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp potato or corn starch, 1 pinch of salt

Mix everything together. Heat the mixture slowly and stir constantly. Don’t boil the mixture but heat up enough to thicken the mixture. Cool.

To Serve: if you like, layer some crushed ice first, then, the taro and rice pudding. Pour some coconut sauce over. Mix well and enjoy!
Taro Black Rice Pudding


This will be a very busy year for me. I probably won’t have much time to read and comment on all of my favourite blogs. But assure I read all of your posts with much enthusiasm. I hope to see you all around when I have more time on hand.


Andaliman 5:50 PM  

It's been a while I didn't drop by here. How is going, Anh?

tigerfish 6:34 PM  

Is that "Or choot"...what they call it in S'pore/Malaysia? I've had this before but without the taro!

Keep busy but take some time to relax too!

Manggy 6:36 PM  

Best wishes on the year ahead, Anh!

That first shot of the pudding is gorgeous. It's a dish that really styles itself, doesn't it? :)

Lucy 8:58 PM  

What a lovely, evocative piece of writing. And your photograph is making me long for those cooler days on the horizon...

Happy New Year, Anh and a safe trip back to your family. A busy year is a good one. It really IS hard to keep up with the commenting - I know how you feel, at times!

Hope it's a great year for you and your fiancee.

Patricia Scarpin 10:45 PM  

Anh, I have never had taro, but I know this is good - it looks mouthwatering!

Lydia 11:01 PM  

Just reading your writing about Hanoi brings back the memory of my one visit there. After suffering the heat and dust of Ho Chi Minh City, it was easy to fall in love with Hanoi. I'm sure you will have a wonderful trip home.

indosungod 11:57 PM  

Anh, Have a great trip back home! The Rice pudding looks delicious. Amazing isn't it is the dust, the noise, the traffic is what the heart yearns for :) Exactly my sentiments.

Bellini Valli 12:30 AM  

Your trip home to be with your family in Hanoi will be special Anh! Cooking for your family can be a wonderful release to all of life's ups and downs. They love you and your food unconditionally!...unless you burnt it of course!

Coffee & Vanilla 1:00 AM  


Very interesting recipe.
I'm very curious about this black sticky rice... I must look for it.
Coconut sauce sounds delicious!
Great photos as well, like usual :)

Asha 1:19 AM  

Happy new year Anh! Good to see you back!:)
Got to find black rice now!:D

myfrenchkitchen 3:31 AM  

this is something I will have to try...I don't know Tara and now I want to see and ouch and taste it...Beautiful pictures!!

holybasil 3:32 AM  

Anh, to think, I seem to have let this dessert slip on my me in the past. I love khoai lan and I prefer in desserts.

Bon voyage to Viet Nam. It sounds like a fantastic trip.


Cynthia 3:48 AM  

Have a great trip home and a fabulous time with your loved ones. Will keep an eye out for you around the blog world.

Deborah 3:58 AM  

I hope you have a wonderful vacation! What an interesting and delicious sounding dessert!

Anita 4:16 AM  

Black sticky rice with coconut milk - I just had some in HK! Looks delicious. best wishes for the new year, and btw - you can have some of San Francisco's rain - it's pouring over here!

Cris 5:24 AM  

Wishing you a great 2008, the rain on the leaves... so beautiful!

maybahay 9:41 AM  

beautiful post, beautiful dessert. enjoy your trip back home.

Susan from Food Blogga 10:03 AM  

What a tranquil photo that is, Anh.

Callipygia 12:29 PM  

Happy New Year Anh! I am going to make this dessert, it looks great.

Anh 12:31 PM  

Andaliman, busy busy busy :)

tigerfish, this is a nice variation from the S'pore/Malay dessert. Love them all.

Manggy, you too my friend. I didn't do much with the styling here. Just click and eat :D

Lucy, it's always nice to hear encouragements from you. Thank you for your support....

Pat, I hope you can taste this one day.

Lydia, there have been several changes to the city. But I believe I can still find my old corners :)

indosungod, i guess it's because all those things make it home for us? For me, Hanoi won't be it without those things.

Bellini Valli, yes it will be! I am looking forward to cook in a bigger kitchen, too. And of course, all the fresh produces there!

Margot, thanks honey.

Asha, *hugs*

Ronelle, do try it if you can. And thanks so much for the sweet words.

Cynthia, thank you.

Deborah, it will be a good vacation I am sure!

Anita, isn't this a very nice dessert? Melb may have some thunderstorm today. And the cool change will come, eventually...

Cris, I couldn't help myself taking some shots right after the rain. :D

Mayhaybay, thanks.

Susan, you are always so sweet!

Calli, Happy New Year! I hope you like this dessert! Mr. B can eat at least 2 portions at one go. :)

Kevin 1:13 PM  

That looks really interesting. I will have to try looking for the black sticky rice again!

Truffle 7:37 PM  

Have a wonderful trip Anh. I hope it's everything you hoped for and so much more. Happy New Year!

gkbloodsugar 11:21 PM  

The colour is incredible, Anh. It doesn't suggest Coconut in the slightest; Nice surprise.

I've only ever seen Taro used as a thickener and of course, in Chip form.

bigfish_chin 12:44 AM  

Hi, I like your blog!
I'm sure this Sweet Rice Pudding is very nice. All races in Malaysia are having kinds of different ways to make this dish.

Precious Moments 1:46 PM  

Enjoy your holiday Anh. It is nice to catch up with people that are dear to you.

Have something for you. Check it out.

Ruth Daniels 1:10 AM  

A lovely post. Thanks for sharing and best wishes for 2008.

As for the rain...I wish I could send you some of ours!

Eva 9:27 AM  

After this recommendation I'll have to head over to the Red Lantern straight away! I just love all kinds of rice pudding!

Johanna 8:15 PM  

beautiful photos - the dessert would be a bit challenging for me but seems interesting. Hope you have a nice time and some pleasing nourishment in Hanoi!

Gloria 6:06 AM  

Anh your pictures are soooo beauty how ever and the recipes so nice!! Gloria

sher 7:22 PM  

I'm looking forward to hearing about your trip very much. I've wanted to visit Vietnam for some time.

winedeb 2:47 AM  

Safe travels Anh!

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