Among the gifts of nature to Tra Vinh Province, Kopyor coconut is the most special one. Kopyor coconut or macapuno coconut has a thick, soft, flesh, and it is greasier than the regular one with a thick and jelly-like juice. It is said that the monk in Cau Ke district who made a pilgrimage to a pagoda took a Kopyor coconut tree back to grow; and thanks to the good soil and favorable climate of this region, it becomes a precious product that is nowhere to be found. The native people often eat raw Kopyor coconut flesh or make smoothies with it because it is greasier, nuttier and more fragrant than that of the regular coconut. But in the eyes of a skillful chef, the scoops of soft, gelatinous coconut flesh beside cubes of beef create an enticing work of art. Let us join Le Vo Anh Duy (Binh Quoi Tourist Village) to cook beef with Kopyor coconut and feel the temptation and uniqueness of this simple dish.
- 1kg boneless shin of beef
- 1 Kopyor coconut
- 1liter coconut water
- 200g carrots
- 20g tomato paste
- 5ml paprika oil
- 10ml cooking oil
- 50g shallots
- 30g garlic
- 50g ginger
- 50ml rice wine
- 3g seasoning powder
- 8g salt
- 3g sugar
Preparation: Clean the boneless shin of beef thoroughly, then cut it into rings, about 5cm wide; then poach them in boiling water with 50g ginger smashed with a knife blade, 50ml rice wine, and 5g salt. After ten minutes, take out.
Peel the carrot, cut it into bite-size pieces about 1cm. Peel shallots and garlic cloves then smash them with the knife blade. Cut the Kopyor coconut in halves; grate half of it and scoop the remaining Kopyor coconut flesh out of the shell.
Cooking process: Marinate the beef with 3g salt, 3g seasoning powder, 3g sugar. Heat up the crock-pot first, then put in 5ml cooking oil, 5ml paprika oil, smashed shallots and garlic and 20g tomato paste; fry quickly, tip the beef into the pot and stir-fry until the beef is heated through; finally put in 1 liter of coconut water and cook the mixture on high heat until it boils again, skim off foam on the top and slow-cook it for about 2 hours until the beef is tender.
Heat up a frying pan, put in 5ml cooking oil, tip the carrot into the pan and fry briefly for 3 minutes. When the beef is tender, tip the grated Kopyor coconut and the fried carrot into the pan and cook for 10 more minutes, season to taste, then add the scooped Kopyor coconut flesh and turn off the oven.
Ladle out the beef from the pan and place it on a soup plate, garnish it with cilantro and serve with bread or rice.
The soup should have the color of tumeric
The beef should be tender but not falling apart; the sauce should be gelatinous and have the rather greasy taste of the Kopyor, and to your taste.
While slow-cooking the beef, remember to check regularly; if the stew begins to dry out, pour in more water or broth
Don’t season it with a lot of sugar because the coconut water has a naturally sweet taste
Add the Kopyor coconut flesh at the last minute to amp up the flavor and greasiness of the stew
It is possible to replace Kopyor coconut flesh with a young coconut.
EFFECTS OF THIS DISH
This dish helps tonify blood, nourish the essence and calm spirit, tonify spleen, strengthen bones and joints, reduce the body heat and thirst, cure arthritis, relieve pain, cure diarrhea, increase urine output, cure edema, regulate menstrual cycle, supply a lot of valuable protein, minerals and vitamins, strengthen the body resistance, enhance the immune system, fight bacterial infection, boost the detoxification, prevent lung and stomach cancers, protect the eye, the skin, slow down aging. It is good for those who have weakened immune systems, weak bodies, loss of appetite, anemia (blood deficiency), edema (fluid retention in the body), diarrhea, weak tendons and bones, backache, weakness of the knees, difficulty in movement, diabetes; it is also good for weak postpartum women who are unable to produce enough breast milk, those who have just recovered from illness, physically retarded children, children with slow teeth development, the elderly with weakened immune systems and skin inflammation, with blurred vision and eyestrain, bad complexion, hair loss; this dish also helps prevent atheroclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high blood pressure, and intestinal bacterial growth.
LE VO ANH DUY Tre Xanh Coffee & Restaurant – Binh Quoi 1 Tourist Village (Ho Chi Minh City) Runner-up of the Southern regional semifinal round of the Golden Spoon Awards 2013