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Monday, December 14, 2009

Malay Wedding Menu & Recipes - Tropical Fresh Fruits (Salad/Platter)

You can dump canned fruit in a bowl and call it a fruit salad. But you can’t call it delicious. Watch this video to learn how to make fresh fruit salad. (Recipe #1)




You will need:
  • a variety of fresh fruit
  • 3 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 lime
  • a small mixing bowl
  • a sharp knife
  • a cutting board
  • a large salad bowl
  • optional: 1/4 cup orange liqueur
Fruit salad is incredibly easy to prepare and delicious. Enjoy!

Asian Tropical Fruit Salad



To make the pineapple ring (it’s not really a bowl – there is no bottom), lop the green, spiny head off of the pineapple and the bottom stem off. Cut the pineapple into 3-4 pieces, crosswise. For each piece, use a small paring knife to run all along the inside edge of the pineapple. Push out the flesh to use in your salad (you’ll have to also cut the fruit off the tough, center core before adding to the salad). Place the ring on the plate and fill with fruit salad. (Serves 6-8)

Recipe #2
  • One can rambutan, drained
  • One can lychee, syrup reserved
  • One can longan, drained
  • 1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1 mango, cut into chunks
  • 2 kiwi fruits, cut into small chunks
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • juice of ½ lime
  • fresh mint leaves, julienned (optional)
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss. You can add the reserved lychee syrup to the fruit bowl – it’s more of a sweet water, not like a sticky syrup. In fact, any of the syrups from the longan, lychee or rambutan can be used and mixed into other fruit juices or in place of simple syrup in mixed drinks. Try it mixed with sparkling water!

Fruit Platter
A Basic Fruit Platter Preparation Video



Selecting Your Fruits


Below is a suggested list of fruits. Of course, this list is not set in stone. You should use whatever looks best at your store that day.
  • Pineapple
  • Cantaloupe
  • Red grapes
  • Green grapes
  • Honeydew
  • Fresh figs (my personal favorite!)
  • Strawberries
  • Mangoes
  • Kiwis
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Oranges
  • Mini-bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Starfruit
  • Cherries
Fruit Platter Tips

Make sure that your fruit is all washed and dry before assembly. Then, follow these steps for a gorgeous and edible fruit platter:

Think about the colors. Choose fruits in a variety of colors and disperse them throughout the platter. There should be big blocks of color, with contrasting colors next to each other.

Cut fruit into bite sized pieces. It looks so nice when all the fruit is roughly the same size and shape. Plus, it helps when trying to eat- it makes it easy for your guests to take what they want without worrying about cutting.

Use a platter with an edge or lip. Fruit is juicy, which is one reason why it is so delicious, so it can also turn messy. Use a platter that has a tall enough edge to catch any escaping juices. This is especially important if you are transporting or carrying the platter. The last thing you want is watermelon juice dripping down your front! This also helps the fruit stay in place without sliding around.

Stick to seasonal fruits. The best tasting fruits will be ones that are in season and properly ripened. In the summer go for melons, strawberries and other types of berries. In the fall try pears and apples, and in the winter feature lots of citrus. Every fruit has its own way of telling you if it’s ripe, so pay attention. There's nothing worse than using an under ripe or overripe piece of fruit!

Cutting and Arranging

Different types of fruit need to be cut differently.

Cut apricots, peaches and plums into halves or quarters. Being sure to remove the pit. Kiwi should be sliced into rounds and peeled.

Apples should be cored and cut into wedges.

Cluster grapes in groups of 7 to 8 grapes on each stem. This allows guests to pick up a cluster and easily transfer it to a plate.

All berries should be left whole. Strawberries should retain the green leaves atop each berry.

Basically, cut fruits in the way that they will look best and are easiest to eat. A drizzle of lemon juice over the fruit will help the fruit from turning brown.

Finally, group the fruit in clusters sectioning each individual fruit. This keeps a uniformed look to the platter. Going back to the feng shui principles, for the sky it may look nice to have large bunches of grapes. The earth, it would be pretty to have slices of melon, pineapple or figs . For the water, have the berries flow over the rest of the fruits.

Some people like to serve the fruit with a dip, but I personally don't think its necessary. Fruit in season needs nothing more than a creative presentation.

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