Tag Archives: #Star Fruit Leaves

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Aromatic Leaves…Part 5…

Welcome to Friday Food Reviews, where I will cover a different food or product each week and look at… what they are.  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, and are they safe to eat, store, use, cook, or anything connected to that food? or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three… today I am looking at…Aromatic LeavesPart 5.

Why am I looking at aromatic leaves?… as a foodie I am always searching for new recipes…many recipes especially Asian ones make use of aromatic leaves which are different from the regular much-used soft-leafed herbs like coriander and mint etc…

Many leaves that are native to other countries are now finding their way around the world either dried or frozen… I think that is great as we can widen our cooking repertoire and experience other flavours…some of which we may not like and others which may become a staple in our spice collection…

Foraging is an age-old tradition that is very prevalent here and moreso around the world in recent years as people realise just how beneficial to our health and well-being foraged greens can be…and why waste a natural resource as food shortages hit us harder we may need to rely on foraging more often…

Foraging is also a wonderful way to explore nature, conserve ecosystems, and enrich your diet, but it is vital to know which plants are edible and which plants will send you to the emergency room and always remember to wash them thoroughly… If you are a beginner at foraging like me, it’s best to start foraging under the guidance of an experienced outdoorsman/woman with extensive knowledge of local plant life…I have my DIL and a Thai friend who are both very knowledgeable and if in doubt, let the plant be and raid your garden instead until you have the knowledge to be safe…

Deep Fried Maple Leaves…

Who knew certainly not me!... Wow, you live and learn as they say…

Star Fruit Leaves…one of my neighbours has a huge star fruit tree and the fruit makes a delicious relish…however, I didn’t know you could cook with the leaves until very recently but before I tell you about the leaves I will just share this little relish recipe made with the beautiful star fruit or carambola as some of you may know it as…

Star Fruit Relish:

  • 8 cups of star fruit, thinly sliced and any seeds removed.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves tied in a muslin bag and slightly crushed.
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg( optional) see note below.

Let’s, Pickle!

Wash and thinly slice the star fruit removing any seeds. Cover with the cider vinegar and stand overnight…in the morning drain the vinegar then add sugar, salt and the clove bag. Cook gently until the relish starts to thicken then allow to stand overnight.

In the morning remove the spice bag and reheat the mix after adding the nutmeg if used and bring it to a boil.

If you plan to store the star fruit chutney then omit the nutmeg as it will turn the relish a brown colour although it does add another dimension to the taste.

Put into hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Enjoy with some cold meats or bread and butter.

My second learning curve of the day...this post is certainly that…The Star Fruit Leaves ...my grandson’s partner comes from Bali and has been the source of a few of my recipes talking to her about the aromatic leaves they use she told me about this dish and the fact that this tree grows in many Balinese gardens…

Of course, I had to go and pick some leaves from my neighbour’s tree and they are everything she said crunchy with a slightly bitter tang…she also shared a recipe that once I make  I will share with you…it’s called “ Jukut Blimbing” which translates to Star Fruit Leaves in Sweet Sauce…and of course, as tradition dictates its served on a banana leaf…

Indonesian Bay Leaf…until a few weeks ago I only thought that the laurel bay was the only bay leaf and the only one I have used until very recently…how wrong I was…Duan Salam translates as bay leaf…it is however not remotely the same in taste as the laurel bay… a subtly, flavoured leaf of the Cassia family…however the flavour bears no resemblance to the laurel bay leaf which is sometimes suggested as a substitute. If you cannot obtain dried salam leaves then omit them from the recipe or substitute them with the curry leaf…

To release their flavour before adding to a recipe fry 3-4 leaves either in oil or heat them in some coconut milk either of these will release the flavour…you can then add the leaves to your recipe…

N.B...my search was successful…yeah! I have found some duan salam and they are winging their way to me…

Thank you for joining me today as always I look forward to your comments and if you forage for leaves and mushrooms and have some tales of your experiences and finds to tell then I will be happy to share them…xx