Dried apricot, also known as O mai, is a traditional snack that originated from Hanoi. These Vietnamese treats can either be made salty or sugary and is widely available on the streets Hang Duong. Hanoians usually buy these sweets as presents to their friends or to welcome guests who visit on special holidays.
Vietnamese women, especially, favour these traditional delicacies as they provide the perfect combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy. Apricots are usually the choice to make these delicious sweets as it has a smooth yellow surface on the outside with a sweet smell after processed with sugar, ginger and stirring liquorice.
The many varieties of O mai include Ô mai mơ (sweet and sour apricot with ginger), Ô mai mận (sweetened plums), Ô mai sấu (sweet and sour Dracontomelum fruit) and Ô mai khế (sweet fried carambola with ginger).
For those who love these delicious treats (and why wouldn’t you), try making them at home using the ingredients down below!
Recipe for Dried Apricot (O mai)
- 250 g salted dried apricot
- 250g ginger
- 250g sugar
- 4 tbsp liquorice roots (available in Chinese medicine stores)
- Soak the salted dried apricot in water to rinse off the colour and salt.
- Repeat the soak and rinse process several times and cover overnight.
- Dry off the water with a colander. Toss the apricots a few times.
- Peel of the skin of the ginger and boil in water (to reduce its bitterness).
- Grind the ginger to fine texture and squeeze off excess moisture by using a paper towel.
- Chop the liquorice roots to finely cut slices and set aside for later use.
- Mix two-thirds of the sugar with the ginger prepared just now.
- Put the mixture over the pan and stir continuously until the sugar melted and mix well with the ginger.
- Add the remaining one-third of sugar to the apricot.
- Then add the sugar-coated apricots into the pan and continuously stir under low heat to dry up the mixture.
- Mix the mixture on the pan with ground liquorice.
- Let the mixture cool and store in an airtight container.
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