Cooking with Aloe

This weekend Megan and I visited our local Asian market to check out their New Year celebration.

Just as we expected, it was crowded, loud and wonderful.

As we pushed and were pulled by the masses, we passed Chinese Dragon dancers, cooking demonstrations, and ingredients and foods that we had never seen or smelled before. One of these was large stalks of aloe.

I’ve had aloe drinks before, and that’s now a regular part of our grocery list, but the whole plant was something new. I just had to get some to try.

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Now, if you’re against odd textures, this isn’t the food for you. Properly prepared, aloe has a texture like peeled grapes. Fresh aloe, however, is very slimy. Megan swears it’s what they used in Harry Potter for troll bogeys.

But, I’m brave enough I could handle it.

The easiest and clearest recipe said to take about half a cup of sugar per stalk and a tablespoon of lime juice and poach them until there’s no more slime. So, that’s what I did.

Once it cooled it went back to being slimy. Tastier, but still slimy.

So, I enacted the ever sought after plan B. I put it back on the stove and added water to it to make juice. It was still very sweet, and clearly made with white sugar. Here’s where Megan saved the day. She added lemon extract and a lot more water.

The resulting juice was more refreshing than lemonade.
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The stuff on the bottom is the flesh from the aloe stalk. Very tasty.

We’ve had some unpleasant experiences trying new food, but fresh aloe is something Megan and I will definitely be making more often.

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