My Ô Mai

So I’m in Dallas visiting my parents again, and as you all know by now, I get spoiled with food whenever I am home. Love registers most loudly through eating in my parents’ home, and sometimes when I’m really lucky, my trip home coincides with certain fruits in season. The picture above is of the tropical fruit chôm chôm (rambutan), possibly my favorite fruit in the whole world. It looks prehistoric on the outside, and if I think about it too much I can’t really touch these…well, hairy balls. But I crave them so much that on one trip to Singapore, I went directly from the plane to the market to indulge in a kilo of these fruits. That’s a whole kilo just for me. And I’ll do it again the next time I’m there.

Today I’m going to blog about another favorite fruit snack of mine, the Vietnamese ô mai cam thảo, which consists of (preserved) dried fruits flavored with licorice and tamarind.

Ô Mai Cam Thảo

*3 pounds dried fruits (today we’re using strawberries, cranberries, apricots, prunes, apple, and candied ginger)
*6oz wet tamarind
*1.5 cups water
*2 tablespoons Splenda (or sugar)
*3/4 cups licorice powder

*Cut dried fruits into small pieces and place in large pot, layering prunes at the bottom.

*Mix well tamarind to water and then strain it; set the tamarind juice aside.

*Cook the fruits on low heat, stirring from time to time for ten minutes. Then add sugar and tamarind juice. Stir well then cover the pot for another 5 minutes.

*Remove pot from heat and let it cool. Pour the content into a porcelain mixing bowl so it cools off faster. Wait about 5-10 minutes.

*Stir well licorice powder into the mixture and let cool completely. The more licorice you add, the drier the candy becomes–it’s a matter of personal taste. Of course, it is easier to eat when it’s not so sticky.

Store in glass container at room temp; should be good for two months. Alternatively, you can also wrap them in cellophane or candy wrapping paper as bite-size candy. My Ô Mai, is it yummy…it’s every fruitarian’s dream!

Note that the candied ginger can also be substituted with fresh ginger (though this tends to make the mixture even more moist).

Note also that if you really want to challenge yourself, you could buy licorice in its dried form…

then mince it in the coffee bean grinder, which is extremely handy in VN cooking. Doing so gives the candy more texture than using licorice powder:


  1. larkie

    ya, rambutan is way better than longan and lychee imo!

  2. jelita78

    yeayyyyy for rambuttan!!

  3. larkie

    E, you got a deal! i can’t wait to go back to singapore!!

  4. Eileen

    Larkie, come Singapore again and drop me a note!! We can have a rambutan TPF meet up! 🙂

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *