In the gift box that I gave my friends last week, there was a treat called “Longan fruit crackers”, and this has received a lot of positive feedbacks, even from French friends who’ve tasted it for the first time. Even myself when I read and learnt how to make this dish, I thought that it is a very interesting snack. The ingredients are easy to find, it’s not so hard to make it, and the end result is really delicious ❤ it’s crunchy, slightly sweet, and even though it’s deep fried you don’t feel the oil at all, add a cup of tea and you can finish a whole big batch of this treat in no time
Even though it’s called “longan fruit crackers”, there’s no longan fruit in the ingredients. Rather, the name is only to describe its appearance which resembles a longan fruit. The traditional crackers are made with only glutinous rice flour or plain rice flour mixed with egg and sugar, some other recipes that I’ve read suggest replacing sugar with condensed milk for a bit more richness, and also to mix some plain rice flour into glutinous rice flour to keep the crackers crunchy for longer.
Công thức tiếng Việt: Bánh nhãn
Preparation time: 30-40 minutes
Cooking time: depends on the size of your pan, each batch will take 25-30 minutes to fry
Yields: 140-160 depends on the size of the crackers
- 140g glutinous rice flour
- 20g plain rice flour
- 40g condensed milk (can be replaced with 20g sugar)
- 2 eggs
B. Sugar coat
- Sugar (according to the weight of the crackers
- Water (according to the amount of sugar)
1. Mix glutinous rice flour and plain rice flour, add the egg and condensed milk, use a fork to mix the ingredients and then use your hand to knead until it forms a smooth ball and doesn’t stick to your hands any more. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
140g glutinous rice flour; 20g plain rice flour; 40g condensed milk; 2 eggs
Each brand of flour will have difference absorption level so you can knead and adjust, if the dough is too wet just add more glutinous rice flour, if it’s too dry add more water.
2. After resting, it’s time to form the crackers. Pinch out pieces of dough and form into small balls the size of the tip of your thumb. The dough will expand 2-3 times while frying so if you make it small, it will be easier to eat after frying. The left over dough and the balls you’ve formed have to be cover do that they don’t form a crush and crack while frying.
B. Frying the crackers
1. In a saucepan, pour in an amount of oil that is enough to deep fry the crackers. Longan crackers are best deep fried in lard. I used coconut oil to fry them, but you can also use normal cooking oil (not olive oil). Heat on low heat until the oil is hot, then drop in the crackers. Adjust the amount of crackers in according to the amount of your saucepan, don’t overcrowd since they need space to expand.
2. Fry until the crackers turn a golden brown color, and the crust is firm and crunchy. Stir them from times to times so they get even contact with the oil. It’s best to take out one cracker and bite into it, if there’s no chewy part then the crackers are done. Each batch takes me around 25-30 minutes. If you have a bigger saucepan and can fir more crackers it will take you less batches to fry.
You have to use low heat to fry this crackers, high heat will cause them to crack and look really unappetizing. I use the lowest setting on my electric stove (1/6).
C. Sugar coating
1. Weight the fried crackers and measure the sugar so that it’s 1/5-1/4 the amount of the crackers, depending on your taste preference. The water is 1/4 the amount of the sugar.
2. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan, set on medium high heat, until the sugar melted and the mixture bubble but not yet caramelized.
3. Pour in the crackers and stir quickly so the sugar water evenly coat the crackers, take the pan off the heat and stir quickly until the sugar completely recrystallized and coat the crackers.
This sugar mixture can be twisted to your taste, for example you can add cinnamon or lemon zest. I usually crush a piece of ginger and steep it in water, then pass it through a sieve and use this ginger infused water to make the sugar coat for the crackers.
And the longan fruit crackers are now done very simple right?
The finished cracker should be crunchy all around, with now chewy spot inside. If the crackers are fired until they are crunchy enough, they will stay crunchy for a few weeks in an air-tight container (although I usually gobbled them all up way before that ). Happy cooking everyone