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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Xi Muoi (Vietnamese Preserved Plums)

Xi Muoi (Vietnamese Preserved Plums)

Not much to say about xi muoi (Vietnamese preserved plums). I used to treat them like candy, sucking on the puckering sour-sweetness until every last bit of flavor was extracted. Then I kept sucking on the seed until every last bit of flavor was gone from that too.

Cooking with them, however, I know of two uses: as a drink or as a plummy sweet and sour sauce. The flavor is so distinct that there really is no other substitute.

These preserved plums are already dried out so you can leave them in your pantry almost indefinitely. They normally are brown, the ones I have are obviously dyed red. I wanted a bit of color for the sweet and sour sauce, you see.

My xi muoi recipes:
Soda Xi Muoi (Vietnamese Preserved Plum Drink)
Suon Kho Xi Muoi (Vietnamese Braised Pork Chops with Preserved Plums)

An explanation of guides, how-tos, and ingredients can be found in Peek in My Kitchen.

1 year ago today, Scandinavian goodies at IKEA - Covina.
2 years ago today, persimmons.
3 years ago today, Korean barbecue on a rock slab and kimchee fried rice at Seol Ak San - Stanton.


  1. Mr. Monkey loves this stuff. Me? Not so much.

  2. When I was a little girl my mother would ration these out to me after a trip to the asian grocer. I used to dream that when I grew up I would have bowls and bowls around my house.

  3. Hi WC - This brings back memories.....we called it Li Hing Mui in Hawaii.

  4. These are really good if one feels nauseous. It's like magic: nausea-be-gone!

  5. i love xi muoi especially the ones my dad gets from vietnam. they aren't as hard as the ones we find here and i especially like that they still look whole without a pit in them.

  6. I love dried plums because of that sweet-sour-salty flavour.

    I agree with _ts. My mum keeps some in the car for road trips. They really help with motion sickness!

  7. WeezerMonkey,
    You don't like the sweet-sour taste?

    So now that you've grown up, do you have bowls and bowls of them around? :)

    I dined at Shaka's recently and my cousin ordered shots with li hing mui. It was a pretty good contrast to the usual salt lick.

    I never knew that! Awesome! It'll give me an excuse to eat them on road trips.

    I like those kind too. I've seen them at the Asian grocery stores here.

    With a second endorsement, I'll have to try them next time I go anywhere.

  8. i havent seen them at the grocery stores here but my dad has been going back to vietnam like once a year. so i get to enjoy them for as long as they last in the house. lucky thing my mom hides it and wont tell me where they are or they would be gone in no time.

  9. Bluang3lbby,
    I'm not nearly as much of a xi muoi freak. I've had my little packet for months.

  10. I love these sour plums, and I just made some ice lollies with them.
    When i was a kid, my mom said I was skinny because I ate so much of them. I know that theory is way off because I don't shed off any weight, no matter how many sour plums I suck on.

  11. HungryC,
    I loved your ice lollies post. Gave me a great idea for popsicles this summer. If eating preserved plums could make me skinny, I'd eat bags and bags of them. :P

  12. When I was growing up we called these "sweet & sours". And they were a treat. But in Guam, we took it to the extreme by drowning the sweet & sours in Tabasco until they are soft (except the pit of course). Now I am craving me some!

  13. I suck on them when I have a tummy ache. Works everytime.

  14. Melissa,
    Good to know! A mouth-puckering snack and medicine in one. :P

  15. Does anyone know how to make xi muoi from scratch? I love that stuff, but the pre-made kind (even the hi ling powder) is made w/ aspartame & contains Phenylalanine. I am looking for a non toxic recipe using words we recognize in nature and can pronounce. Can't find a recipe that doesn't include hi ling powder which brings back to the original problem of the fact that it's made w/ those bad ingredients. Someone once made this from scratch. Thanks.

  16. Ann,
    You do know that I'm just one person? There's not anyone else.

  17. They remind me of my childhood my grandma nd mom are from Saigon they used to keep them ready for us to eat....delicious treat that brings back good memories


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