High season has arrived in Phuket, and soon the hottest month of the year, April, will be upon us. It is the perfect time to eat something cold and sweet, and we have found the answer, delicious o aew.
My mother, who is somewhat of an expert at making this Thai dessert, says the
main ingredient of the iced sweet treat is o aew jelly.
“O aew is very similar to jelly, but a little different. I first immerse o aew seeds in water, then mix them with banana jelly and jia gor (the Chinese name of a drying agent using magnesium sulfate). I leave it to set before then serving it with ice and sweet syrup.
“I think this o aew jelly is softer, stickier and more delicious than normal jelly because it is made from natural ingredients,” she says. “But sometimes people serve regular jelly as o aew in some restaurants.”
There are many ways to order the dessert, including with red bean or black
grass jelly and ice, or with red syrup on the top.
“It is interesting that people use colour coding to order their favourite o aew,” says mum. “People can ask for khao (white) for o aew jelly, dam (black) for
black grass jelly, and daeng (red) for red bean.”
O aew is very popular all across Phuket, and the original can be found only on the island.
The three best places to enjoy delicious o aew are on Soi Soon Uthit on Yaowarat Rd (near the Dibuk intersection); at Dibuk intersection (inside the Loktian local food centre); and at the Cham Cha market on Ranong Rd (near Lor Rong shrine). The dessert is normally priced at B10-20.