Recipe Corner: Mangrove Bubble Tea

During our years working in the mangroves of Indonesia, we have come across several instances of fisherfolk communities eating mangrove fruits and leaves for subsistence purposes. In 1999, in order to discover new recipes, a study tour was arranged by MAP-Indonesia to send a small women’s co-op from the Coastal Community Resource Center in Tiwoho, North Sulawesi to Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. The Kelompok Kreasi Mangrove Lestari Balikpapan (Mangrove Creation/Conservation Group) eagerly shared several new recipes for cakes and fish with the Sulawesi contingency.

Upon returning to Sulawesi, the group developed a few of the Kalimantan recipes along with a recipe or two were also learned during the 8th In The Hands of the Fisherfolk Workshop in Koh Kong, Cambodia. During this workshop participants from Ban Pred Nai, Trad, Thailand demonstrated several innovative ways to use mangroves and mangrove herbs. These 10 recipes are added to the recipes from the mangrove cooking contest bringing the total number of recipes in this book to 36.

The book is still incomplete but you can download it here and find blank pages at the end to add recipes of your own. Below is one of the recipes contained in the book already.

Salam lestari and selamat menikmati sajian kami.
(Happy conservation and hope you enjoy our dishes).


Dawet Ayu Api-Api

This is a popular iced drink, the traditional mangrove equivalent of Bubble Tea.


  • 150 grams prepared Avicennia fruit (blended)
  • 4 tablespoons of “tepung sagu aren” which is a flour of sago palm mixed with sugar palm
  • 150 grams of palm sugar
  • 1 cup of thick coconut milk
  • 1 cup of thin coconut milk (from the second pressing)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • salt to taste



  1. Mix Avicennia fruit and flour until even.  
  2. Boil a pot of water and dribble little pieces of the batter
  3. in the boiling water.  When the pieces float to the surface, scoop off with a wire sieve and drop in cool water.
  4. Boil palm sugar, thin coconut milk and lime leaves until thickened. Let cool.
  5. Heat thick coconut milk seperately but do not boil.  Let cool.
  6. Fill a glass with ice. Put sugar/think coconut milk mixture in a glass. 
  7. Add pieces of the cooked Avicennia/flour mixture to the glass. 
  8. Add thick coconut milk.
  9. Serve.

Download the entire Cooking With Mangroves Cookbook or find lots of other interesting learning and teaching resources.

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