Mangrove, Sonneratia Lempok, Candied Mangrove Appless, Sonneratia caseolaris

Written by on June 17, 2012 in Bali Food with 0 Comments

Sonneratia Lempok, Candied Mangrove Apples, Sonneratia caseolaris


Sonneratia Lempok (Candied Mangrove Apples)


– 1kg ripe Sonneratia caseolaris (or S. ovata) fruits (peeled)

– 1/2 kg granulated sugar

– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 3 liters water


Peel the Sonenratia fruits and discard most of the seeds. Clean with water.

Mix with water and blend in blender. Strain off remainnig seeds. Strain again

and use only the juice to mix with sugar, vanilla and salt.

Place in a pot and cook over medium heat until thick. Remove from heat.

Form little balls of the mixture and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Wrap in banana leaves or plastic. Use the calyx/bract of the Sonneratia fruit

as a cap for the sweet.


The tree is usually found in tidal river-banks and creeks with mud banks and is considered the most inland of the Sonneratia species.

Features: Tall tree 5-15m tall. The young branches hang down like those of the weeping willow (Salix babylonica) or angsana (Pterocarpus indicus). Leaves nearly circular or oval (6-8cm), narrow at the base, arranged opposite one another. The leaves have a ‘tidy’ appearance compared to those of Perepat (Sonneratia alba). Flowers with petals narrow and dark red, and many long white stamens that are pink at the base, forming a powder-puff shape. Sepals broadly triangular and yellowish greenish on the inside. The flowers open late in the evening and lasts for one night only. According to Giesen, the night-blooming flowers contain abundant nectar and are pollinated by bats and moths.

Fruit with calyx lobes flat, spreading out horizontally. Conical pneumatophores at first greenish grey with flaky bark that may grow to 2m tall at maturity. Many narrow roots may grow horizontally into the substrate at the base of the pneumatophore.

Human uses: According to Burkill, the young fruit is sour and used to flavour curries and chutnies. When ripe, the fruit have a “cheese-like taste” and is eaten raw or cooked. The pneumatophores are converted into corks for fishing net floats by shaping them and boiling them in water. The timber is not much used as the salt in it rusts iron nails and screws. Medicinal uses include various parts of the fruit for haemorrhage and coughs. According to Giesen, it makes poor timber but is occasionally used in salt-water piling. The pnematophores are used for making wooden soles of shoes.

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