The hairless rambutan, buah mujau and local longan fruits

Shown in the picture below is our hairless rambutan , mujau in Iban,buah redan(malay) a.k.a buak seriat in Melanau is quite rare now but during fruit season can still be found at Serian market.Its botanical name is Nephelium maingayi Hiern.

These are tiny cute-cute hairless rambutan,about the size of a 10 cent coin,with skin looks like that of lychee and thin flesh tastes exactly like rambutan.Most natives call it rambutan hutan but Serian natives call it buah Keri.Iban name is buah mujau.While cultivated rambutans are always so sweet and juicy with bigger fruits and thicker flesh,who would bother to pay attention to these tiny hairless rambutans ? Look at its attractive red skin.It looks good and tastes good too.

Serait
Serait/Mujau/Buah Redan/buah putit/Hairless Rambutan

If you are lost in the rainforest,you will thank me for this post on our very own wild rambutan which is so sweet and juicy.It is best for quenching thirst in the jungle.Chinese name for this rambutan is San hong Mao Dang (山红毛丹).It is a seasonal wild fruit with trees giving fruits probably once in three years.It is as precious as gem stones and looks as  pretty as one too.I think the pretty red skin can be used for red dye.

pulasan
Pulasan

Pulasan(Nephelium mutabile Bl.) grows wild in the lowland forests in Sarawak but now is mostly semi-wild due to high demand.The skin is thick with short and stumpy hairs.The thick rind can be easily squeezed open to reveal a translucent,juicy,fragrant and sweet fleshy aril.The flesh does not stick to the seed like some varieties of rambutan.

 

pulasan
Heaps of Pulasan at the market.

Pulasan actually tastes more like lychee than rambutan.The fruit is slightly bigger than rambutan,oval-shaped and  mature fruits can be yellow or maroon in colour.Pulasan seeds can be eaten raw.The seeds taste nutty,sweet and crunchy.Shown below is a picture of yellow skin pulasan which are mostly wild as compared to the red skin pulasan which are mostly cultivated.

Yellow skinned pulasan,another variant of pulasan.
Yellow skinned pulasan,another variant of pulasan.

And there are green pulasan which looks green even after it ripens.It tastes more like rambutan,sweet and juicy with its aril sticking to the seed.It is called pulasan because of its spiky look and its edible seeds which tastes exactly like pulasan seeds.

Green skin pulasan
Green skin pulasan

Rambutan can be seen everywhere in the markets during fruit season but it is always less popular than durians and other wild fruits.Pulasan is always a  better choice than rambutan.Other wild rambutans like the short hair mujan ,sibau ,gelurut and the dark red mertapang are not shown here.

Rambutan
Bundles of rambutan in the market.

The picture below show buah Mata kucing which is very unique because longan fruits are mostly cultivated in China ,Thailand and other parts of Asia.There are locals who are not aware of the existence of our wild longans and to them,this wild longan is just another type of small longan imported from China or Thailand. One of the variety called ‘Isau’ should be ranked as top quality fruit found in Asia.

The mature fruits of 'sau' with thinner flesh is as green as the 'isau'.
The mature fruits of ‘sau’ with thinner flesh is as green as the ‘isau’.

Its botanical name is Dimocarpus longan Lour.

Basically there are four varieties namely’ isau’, ‘sau ‘, ‘kakus’ and ‘guring’.

The ‘Guring’ is the only smooth  and brown skinned longan.The other three longans have rough pebbly skin.All of them are about the same size,with 2 cm in diameter.All of them taste sweet and juicy with a distinct aroma.

The ‘Isau’ has green skin even when it is ripe and is known to be the best among the four varieties.It has thick and juicy  flesh with small seed.

The ‘Kakus’ has brown skin and has biggest fruit among four of them but its flesh is thin and the seed is big.

The ‘Sau’ is a mixture of Isau and Kakus.

Kakus is more common than the other three.Wild longan is seasonal and not easily found in market.

 

Mata Kuching
Brown mata kucing/Kakus with rough pebbly skin.

 There are a lot more to be found in our jungles.One native retiree told me he can easily survive without prepared food in his ancestor’s land for at least one month especially during durian and fruit season.As I am not a forest ranger,what I know is limited but then our rangers may not know as much as our natives who keep some of the knowledge to themselves.Sarawak rainforest is unique in the way that it has no tigers and elephants,may be that explains why we have so many ethnic groups,all together 27 of them and actually  should be 42 unofficially.

                  

           Yes,that is life

                     Life live like orang utan,

                 survive solely on the wild fruits alone.

                                          

                                       Beware,

                    

          There is a super market hiding in the jungle.

 

 

 

Copyright claim – Do not crop any pictures from malaysiavegetarianfood.com.Do not share our  pictures without any watermarked signature on them.Excerpts from our articles to be credited to malaysiavegetarianfood.com.

Do you remember food cooked by Mom?

 

Remembering mom by remembering the food she cooked for us………..A sudden surge of emotion always touches my heart whenever I cook this lovely long bean rice for my children.Whenever she cooked this long bean rice,she would repeatedly told us how they survived during the second war world – the days of eating sweet potatoes,boiled paku and midin(wild ferns) and at the beginning of the war,long bean rice every day.

“Count us lucky because we lived  in small town.There were still a lot of paku and midin around.”She always concluded thus.On hearing this,one just could not help thinking – should we retreat to villages or jungles like our ‘midin’ in order to survive if another war is coming ?

During Japanese occupation time,there was a shortage of all kinds of materials.Of course,rice was one of the items that could hardly be found in abundance.Many just cooked very diluted porridge but in my hometown,local rice was still available.Almost every family in the town cooked long bean rice everyday.This hakka dish actually requires dried shrimps,garlic,rice and a lot of long beans.Simplified version is just cook it with long beans and rice plus salt.That’s it.That made a meal or meals for a day.Everything had to be kept as simple as possible.Those were the days when one really knows what ‘hardship’ meant.My mom passed away eleven years ago.Mom was a loving mom and a great cook.Memories of her images in the kitchen still lingers in my mind even up to this day……

Long bean rice -Don't be deceived by its humble look.
Long bean rice -Don’t be deceived by its humble look.


Let’s just look at some long beans before checking on the recipe.

The picture below shows the red tailed long bean.This is the most popular long bean  in Malaysia and it is used in the long bean rice recipe.It is fleshy and tasty.

The red tail long bean
The red tailed long bean

Shown below are the reddish purple long beans with green tips or tails.The vendors here in the markets call it red long bean.

The red skinned long bean
The reddish purple long bean

Shown below are the snake long beans.The beans are fleshy but not as tasty as the red tailed long beans.It is curly like snake,thus the name.

The curly long bean
The curly long bean

Shown below are the string beans,a very slender type of long beans.In some Chinese restaurants,the beans are boiled for a while and used as an decoration item in the form of a weaved basket,a mat or a boat-shaped plate.

There are less popular long beans not shown here,like the pale green long beans and extra long long beans.

The string long bean
The string long bean

Shown below is a stir-fried dish of red tailed long beans and the reddish purple long beans.Prepare 100 g of each of these two types of long beans and stir-fry them together with 1 tbs of miso and 2 chilies.That is it,as simple as 1 & 2 & 3……

Red and green bean
Stir-fried red and green long beans
Recipe

Long bean rice

Ingredients
  • 2 cups long grain rice (400 g more or less)
  • 600 g – 800 g long beans – cut into 2 cm lengths 
  • 4 dry chilies
  • 10 g vegetarian belacan or miso
  • 4 cups water
  • Garlic (5 cloves) – Optional
  • 2 tbs light soya source
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Method
  1. Soak the rice for half an hour.Drain the rice.
  2. Fry the long beans till slightly brown.
  3. Take out from the wok and drain out the excess oil.
  4. Discard excess oil from the wok.
  5. Fry garlic till slightly brown.
  6. Add rice  and belacan and stir-fry in the wok.
  7. Lastly add the chilies,the half-cooked long beans and 4 cups of water.
  8. Cook till the rice gets dry  in the wok then scoop the rice into the rice cooker.
  9. Cook the rice in the rice cooker for 1 hour.

Serve the rice with thick soya source and fresh chilies.As the name implies,this long bean rice should be rich in long bean flavor so the weight of long beans should be 1.5 x the weight of the rice.Don’t be fooled by its simple looks.It is actually very tasty.

Do not use small grain rice like bario rice for this recipe but bario rice is great for cooking long bean porridge.Most of the times local rice like gedong rice or any local rice can be used for cooking this Hakka long bean rice.

This dish reminds us of my late mom.She spent most of her married life busy in the old kitchen equipped with big woks and pots.The best way to express love to her children was by preparing food for the family.That lead me to think – how many of us know how to express love in this way ?

Tell us your memories of the food cooked by your mom/dad or any adults that lead your tears rolling down your cheeks.Please connect with us on facebook.You can either comment or send us a message.

Yes………, memories of food cooked by mom,

     Always hold a place deep in our heart and soul….

 

 

 

 

Oh yes…..,our mangoes rock !

 Hohohohoho….Here come our mangoes………

While homegrown and cultivated mangoes are mostly sweet and not sour at all,the wild mangoes in Borneo and other parts of Malaysia exhibit a totally different look and aroma while at the same time, stimulate your taste buds to give you an unforgettable and exciting experience of their extreme sour taste and fibrous fruits.Personally I like these wild mangoes better than the cultivated ones because they are generally sourish sweet but planting them needs a big space and take a long time to yield fruits.

MANGO
Buah mawang/embang/bambangan/embawang

The buah mawang( Mangifera panjang Kosterm.) shown above is a big brown fruit weighing 800g-2kg with length measuring up to 18 cm and width 15 cm. Hakka people call it 人头酸 (Human head mango)or Mou.It is my favorite mango.A single fruit can weigh up to 1 kg or more and one variety has fruits as big as human head.There are 2 varieties.The one shown here  is the smaller,is less fibrous and  is sweeter than the other type.A kind of aroma uniquely belongs to the mango family exudes from this fruit.Its flesh is fibrous and yellowish orange in color .This is great for making juice and mango jam,if only we can tame the tree which is usually of height 30-60m.Its juice is really a super drink,creamy and fragrant.One can get head injury if it drops on one’s head.They are known to be more lethal than falling durians.Kids and the elders should be given its juice instead of the fibrous and sour flesh.

I remembered once I was caught waiting for the fruits to drop under the tall tree of almost 60m height near my uncle’s house.Needless to say,I had long lectures one after another by every adult in the family.Practically nobody wants to climb up its tree because of its height so waiting for them to drop naturally  is the right thing to do.

asam kubang
Asam kumbang

The one shown above is Asam kumbang(Mangifera quadrifida Jack) which is my second favorite mango.Hakka people call it 黑皮酸-Heipisuan which means black skin mango.It is so juicy and  pleasantly sour. The fruits are oval in shape and have diameter of around 5-6 cm.The immature fruits are green and on ripening,turn reddish purple in colour.Peel the  dark purple skin to reveal the inner pinkish purple skin attached to the flesh.The flesh is light yellow in colour and is juicy,not sweet,not very sour and fibrous.All these features make it a good fruit for quenching thirst.It is not possible to cut slices out of the fruit because of its fibrous flesh.To enjoy its juicy flesh to the fullest,just peel the skin and suck the juice.

Buah mawang and asam kumbang are very good fruits for diabetic people because they are a bit sweet but pleasantly sour.I like the taste of these two mangoes.Personally I think buah mawang has great potential to be commercialized because of its juicy and heavenly sour flesh.A powerful blender is needed to blend its  fibrous flesh.

Buah bacang
Buah bacang

The other type is semi wild asam bacang(mangifera foetida jack) which is quite common in West malaysia also.Asam bacang is oval shaped and is less aromatic than the previous two.Green asam bacang are made into pickles.Most natives and the malays here eat asam with ikan belis and chillies.The peels from these mangoes do not irritate our lips like the kuini and the fruits do not have strong smell like it too.Asam bacang is not as juicy and tasty as buah mawang and asam kumbang.Its flesh tastes sour and not as sweet as kuini fruit.

kuini
Kuini,the green skined  and odorous mango.

Kuini (Mangifera odorata Griff.) is cultivated everywhere in Malaysia.The medium size fruit develops a distinctive odor as it ripens which is unique of Kuini.Its fruit remains green even on ripening.The flesh is yellow,sweet and not as fibrous as the three species of mangoes mentioned above.It presence can be felt by its aromatic smell which penetrate every inch of the area where it is found.The peels from kuini can be irritating to our lips and cause itchy tongue.

The problem of this mango is its fruits may look fresh green outside but once cut,very often reveal ‘bad apple’ inside.You can safely say that it is always 50 % chance to get fruits with rotten seeds inside.Unlike buah mawang and other wild mangoes,it does not have tough skin to protect it from pests.

Bacang and Lamantan
Bacang/Macang is always bigger than the round shaped Lamantan.This macang measures 15 cm  x 12 cm and the lamantan  9 cm  x  7 cm.

Buah lamantan has light green skin with dark spots on it and looks very much like buah bacang except that it is smaller and rounder.It is also much less odorous than kuini but stronger than that of bacang.It is quite rare.Most often mistakened for small bacang,buah kemantan is not very popular because of its sour flesh of coarse texture plus the strong odor.

 

Buah mempelam/ampelam/mangga
Asam mempelam/empelam/mangga

Buah mempelam (Mangifera indica L.) is a small green mango which is widely used for making mango pickle known as Jeruk mangga in Malaysia.Its fruit is about 8 cm long and 5 cm wide with bright green colour skin.The skin turns from dark green to yellowish green on ripening.The fruit is extremely sour and the baby fruit is crunchy.This make the baby fruits a perfect choice for making jeruk mangga,the mango pickle.

Cut 500 g of immature buah mempelam into slices or thin wedges without the skin.Soaked in 500 ml of brine (500 g bottled water plus 1-2 tbs of rock salt) for 36 hours.Pour away the water after 1 1/2 -2 days.Add 5 tbs of ground rock sugar followed by just enough bottled water to cover the mango slices.The pickles are ready in two days.

Mini Asam kumbang - the colourful Asam Raba
Mini Asam kumbang – the colourful Asam Raba (Mangifera griffithii).

Here is another type of wild mangoes that is not very common even in Sarawak.It is like mini Asam Kumbang with  purplish red skin when it is ripened.The fruit measures 3 cm x 2.5 cm .The thin,fibrous and attractive orange flesh is thin but juicy and sourish sweet.To relish the juicy fruit,just peel the skin and suck the heavenly juice.Oh,it is so juicy, like eating plums from China but sweeter and more juicy.Its skin turns from green to different shades of red and finally on ripening,becomes purplish red.The green and immature raba are used in preparation of pickles,just like the mempelam/empelam.

 

Mango and seaweed pickles
Seaweed pickles with mangoes
Recipe
Seaweed pickles with homegrown mangoes
Ingredients
  • 3 half ripe mangoes ( 1 kg more or less )
  • 25 g seaweed
  • 3 chilies
  • 3 limes – extract the juice
  • 1 tbs light soya source
  • 1 tbs roasted white sesame seeds
Method
Preparing the seaweed
  1. Steam the seaweed or dry kelp without washing  for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut into bite size pieces and  dry them in the sun.
  3. Keep in a container for later use.
  4. Soak in water for 15  minutes and clean thoroughly before use.
  5. Cut the mangoes into thin slices and the seaweed into long strips.
  6. Mix all the ingredients together.Dust the dish with seasame seeds.

This is a great dish for dinner.Do not eat this with rice.Light meal like this is good for dinner.

Home grown mangoes
Home grown mangoes

My problem with homegrown mangoes is they are just too sweet and just plainly sweet without sour taste.Sometimes I just squeeze buah kumbang juice by hands and mix this dish with it.

There was once somebody asked me this question,” How come your mangoes  are so sweet ? What do you feed the tree with?”

” What else ? I feed it with sugar water la…….”

Eventually somebody’s mango tree died of ‘diabetes’.Oops! Not my fault………..

Oh yes, oh ya, oh yeah…………

     Let’s go mango a go go………

                 Our mangoes rock !



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright claim – Do not crop any pictures from malaysiavegetarianfood.com.Do not share our  pictures without any watermarked signature on them.Excerpts from our articles to be credited to malaysiavegetarianfood.com.

The Royal family of edible ferns in Malaysia (part 4)

Paku kubuk/Paku uban(Nephrolepis acutifolia) a.k.a  creeping sword fern

This hairy fern is called Paku Uban in Malay and Paku Putih in Sabah.Paku uban always grows alongside of Paku Pakis so naturally we find them along the road,near the drain and at any place where a lot of paku pakis appear.Not many non-natives know about paku uban.It is less popular than Midin and Paku Pakis, probably due to its hairy fronds and stems.
paku kubok
A bundle of Paku kubuk bought from the market

Pluck off the cores of the fronds and soak in water for 15-30 minutes to get rid of the hair.Rinse thoroughly and blanch in boiling water for a few minutes.It is believed that Paku kubuk tastes less bitter with cores of their fronds being removed.Bitter or not bitter,the cores of the fronds have to be removed because one will never know what are inside the cores.


Paku Kubuk
Paku Kubuk with cores of the fronds being removed

The curly heads are very crunchy with a slight but pleasant bitter taste.Best for ulam and  nasi kerabu.

The best way to relish this fern is to ulam it.It has a distinctive crunchy texture and its slight bitter taste matches so well with the spicy sambal belacan which is so appetizing.

KUBUK
Paku Kubuk served with vegetarian sambal belacan
Recipe
Ulam Paku Kubuk
Ingredients
  • 200 g Paku Kubuk (blanched or boiled for 2 minutes)
  • 100 g tempe (diced)
  • 50 g belacan ( mixed with 2 tbs of water to form a paste)
  • 2 tbs minced chillies
  • 1/2 cup bunga kantan florets(optional)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs lime juice
Method
  1. Fry tempe till slightly brown.
  2. Add belacan paste and chili. Fry till fragrant.
  3. Tempe fine cubes and belacan paste must be slightly burnt to bring out the desired flavour.
  4. Finally add in bunga kantan florets,all the seasoning and the lime juice.
  5. Serve the blanched Paku kubuk with  sambal belacan.

 

 

Paku Kelindang (Blechnum orientale L.)/Centipede Fern/贯众,乌毛蕨

It is less popular due to its slimy texture and tasteless fronds.It is good for constipation.Our natives here use the slimy fronds for drawing pus from boils.

 

Paku Kelindang
Paku Kelindang

Most of our vendors here in Kuching would strip its skin off and sell the creamy colour fronds in 150 g packs.

 

Skinless Paku kelindang bought from the market
Skinless Paku kelindang bought from the market

The picture below shows stir-fried skinless Paku Kelindang fronds with tom yam paste.It can also be eaten as vegetable for ulam.

Paku kelindang stir- fried  with Tom yam source
Paku kelindang stir- fried with Tom yam source

 Source : Philippine Medicinal plants

 That is all,folks.Other edible ferns are not as popular,so I leave them aside for the time being.After viewing my posts on these edible ferns,I hope there is no more messing up with the names of  those ferns.I know there are people who cannot differentiate paku pakis from paku kubuk and they think all ferns are called paku midin.

Remember,all these are natural organic food and our native vendors depend on them for a decent living.Just wanna remind our trekkers,please be careful when you set your feet on the jungle trails.Mind your steps please.Do not step on the wild edible ferns or some wild vegetables which I am going to blog on them later.

                                    

Enjoy your jungle trekking!

 

 

 

 

 

The Royal family of edible ferns in Malaysia (part 3)

Paku Ikan /Paku Pakis/Pucuk paku (Diplazium esculentum)

To Sarawakians abroad,memories of some of the jungle produce never fade despite of their long distance away from their homeland,Sarawak.Very often you can hear them whinning for miding,paku and terung asam.In this post is a wild fern called Paku Pakis ,Pucuk Paku or simply Paku Ikan.This is grade A  Paku Ikan with a lot of frond curls and a few leaves.We stir fry it with vegetarian belacan and chillies or cook in ulam.It can be cooked in curry with potatoes too.

PAKU
Paku Pakis with fiddleheads

 This wild fern called Paku pakis can be found in abundance at the road side,along the streams and drains and at the open spaces in Kuching City.Hence the price is much lower than that of the miding.

This Grade B Paku pakis  shown in the picture below has less frond curls and is more leafy.Actually paku pakis can be found in Indonesia,Singapore,Taiwan,Philippines,Japan,China and West Malaysia.In Chinese it is called 过山猫。

PAKU
The leafy Paku Pakis

Like midin,they grow well on peat soil area and they are naturally free of pests.Nobody cares to cultivate them because they grow practically everywhere in this part of the world.It is much cheaper than Paku midin but is no less popular than Paku midin.

 Best way to cook Paku pakis is stir fry it with vegetarian belacan.

Paku pakis stir-fried in vegetarian belacan
Paku pakis stir-fried in vegetarian belacan
 Recipe
Stir-fried Paku pakis in sambal belacan
Ingredients
  • 300 g Paku pakis
  • 20 g  vegetarian belacan
  • 3 dry chilies (minced)
  • 5 stalks of  lemon grass (crushed)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 cup of sweetened grated coconut – made from 1/2 cup of grated coconut and 1/4 cup of brown sugar.Roast the grated coconut in the wok till it turns slightly brown.Add brown sugar and cook till the mixture thickens.
Method
  1. Blanch the Paku Pakis and drain.
  2. Fry the belacan,chilies,curry powder and lemon grass together.
  3. Stir-fry the fern with the belacan.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of water.
  5. Cook till the ferns become soft but not overcooked.
  6. Season with 1 tsp of light soya source.
  7. Top with sweetened grated coconut.

 

Paku pakis tastes great in vegetarian curry too.Recipe will be included in another post.

Paku in vegetarian curry
Paku in vegetarian curry

 

Bundles of Paku Pakis for sale by the natives is a usual sight  all over the markets in Kuching city.They look fresh and display a lustre of green on their leaves and fronds.

Paku Ikan for sale in the market
Paku pakis for sale in the market

 

 Quite often people,even some locals,get confused with Paku midin,Paku pakis and Paku kubuk.Get familiar with our edible ferns by eating them.That is the only way to learn about our gems from our forests.

 

  Edible ferns from our jungles,

Our pride,our treasure………

 

 

The Royal family of edible ferns in Malaysia (part 2)

Paku Midin/Paku Miding/Lemiding (Stenochlaena palustris)

Woo……..,hoolahoolahoola…lala…..la……Look, what is in here? It is the Queen of the jungle Ferns in Sarawak,Midin.You won’t miss midin when you come to Kuching.During our younger days, Midin grew in abundance in Kuching but nowadays they are shying away from the city heavy traffic and hiding their cute little fronds in the villages and farmhouses.Price of midin has shot up rocket high ever since(光叶藤蕨 ).

Picking wild edible ferns like Paku midin and Paku pakis in the bush was one of our childhood past time activities.We even competed for picking the ferns.Whoever had the biggest bundle of midin would be awarded with more bundles of midin from other participants.I was never the champion.There were always somebody who had better motor skills than me.

Paku midin is well-loved by Sarawakians and I believe students studying aboard do miss this Paku midin from our homeland.I remembered when I studied in Kuala Lumpur 35 years ago,I had my good share of sobs,partly due to homesick and partly because I missed midin so much.

The five grades of  Paku Midin are displayed here:

 Grade 1 Paku Midin

– With fiddleheads,straight fleshy stems and very few leaves.Best for stir-fry and is the most sought after midin by restaurants and sea food centers.It tastes good and  has crispy texture even after the cooking process.

midin
Grade 1  Paku Midin

 

Grade 2 midin

– With some loosen fiddleheads,thinner stems and more leaves.Personally this writer prefers Grade 2 Midin because it is cheaper and less slimy than the Grade 1 midin.May be its stem is not as crispy  and fleshy as the Grade 1 Midin after cooking but it is still very popular among the locals.

MIDIN
Grade 2  Paku Midin

 

Grade 3 Midin

– With loosen fiddleheads,thinner stems and are more leafy.It is quite troublesome to pick the leaves of this grade 3 midin but picking leaves of grade 4 midin is really a nightmare.

MIDIN
Grade 3 Paku Midin

 

Grade 4 Midin

– No fiddleheads , harder stems and  are leafy with some big mature leaves.Best for cooking soup with Cangkok manis or Sabong(melinjou) leaves.

 

MIDIN
Grade 4 Paku Midin

It is very troublesome to pick leaves of Grade  4 Midin because of those minute leaves so we mothers are just too happy to go for the ready – picked midin in baskets.

 

Ready-picked Grade 3 & 4  midin in baskets
Ready-picked Grade  4  midin in baskets

Grade 5 Paku Midin

– is a mixture of fleshy stems,some shoots and some young fronds of Paku Midin.Some people do not go for midin shoots but I am very fond of this Grade 5 midin with crispy and fleshy shoots and stems.To me,this is in fact the top grade midin.

MIDIN
Grade 5 Paku Midin

 

Grade 1 Paku Midin stir- fried with slices of ginger and fresh mushrooms.

MIDIN
Grade 1 Paku midin Stir-fried with ginger and mushroom
 Recipe
Ingredients
  • 200 g Grade 1 midin (use only the fiddleheads and cut about 2 ” length)
  • 100 g fresh oyster mushroom (tear into strips)
  • 2 ” long ginger (sliced thinly)
  • 1 chilli (sliced thinly)
  • 1 tsp miso
  • 1/2 tsp light soya source
Method
  1. Wash and drain the fiddleheads.
  2. Fry the mushrooms and ginger together.
  3. When the ginger slices are slightly brown,add in midin and chilli.
  4. Sprinkle some water if necessary.
  5. The crunchy ferns are ready with miso and light soya source being added.

 

Wakakakaka……Somebody can’t help drooling as he/she is viewing this post.

Just make sure no flooding …….Wahahaha…………

The Royal family of edible ferns in Malaysia (part 1)

Royal family of edible ferns in Malaysia ? Do they exist ? No, they do not because they are just made up by this writer for the purpose of editing this post on edible ferns in Malaysia.All of these ferns can be found in Asia and Oceania.

This post serves as an introduction to some of the more common edible ferns in Sarawak.Recipes will be included in part 2 , 3 & 4  of this post.

On top of the list is the King fern,a.k.a Giant fern and Oriental Vessel Fern.Its botanical name is Angiopteris evecta.Look at the picture below.Everything about this Giant fern is massive.Their  young fronds,for example ,are as big as my palm.

king fern
Paku Badak,Paku Gajah – Angiopteris evecta

It is a large ground – dwelling fern with fronds up to 5 m long.The leaf blade is two pinnate.They have spore clusters (sori) which are submarginal.The massive starchy rhizome was eaten as a famine food in Papua New Guinea.Young fronds are edible.The Bidayuh people in Sarawak use the pounded rhizome to treat blood in stool.Since it is very laborious to dig out the hard and massive rhizomes,it becomes less popular as food but in Chinese Medicine,it is still being used as cure for internal bleeding.

 

midin
The most popular edible fern – Paku midin(Stenochlaena palustris)

Since there is a King fern,by right there should be a Queen fern.In this case is  Paku midin which is the most popular edible fern served in many food stalls and restaurants in Sarawak.It is also a GI plant of Sarawak,meaning it is very popular and widely found in the state.It is a creeping fern,often climbs up big trees.The young fronds are green but turn light brownish-red as they become more leafy and turns darker green as the leaves become more mature. Paku midin thrives in shady swampy and forest areas and has been shying away from the city area for the past 10 years.It is said that no trip to Kuching is complete without sampling a big plate of stir-fried midin.Midin and other ferns can be found in West Malaysia too.

 

paku ikan
Paku ikan – Diplazium esculentum(Retz.)Sw.

Paku pakis or Paku ikan is like the Prince of the edible ferns in Sarawak.It grows up to 1-1.5m tall.The leaves are 2- or 3-pinnate and coarsely toothed.Paku ikan is quite popular in Philippines,Indonesia,Taiwan and Japan too.In Chinese is 过山猫。

 

paku kubok
Paku kubuk,Paku uban – Nephrolepis acutifolia

Paku kubuk or Paku uban is the Princess of the Royal family of the edible ferns in Sarawak.It is also known as creeping sword fern.Paku Kubuk is a  one meter  tall fern forming colonies in peat swamp forest.It has pinnate leaves and white hairy stems.Sori borne along leaf margins.The young fronds are eaten as vegetables.Though not as popular as Paku midin and Paku ikan,there are people who get addicted to its slightly bitter taste and I am one  of them.Iban folks use this fern to stimulate milk production for mothers in confinement.Just boil the fronds to make soup.

Paku Kelindang
Paku Kelindang

 This Paku kelindang is a stemless fern grows up to 2 m tall and it has brownish red fronds like the Giant Fern.Usually the venders here would peel the skin  and sell in packs.Tastes slimy but good for constipation.The fronds are mashed and applied as a poultice on boils to draw out the pus.

 

paku pahit
Paku pahit ,Paku rusa- Diplazium sorzogonense C.Presl.

Paku pahit or Paku rusa looks like Paku ikan but grows as individual plant.Due to its bitter taste,it is the least popular among the edible ferns but there are people using it as herbal cure for high blood pressure.

Out of all these ferns,only Paku midin has been cultivated for export purpose to Singapore.It is safe to state that all the edible ferns sold in the local markets are naturally organic therefore should be a tier higher than organic vegetables provided they are not plucked near oil palm plantation area.Almost all edible ferns cannot survive in chemically contaminated areas and they thrive without fertilizers.

 Other edible ferns include Paku resam,Paku laut,Paku merak,Paku rawan,Paku sutar(Tongkat langit),Paku ruan(water fern) and Bird’s nest fern.

Most of these unusual ferns are used as medicinal plants.Some of them will be included in my other posts.Nutritional values of these edible ferns can be found in  Table 2.

So now we have viewed brief introduction to these more common edible ferns.In my next post you will get to view more pictures and recipes.

                                      See you in my next post !

         Remember to check for recipes in my upcoming posts !

                                                         Stay tuned,ya ?