What about ‘Durian cempedak’ ? Have you seen one ?

 Artocarpus is a genus of trees found in South-eastern Asia and in the Pacific.
The fruits in the genus of Artocarpus are terap,tempunik,pingan,bintawak,cempedak,pedadai,nangka and kemangsi.Since we have written a post on the terap and its related fruits like bintawak and pingan,we will focus on campedak and other fruits belonged to the genus of artocarpus and in the same family of Moraceae to which all the figs and jackfruits belong.

One of this fruits is Artocarpus camansi Blanco which is also known as buah pulur(Iban),kamansi (Malay) and breadnut in English.Other names include buah keluih(Malay), Buah Kulru and Kelor(Indonesia).

Is it Breadfruit or Jackfruit ? No,it is neither of these two.At first glance,you may think that is either a jackfruit or breadfruit.Really can’t blame anyone for making that mistake.This is breadnut,ancestor of breadfruit,well known for its edible nuts.It can be described as seedy breadfruit.There are people mistaken them for durians.

Buah Pulur which looks like durian
Buah Pulur which looks like durian.


The breadnut tree looks exactly like breadfruit tree with big leaf of same shape and similar height of about 20m.This fruit is getting very rare nowadays.Most people forget its existence because nobody sells this fruit in the market.Local people cook the young fruit and seeds in curry,just like the way we cook unripe nangka pulp and seeds.The skin is spiky like durian.Cut the young pulp with the seeds into small triangles and boil for 20-25 minutes then cook curry with potatoes.
Cross-section of the buah pulur
Cross-section of the buah pulur

 
Both breadnut and cempedak seeds contain high level of protein and low calorie.Pulp of mature fruits are discarded and seeds taken out and boil with a bit of salt.They taste like cempedak seeds and chestnuts too.

Buah pulur seeds from ripe fruits.
Buah pulur seeds from ripe fruits.

There is another fruit which looks like a mixture of Buah pulur and campedak.Local people call it Durian Cempedak which has no ID yet.It tastes exactly like cempedak with juicy,sweet and fragrant pulp.

Durian cempedak and cempedak
Durian cempedak(no ID yet) and cempedak (Artocarpus champeden Spreng.)

Look carefully at their skin.Do they look the same ? The one with spiky skin is called Durian cempedak.It looks like buah pulur but with oblong body shape.It is a new variant of cempedak.Where did it come from? Some said it was the research product of some officers at Tarat area,Serian,Sarawak.Most of us are familiar with cempedak but not this Durian cempedak which is obviously a new fruit without an ID yet.

A very good variety of cempedak with soft and less fibrous orange pulp and small seeds.
A very good variety of cempedak with soft and less fibrous orange pulp and small seeds.

Let’s look at another look-alike of buah pulur – breadfruit.Breadfruit is not native to Sarawak.It is called buah Sukun.Most of our venders here in Malaysia sell them as breadfruit fritters together with banana fritters.I prefer to pan-fry them.My late mom used to cook it in sugar syrup and occasionally added coconut milk to the dish.Ripe breadfruit can be eaten raw but be careful of the latex leaking out from the skin.

Breadfruit
Breadfruit

Another fruit of same genus is the Jackfruit or nangka in Malay.Its ID is Artocarpus Heterophyllus.Nangka should be the biggest fruit found on earth.It can grow up to 20″ long and 12″ across.It is different from cempedak in size and also in its fruit pulp being separated from its seed,unlike the cempedak fruit with pulp sticked to its seed.

Nangka/Jackfruit can easily grow up to 45cm lengthwise and 25 cm across.
Nangka/Jackfruit can easily grow up to 45cm lengthwise and 25 cm across.

Immature nangka fruits and seeds are great for “masak lemak” or curry.Some people,especially old people find nangka fruit a bit tough for them to chew.So before cooking,cut the unripe pulp to smaller pieces.

Pulp and seeds from immature fruit of Nangka.
Pulp and seeds from immature fruit of Nangka.

Ripe nangka fruits are sweet and its pulp do not stick to the seeds.It turns yellow when it is ripe.Malays here would blend the fruits and make cake.Nangka pulp can be cooked in soup together with sweet potatoes.

Nangka pulp is separated from its seed.
Nangka pulp is separated from its seed.

There is another tiny cempedak which is hardly seen nowadays.It is anout 4-5 cm in length,tastes great like its bigger relative.It is called Cempedak hutan/buah pudu with ID Artocarpus Kemando Miq.I used to eat a lot of this fruit during childhood time.Cute-cute cempedak reminds me of my hometown.

Long gone the days when wild fruits were adundant.Where to find them ? We have 24 national parks in Sarawak.May be these are the places to find them in future.

More shoots for ulam to be shared in my upcoming posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edible shoots of Sarawak (part 2) – the leafy shoots

There are quite a number of leafy shoots for sale daily at our local markets.The most popular ones are the pumpkin shoots and cucumber shoots.

Well,these two types of shoots may look alike but they have different taste.Both of these two shoots are quite popular among the natives and the local Chinese here in Sarawak.
 
Pumpkin shoots stir-fried with pumpkin
Pumpkin shoots stir-fried with pumpkin

Pumpkin shoot goes well with pumpkin or sweet potatoes.Both types of leaves have to be crushed and shredded or even chopped finely before cooking , just like the way we cook changkok manis.

There are two types of pumpkin shoots ; the one plucked from the mature creepers and the other type is the pumpkin seedlings.

Pumpkin shoots plucked from the mature plants
Pumpkin shoots plucked from the mature plants

Pumpkin shoots plucked from the mature plants are tougher and take longer time to cook.

Once a friend of mine tried stir-fry pumpkin shoots for the first time and she forgot to crush the leaves.She jumped to a conclusion – that pumpkin shoots were not edible.So for those who are new to pumpkin shoots,please try the pumpkin seedlings first.They are really delicious.

Both pumpkin and cucumber seedlings can be cooked as vegetables.They usually come with roots.
Both pumpkin and cucumber seedlings can be cooked as vegetables.They usually come with roots.

Pumpkin seedlings leaves are very soft and easily crushed. Pumpkin seedlings are obviously a better choice than the pumpkin shoots plucked from the mature plants.What we do is sow the seeds after pumpkin flesh is cooked.Harvest them before they start to climb or when they are about 30 cm tall.For those who lack bigger space for pumpkin plants to grow,this is a good vegetable for city gardens.They grow easily and do not need fertilizer.

This is a good vegetable for stir-fry,soft and tasty.No other ingredient is needed for pumpkin shoots,just stir-fry the shoots with a bit of salt.The tender leaves can be eaten raw provided they are home-grown.

The pumpkin seedlings
The pumpkin seedlings,easy to grow on good soil.No fertilizer is needed.

The picture below shows cucumber shoots.There are 2 types of cucumber shoots; one is from the regular cucumber plant and the other type is from a local melon-like cucumber called ‘Timun Dayak’.

Local melon-like cucumbers called ' Timun dayak'.
Local melon-like cucumbers called ‘ Timun dayak’.They  turn from light green to yellow,orange to brownish red on ripening.

Both shoots look similar.Those shoots plucked from the regular cucumber plants have leaves that are bigger and they taste less sweet than the local cucumber (Timun Dayak ) shoots.

Cucumber shoots
Cucumber shoots

Cucumber shoot has a very distinct taste of sweetness.Because of this natural sweetness,it is always cooked in soup.In the picture shown here is a bowl of soup cooked with cucumber shoots and sweet corn.Crush the leaves before cooking.

Cucumber shoots soup with fresh sweet corn kernels
Cucumber shoots soup with fresh sweet corn kernels

Other shoots include bitter gourd shoots.Most people would just stir-fry or blanch them and eat in ulam,i.e eat with sambal belacan.Please click here for ulam.

According to Dr Paul Chai in his book – Medicinal Plants of Sarawak,a tea prepared from boiling the leaves is good for high blood pressure.

Bitter gouard shoots
Bitter gouard shoots

Another less common one is the letup shoot.Please click here for more information.

Letup shoots
Letup shoots

There are more leafy shoots for ulam and eaten raw to be shared later in my next post.

 Stayed tuned.

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