Entomophagy

Will you consider eating this?

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In my life up to now, I have tried two types of insect larvae. One is this stir-fried grub in the above pic. It is a larvae of a hornet. It is a real delicacy from where I’m from. When I tried it, I hated the taste. I can’t even describe that sensation other than it was like a membrane capsule with smoky tasting pus inside. Bleh.

This second one, back when I visited Sarawak earlier this year, I like.

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Sago worm (the larvae of a type of palm weevil). Roasted, then mixed with stir-fried onions and chilli. These were like bean curd with roasted sago flavour. Nice.

To be honest, both dishes took me ages to try out because of the yuck factor that comes with creepy crawlies. But it is definitely worth a taste.

My main concern about eating insects though is the source. I hope when harvesting these insects they were very low or free of pesticides.

What do you think? Can this be your alternative protein source?

-M.

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Sarawakian fruits

I was back in Sibu again recently. Though it is end of the year, I’ve learnt that the fruiting season is almost the opposite from that on the Peninsula.

SibumarketGone to Sibu market in the early morning to see what I can find. I found that the local durian was in season. My, some of the kampung varieties are so small and looked like a green sea urchin!

Duriansibu

Oh yes, when there is durian, there is also duku/langsat/dokong. The tangy and sweet flesh of that small round yellow-skinned fruit is just so contrasting to the creamy durian. Perfect, right?

Oh, there is of course the all year round banana, but take a look at the price.

pisang

During my trip, I’ve been introduced to a very particular fruit seasonal around November/December.

dabais

Apparently this fruit ripens at the same time on one tree. Dabai, as it is called, is also known as “Black Olive” here.

DabaicookedDabai doesn’t keep well so you will need to eat it within a few days of purchasing. I am told not to buy any wrinkly ones. I’m not sure if you can have it raw, as I was also instructed to “cook” it – buy exposing them to hot sun for a while or soaking them in warm (not boiling) water for about 30 mins or until soften. Then, douse the dabai with soya sauce and sprinkle some sugar to taste.

DabaiSeed

I really don’t know how to describe the taste… a little bit sweet, and… oily? Anyway, it is definitely an acquired taste. The large seed in the centre is like an American football. How odd.

Matakuching

I’ve also spotted some Sarawakian variant of the mata kuching (longan). It’s got green skin with sharp bumps, something like a lychee but tougher. The inside is very much like a longan, though the seed is a paler brown and the flesh more clear. The flavour was intense and so sweet. Much better than any of the commercial longan I have tried.

-M.

The humble half-boiled eggs and kaya toast

 

Ah, this seems to be my default breakfast menu while I am traveling for work and doing work in the field this past two months. If you  are in Malaysia, chances are you had this as breakfast in a kopitiam somewhere: Half-boiled eggs (crack into a saucer and add soya sauce and pepper to your taste) and some butter & kaya toast. This gets me going up to lunchtime.

Oh and it’s mid-autumn festival today, hope y’all having some lantern fun. Team budu have been stuffing themselves with mooncake goodness as always… then Pinkydoodles found out that a mooncake can have about 1000 kcal per cake! err…. once a year, right?

– M.

Ramadhan Special: Ayam Perchik Wakaf Bharu

The fasting month means the abundance of food and never seen before coloured drinks around the country for breaking fast. One special stall in Wakaf Bharu will be opened during this month: The Best Ayam Perchik Stall. Yes, I gave it a name since I have no idea what’s the real name (if any).

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My mother just refer this as the “Ayam Perchik Stall near the Wakaf Bharu Train Station”. Well, that’ll give you some idea as to where to find it.

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MMMMmmmm, ayam perchik being freshly grilled and sold. You get to pick your stick. It sells out really fast. It is so well spiced and balanced out with the coconut.

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You may find ayam perchik in a few places in Kelantan and they are sold all year round. But not this special stall.

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Don’t like chicken? There is also fish. But my favourite is the chicken, really.

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Nearby stalls will also sell other foods such as soups and traditional sweets. I found the smallest onde-onde there!

Happy Raya/Eid to those celebrating!

-M.

Sarawak Laksa

Hi all,

Been to Sarawak for work recently.

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Such a beautiful place.

I got to meet up with a cousin of mine that I haven’t seen for many years. He took me to lunch of Sarawak Laksa.

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So good. The noodles look like vermicelli but it is slightly thicker and chewier. Love it.

– M.

 

p.s.: btw, what’s with the new wordpress drop down box to add a new post thing??? don’t like it at all.

Akok

Wow, it’s been a while… sorry!

We had relatives from overseas visiting, so Pinkydoodles and I got to go back to Kelantan for a while to meet up with them.

Mumakil made dinner for all of the guests one night: Khaw Jham (more on that in another post maybe). For dessert, Papa Salvatore drove to this stall somewhere in Pasir Mas where it is said to be the best and authentic Akok made and sold. Of course, Pinkydoodles and I (and our uncle) tagged along.

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Man, I wished I had tagged this on a GPS or something so that I can locate this place again! Papa Salvatore bought all that there was at the stall!

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Mmmm… akok is best when it is freshly off the grill. Akok is kind of a ‘kuih’ popular in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is made of eggs, flour, coconut milk and sugar. There is a lot of egg yolks in Akok, thus it is somewhat like a fusion of custard and pastry… cooked in a metal grill mold  (something like a  takoyaki pan).

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So the end result is a sweet caramelised skin on the outside, and custard-pudding-like texture on the inside. So good!

-M.

Yee sang for the year of the dragon

It’s the second day of Chinese New Year. How has the Dragon year been so far?

It’s becoming a custom now in Malaysia and Singapore to “Lo Sang” for the new year. Having been so many years abroad, I realised that this Yee Sang business is quite unique to these two countries. Yep, we kinda invented this tradition… or rather, re-invented it.

The ingredients of a yee sang is basically that of a colourful salad. Each ingredient signifies something. For example, the pepper is put into the red packets and sprinkled onto the salad, to attract luck and wealth. Green for youth, carrot for (more) luck.

Here’s the yee sang ready to be tossed. Raw fish added to signify abundance in the new year. The fried crackers signify gold.

Then, we toss. The higher, the better. It was a noisy occasion as each of us would say out the wishes that we want for the new year. Us nerdy ones would go “lolololol” as in lo sang (toss), but really we just wanted to make a pun.

Lo sang aftermath. Yes, so messy, but so yums.

Wishing everyone a happy Chinese new year. May you get to spend it with your loved ones. Have a good year ahead.

-M.