September 16, 2009
Exotic Wild Passion Fruit Stir Fry
Three blooms of the exotic miniature wild passion flowers in Luak Bay.
A single bloom with a little fruit already forming at the back.
A well formed fruit so well protected by its "natural netting".
More "protected" fruits.
Here the fruits are removed from the vines and the protective nets and ready for washing and cooking. Always check if there are ants in the fruits.
This is the stir fry...garnished with my favourite bunga kentang. Ingredients are usual garlic and ikan bilis with as much belacan as you wish.
The wild miniature passion fruit that grows all over Sarawak is a jungle vegetable particularly liked by the Ibans and Kedayans in the Limbang region. The Ibans call this fruit "buah le top" and the Foochows call it "pop pop chi" or seeds which pop. When we were kids we used to eat the very ripe yellowish and orange coloured fruits. Although the longhouse community often have this dish as part of their farm house fare many Sarawakian town folks also occasionally cook the vegetables whenever they can pluck some in and around their temuda or little farm land. Sometimes when we picnic by a river we might even collect enough for a good meal!
This morning as I walked with my friends along the coastal road I managed to harvest quite a bit of the wild passion fruits. Enough to have a plate of it for dinner tonight. My friends were delighted to learn from about the passion fruit and the legend surrounding it.
A little legend surrounds the flower of this passion fruit - whether it is the real passion fruit or the wild one the flowers are exactly the same as you can see from my photos.
The Roman Catholic priests found the flowers in Latin America and named them Passiflora because they thought the parts of the flower represented Christ's "passion".
The ten large petals represent Christ's ten most faithful apostles. The fringe above the petals represent the crown of thorns placed on Christ's head. The five anthers are for the five wounds in Christ's body and the three stigmas are for the nails that were placed in his hands and feet when nailed to the cross.
When we look at this flower, we not only see a very beautiful and interesting flower, but we also are reminded of the suffering that Christ endured to save us all.
Sources : (a) Linda Manthay 2000.
I am dedicating this post to all Sarawakians who enjoy this dish and this fruit (whether it is the wild miniature fruit or the bigger commercialised one.)