The kernels of the rubber seeds can be eaten especially after they have been soaked for about 24 hours according to a scientific research conducted in Java way back in 1987.
In fact the Indonesians have been eating preserved rubber seed kernels for ages.
In Sarawak the seeds are preserved by soaking in salt water over night. The "kesam" kernels can be stir fried with Ikan Bilis and make quite a good side dish for a hot evening meal with rice and other main dishes.
Rubber seed kernels taste just like any kernel. They are almost almond like actually. But almond is crunchy and has a good after taste. May be some people will say that the rubber kernels are like chestnuts or even kepayang (a favourite preserved seed in Sarawak). A friend has said that they actually taste like kepayang, a common long house kernel which is called keruak in Indonesia.
According to a Bernama report "rubber seed rum" or preserved rubber seed is available as a condiment in several restaurants in Jerantut Pahang. It seems that the people of Jerantut have had this recipe for generations! It is served with curries during fasting month in fact.
|Photo by William Ting|
Not long ago my Foochow friend William Ting went to Rh Rendang in Ulu Balingian with a team of 20 for a short mission trip. They were served salted(kesam) rubber seed kernels with small fried fish. William said, "They were very tasty indeed!"
A friend told me that when he was young and still living in the longhouse his father would let their pigs salvage the rubber seeds in the garden. The pigs really knew how to look for the rubber seeds. According to him sometimes his father and other adults would collect the seeds and crack them to take the kernels out for their own food and what they could not consume they would boil for the pigs. However this is not done today any more.
Rubber seeds are always easy to find. Go to a rubber garden. When you hear small gun shot sounds you will know that some rubber seeds are being dispersed and ready for your picking. It is always nice to hear the sounds of seeds bursting from their cases.