August 21, 2016

Sarawakian Local Delights : Edible Rubber Seeds

(Photo by Sarawakiana taken in Bintulu tamu 2009)

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.

Bernama Photo

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!"

But more importantly rubber seed kernels have been roasted and used as fish bait, placed in the locally made, rattan fish traps called bubu. My late father used them a lot and we caught many ikan keli and ikan haruan in the streams in the rubber garden behind our Sibu house in Kampong Nyabor more than 50 years ago..

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.


Ann said...

I LOL, do the seeds have latex in them? This reminds me my maternal grand ma has a house up in Durin, They have a scrawny dog which we thought was a puppy. My aunty said that it drank some latex and the latex settled inside the dog preventing it from growing, and it didn't die either.

I can't remember the author, or the character, it sounded something like Anya, (but can't find it), there were a few books. The Blonde girl was found by some cave people. Anyway, she picked acorns which is poisonous, but she made it so it becomes safe to make flour.

You probably read thebooks.

Ann said...

Those books were very good, I read them 5years ago. Maybe I'll read them again. The author is Jean M Auel, the character is Ayla.

Have you read them?

Daniel Yiek said...

In Sarikei, kids used to rub rubber seeds on the cement floor to produce heat and chased after other kids with this heated "weapon"

Ah Ngao said...

hehehe...i think most of us did this sadist heated rubber seed.worse still,we came from behind and usually go for the gals and they would curse and scream..!

wenn said...

ic..that's something new..

Anonymous said...

looks good and better than chilli. Whoever discovered that chilli's edible ought to be submerged in chilli juice for fooling everyone.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ann
Sad story about the dog...poor dog drinking latex.
Not I have not read those books. Must be very interesting...would look out for them...

Rubber seeds have kernels with no latex...Soaking the kernels just get rid of the inedible fats.


Sarawakiana@2 said...

Sure will try to read about Ayla...Need to read new books next year...

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Oh yes Daniel. I remember the sadistic boys who used to do that with girls. They would sneak up behind the girls and make them scream when they touched them with the heated up rubber seeds and this would be quite near the assembly hall when all the teachers would be waiting for students to gather...the screams would be so loud and clear!!!..
So some girls get their one foot ruler ready to hit any boy behind them....sometimes wrong target!\\Smile... Teachers of course got very annoyed...and soon they had to find a way to check the boys out...

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao
Yes I thought this was very 60's//thanks for dropping by

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Wenn

Thanks for writing. This rubber seed kernel is only known to perhaps the rural population.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

That's very interesting. I thought 99.9% of mankind love chili!!

I was once involved in a girls fight - we used chili sauce...that was one satisfying fight to bring some woman down a peg or two.....I was just a teenager then...LOL.

Now 40 years later someone wants to drown a person in chili sauce!!

Thanks for visiting!

Sibu Tales : Making Bah Gui from Scratch

The pioneering families of Sibu Foochows continued to practise the  adoption of girls from poor families who become their maids (slaves). ...