April 15, 2010

Snake Meat and other Jungle Fare

A housewife (Iban or Chinese) living at the fringes of a Sarawak jungle or in the middle of the jungle should be prepared to cook any meat brought back by the husband. A cousin of mine said that she is happy that her husband has a gun license as a Chinese and she often gets monitor lizards and snakes...The couple is always happy to invite people over to eat these exotic meats. They have a chicken and duck farm so these reptiles come around often but they have become rarer as more and more people are planting oil palm in the area.



photo from benardcometh.blogspot.com/2009_1...ive.html.


(This incident happened on 5th April - a Monday)


However I do stay away from snakes especially the live ones. A good friend "ran into a snake in Sg. Rait in Miri". He got out of his car and found a piece of wood  to clobber the  dazed snake (ripon or short python) to death. then he brought it to our house (which is about ten minutes from the murder scene) last weekend. It took two grown men three hours to get the snake cleaned and cooked in the Sarawak  style. I suppose strange incidents like this can only happen in parts of Sarawak.

First the snake had to be  slowly burned over a good  open fire. This is the Iban style of dressing a snake. When the crispy and charred scales were peeled off the whole snake was dipped into a basin of clean water. And then the stomach area was taken out carefully. By this stage  the skin below the scales smelled really  fragrant.

The meat was then chopped into bite sizes.  As the snake was at least six kilos the men decided to cook their share of the meat into two ways : deep fried and then braised and a soup with Chinese herbs. The other portion was to go to a Chinese towkay who believes in the health benefits of snake meat. He could not clean the snake and that was why the snake was brought to our house.


Uncle Jeff smothering Bario rice with engkabang - Sarawak Iban butter or ellipinut.

Jungle paku or fern tops. Nice and crunchy and very gingerly with a bit of Foochow wine.

Braised deep fried snake meat. Better than chicken. Yours truly do not and will not eat snake meat.

Lovely piece of snake meat with the crunchy tendonly snake skin still attached.

Kundor (or winter melon ) with minced pork and ginger and hot chili padi.

Herbal snake meat soup excellent for men's health according to many. The Chinese herbs are available in Ing Kong Drug Store.

11 comments:

Ann said...

They should go to the CITY Singapore and catch those cheeky monkeys, or to Bako since it is nearer. LOL,

There are swimming togs on Ebay. You may check if yours is there. LOL

My family ( Chans and Kongs) and now the Kallangs eat snakes. I think the Chinese used to skin them, Tie one end to a branch, and strip them.

The 4 legged snakes in Embang Road, we also make a fire, and dress them. Same as we do to the GOU.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ann...
You are early! How's the weather there?
I will check Ebay..the monkeys should be techno savvy by now...if you see a two tone one with black and white stripes and black lower part - it is mine!! LOL...S ...I was small then.

Dressing a snake is an art the Iban Hunter said. He is a meticulous cook and I stay far far away..so when his dishes are ready I will meekly come to the table. Even the way I slice the chilies is not up to his standard. LOL.

wenn said...

i will never try the snake meat!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Wenn
I know I know...I even did not dare to go near a dead snake!!
I won't eat either!

Ann said...

heheheh, CY, That fab swimming tog must be thieves' favourite.

When I was pregnant with my number 2 twenty one years ago, I made my own pregnancy swimming tog, same design as yours, b & W stripes, and low back.

The hospital had an indoor heated pool and I went to swim in it every second day. I just draped it over a rail in the ladies in the accounts department after.

One day it was gone. Do I feel proud that some one would steal my home made swimming togs??? LOL

Borneo Falcon said...

I remember my mother cook snake soup very long time ago. It tastes really great. I love it very much

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ann
Nice to know that you went swimming when pregnant...bravo!!
I am not sure if I still have a photo of myself in that famous swimming suit...No photo of the monkeys too...but I am sure if I go to Bako now I can still take lots of photos of the new generations of monkeys there....
You sure must have been good at making swimming suits...another bravo.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Borneo Falcon
Your mum must have been brave to cook the snake soup for you.
My brother loves snake soup. In fact we Foochows think that snake soup would give one a good skin......no boils etc...
Nice of you to visit...Greetings from Miri.
If you do come to Miri some of the shops do sell them ...

Bengbeng said...

the food looks wonderful.. being exotic makes it more exciting n yes u all dont need skii coz of good skin

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Bengbeng
How are things?
Yes simple food...all organic and from good jungle soils.
True those who eat some of these exotic meat and also other natural foods seem to have good skin. My cousins and aunts all have very good skin (remember they reared their own chickens?) So no need SKII!! hahahah....I used to be very fair (pearl skin) in Sibu before being exposed to Miri sun....
May be next time you come...we try to "hunt" for some special food...

jesseh said...

i would eat snake

Nang Chong Stories : Tiffin Carriers

School meals in the 1950's and 60's were simple fare. No Foochow activist like Jamie Oliver would have fought for better school meal...