June 11, 2010

Keladi Sabah - a wonderful stew

I was told by my grandmother that eating taro (yu tou) occasionally is good to maintain the balance of yin and yang in the stomach. A heavy meal could often end up with a dessert of sweet mashed yam cooked with some red dates. May be that is why "keladi" is always served during Chinese New Year. (The best or the most favoured the taro is the Keladi Pinang which is highly priced and easily recognisable by the purple streaks in the root!!)

May be this old wives' belief is the same one held by the Ibans of Sarawak.

Taro or Yam as some people call it is popular amongst the indigenous people of the state and today a new species is grown in a fairly large scale. They call it the Keladi Sabah . Somehow by having a new name like this the vegetable sells better?

Recently I was given several of them as gifts and I took them to a friend's house to cook. Bless her heart. She is always so kind to me.

Sabah taro has large stems and a  palm sized sucker which can grow even bigger.

Cut the stems and peel off the outer skin with a good sharp knife.

Use lots of newspapers to prevent the sap from sticking to kitchen table tops.

This is how you peel off the skin of the taro.

Well prepared taro - both stem and sucker.

Throw the cut vegetables into a pot of water (no oil). When the taro is soft add some Salai Fish or sun dried fish of good quality or just some ikan bilis. Before serving add pepper and salt. If you like the dish to be slightly spicy add cut chillies and pepper.

this is the taro/yam stew which is fresh and delicious. If you happen to have a poor stomach condition from having eaten too much during a festival...this is the right dish to settle your discomfort.And I know you would be blessed by many because it is such a nice simple and yet tasty home cook dish for both young and old.

The taro is a popular food throughout the world and a major export of Fiji. Taiwanese have given this product as great commercial value too by processing it into beautiful snacks for tourists.

(You can add other vegetables to the stew too e.g. pumpkin leaves and flowers; ladies' fingers and long beans if you happen to have some or any kind of leafy jungle vegetables you like.....)



wenn said...

i just love yam..

Ann said...

Give an old crop a new name and it becomes popular. LOL Good marketing.

Once my mum was given this thin reddish brown yam. We used only the young shoot. My goodness, It was very very itchy. We didn't have gloves then, so we wore two plastic bags.

We fried up the ikan bilis before we simmer the young stems. Taste really delicious.

Ah Ngao said...

funny when i think of it,the stem is itchy when touched but no feeling of itchiness in our stomach after eating,...mmm??

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Wenn

I just love yam....so many desserts can be made from it..

thanks for visiting.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ann

I am not so sure of different kinds of taro. But the Foochows only like the Bilong Wow...the ones which have striations like the betel nut. And the texture is fabulous..these sell at RM6.00 a kg now. the lesser types are about 3 - 4 RM per kg.
Yes...the stems are itchy...

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Ah Ngao..
the stems are itchy when we prepare them...after cooking (due to change of temperature) the itchiness causing sap will disappeare...hope this is the correct scientific explanation.

Ann said...

The Cantonese like the white yam leaves. We know this is Cantonese becaus emy aunties who married Foochows will come back to my grand ma's place and raid the pantry. Except for me, My Hakka husband wasn't advenurous in food, we are neither here nor there.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Ann

I think different dialectic groups like different kinds of vegetables. When young I remember the Cantonese family next door to us grew one kind of Cantonese vegetables which up till today I do not know how to cook or how to eat....I still see this vegetables sometimes in the Tamu in Miri but dare not ask...just in case I get laughed at...Wow...you don't don't how to eat!

Ignorance of something such as a vegetable can be viewed as ridiculous by some people! So I am rather careful.

Ah Ngao said...

is it "Sea Yang Chai" ? or in Cantonese "Sai yon choi" ?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao...
I know how to cook See Yong Choi or water cress....it is the big leaf one...that stands quite tall in the garden...a bit like coffee plant.

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). ...