Sarawak is home to several types of chempedak and indeed several hybrids have resulted in the last few years. One exceptional hybrid is the Honey Chempadak which we can buy fairly easily in Miri.
The vigorously growing, medium-sized tree can bear heavy crops of fruit once or twice a year. There are many varieties, although few are named. The sausage-shaped fruits range from 22 to 50 centimetres in length and 10 to 17 cm across. The edible arils surrounding the large seeds are yellow, orange or green in colour. The taste of the fruit is similar to the related Jackfruit and Breadfruit with a hint of Durian. The sweet, juicy pulp surrounds the seeds in a thick layer between the husk and an inedible core. The green skin is thin and leathery, patterned with hexagons that are either flat or raised protuberances like jackfruit skin.
Most Sarawakians make fritters out of the arils. These fritters are sold as street fruit or eaten as part of a meal. I like to eat the arils on their own or mixed in a bowl of icy sugary syrup with lycees and longans and some vanilla ice cream. Sometimes we add the arils to some rice flour mixture with coconut milk and steam the mixture wrapped in banana leaves. This kuih when eaten with some gula melaka or brown sugar syrup is very delectable.
Young arils can be cooked in coconut milk and some belacan to make a good dish.
After eating the flesh the seeds can also be boiled until tender in water with some salt. Some people even roast the seeds and the taste is delightfully nutty and nice.
|this is how the skin of the fruit is taken off to display the arils.|
Another display of arils. This is a different variety.
This is the honey chempedak.
The skin is very rough but it can be split open easily with just your hands.
Delightful signboard...Honey Chempedak
You can see how large the fruit is.
This fruit is more than one foot long.
A close-up of the skin.