June 25, 2011

Jering - a local Sarawak fruit from the kampongs

You might sometimes wonder what these plates of brown hard seeds are for! In the local markts you can see many people selling them. Buah jering is both a medicine and a vegetable.

The botanical name for buah jering is Archidendron Jiringa. It is grown wild but it might also be cultivated in the soft soils of the kampongs. 

Jering are medium-sized trees that can reach 20 m in height. The bark is smooth and light grey in color. The leaves are compound, two pinnate up to 25 cm long, leaf stalks up to 6 cm long.

The leaflets are 8-25 cm ling, 4-5 cm wide, ovate to booing in shape, light green, shiny.

Young leave are soft, purplish red in color. 

The fruit is a legume, 5 cm wide, twisted in a spiral, purplish brown in color. Seeds are large, testa yellowish when young, reddish brown when mature, the edible cotyledons are yellowish when young, becoming orange brown when mature.

Jering rebus

The local Malays believe that its leaves can be pounded and applied in chest pains, pains, skin ailments. Furthermore in olden days before Mopiko and Tiger Balm ashes were obtained by burning the old leaves and applied on itch. Ashes obtained by burning the young leaves were applied on cuts, wounds.

Here is something surprising too. Our maid from Indonesia once said that the bark could be pounded and made into a gargle for treating gum pains, toothache.

In Miri most local people prepare the fruits at meals to treat diabetes, hypertension.

Sambal jering

In Taiwan huge jering could be found and the hard seeds are made into souvenirs.

consider yourelf lucky if you have a jering tree growing in your back yard!!


Ann said...

the sambal makes me eat many bowls of rice. I have not eaten this.

When I was little, whilst swimming in the river, we sometimes pick up flat seeds, and peel them and eat them raw. Wonder if this is the same.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

I might think that what you have eaten was empit...the lovely white seeds which many people love at the moment. You can buy scoops of them in Kanowit...and they do float in the river...that's how the farmers get them!! they simply float in the river!!

Daniel Yiek said...

Didn't know the name. Pls feature more unique vege and fruits of Sarawak that can be seen in the bazaars

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Daniel...Sure..I have found Bayam Nor (Limbang) and some other vegetables that Chinese don't eat...However I find some Bruneian vege more fascinating...Some of their names are different too and cannot be cross checked.
Recently I found an editble rattan shoot in Brunei. Yes..will feature it soon. God gives us free vegetables if we seek them. thanks.

sintaicharles said...

Is it true that excessive eating of Jering will cause difficulty in passing urine? A school bus driver told me so.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

I was told that many times too...jering should really be eaten in moderation like Durians...these are all in the heaty category...thanks for the advice.

Some people are more affected than others.

Also after eating durians and mangosteens do not take alcohol especially brandy.

Anonymous said...

I think it should be empenit and not empit. It is related to the chestnit family and I believe theseed floating in rivres could acutaully be the riverine species,growingon the river bank and wild boars feast on it.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks Anonymous...I stand corrected..many of my Iban vocab can be considered pasar Iban...sorry about the wrong name... Yes I understand it is like chestnut with a hairy outer skin..and the processing is a painstaking activity. and yet it is so cheap to buy in the market. I love it fried as a veg for the table. thanks.

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