January 3, 2012

Native Sarawak Aji-no-moto leaves

Miri has several markets where folks can buy their fresh food. They are called either the Open Market or Tamu by the locals. The Central Market is tradtionally the oldest Chinese dominated open air market which must have been started in the 1900's.

The Muhibbah Tamu used to serve the Canada Hill squatters and all those who came from Lopeng and even as far as the lambir areas. That is the market I go to for my fresh vegetables and I am familiar with many of the hawkers there. Some of them even asked me for advice regarding their children's education. I am glad one of the girls will be furthering her studies in a Masters of Economics!! I am so proud of her and her very hardworking mother.

Another lady I love very much is the one I buy small combs and little things from. She came from Sungei Merah in Sibu and she has two daughters who graduated from Theological Colleges!!

But one very special reason for me to visit the tamu is to practise my Iban and my Bahasa Malaysia.

And here's one of the new ideas I get by speaking Iban......I often find that when you speak in a local dialect the hawkers become very very helpful and even sisterly..What a wonderful and kind lady she is...and I am thankful to her for teaching me about this particular aji no moto leaf.

A bunch of these leaves are about 1 ringgit. At the Kedayan Market in Miri you often get  the generous Iban women who have come all the way from Bekenu or Bakong to sell their jungle products. One of the best discoveries I have made over the years is this special flavoursome leaves which is also known as the jungle Aji-no-moto... Freshly taken from trees these leaves can now be found in the market after the Iban ladies have gone into the jungles in the early morning before they take the four hour journey to Miri. It is through their tribal knowledge gained over many generations that they can share this flavoursome leaves with the town people. When the leaves are dried they turn completely black and can keep for a few months in a tight lidded bottle. But it is always good to use them fresh.
One leaf like this is enough to make your soup unbelieveable tasty.
This is the underside of the leaf.

3/365/2011

23 comments:

Ann said...

WOW!!!! chuck chuk chuk, adjinomoto. (rememebr the ads in the cinemas?)

May be you can "save the world" and promote this leaf commercially.

We did not take adjinomoto when we were young, and I still don't.

Ann said...

An other fussy habit, when I came to Auckland, I flatted in a "Sibu House." Three of my flatmates worked in freezing works/ aka slaughter house.

They told us,"You eat sausage? You know what sausage is made of?"

I don't eat sausage after that.

My Mum made her own sausage, not preserved like lapcheong, which I also don't eat, don't like the preservatives.

Bengbeng said...

Happy new year 2012 :)

sarawaklens said...

Ann, I know what goes into sausages but I still eat them lol

Anonymous said...

but Sarawakiana,.... you forgot to let me know the local name( vely important lah) - saya mau beli itu,...nay...itu daun apa itu..?? nay...olang masuk sup bikin soup manis lah,...apa itu daun,aiyo...lupa i ?

Ah Ngao

Sarawakiana@2 said...

ann, one of the nicest adverts I saw when I was younger...and always looked forward to it in the cinema...one of the basic ingredients of ANM - is actually tapioca.
Cheers.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann,Like Sarawaklens I still eat all sorts of sausages...and I love one type made by my neighbour Mrs. Wee for Chinese new year...that one is very clean...heheheheh

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Bengbeng,
Thanks...Happy New Year to you too...

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao,
They are just called aji no moto leaves...in Miri..I will ask the lady again for its Iban name...May be this is only found in the Baram...Happy New Year!!

sarawaklens said...

Ya, please do, I'd like to know the Iban name too! :)

dorrol said...

we kenyah call this leaf (be'kai)

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes Dorrol...thanks for helping me out....Do pop by once in a while to help me out with terms!! I would appreciate that.

vinesandspines said...

anyone know the latin name of this plant?

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Vinesandspines..I was hoping some one would help. May be I could ask my friend Prof Haji...thanks for asking too.

Ann said...

I sent the link to my Agri lecturer sis, and also my Kelabit and Bidayu relatives.

VeeZee said...

I believe this is what the Iban called as "daun bungkang". But I am unsure if this particular herb has other name as you may realised that different Iban come from different area in Sarawak has their own name for plants, foods & items.This particular herbs is best when you put in for stews especially meats and fresh water fish. It get rids of gamey & fishy smell. Hope this helps.

Ann said...

We (Kelabits) do use that too. Last December holiday I heard someone was planting it .
It is very good to go with fresh bamboo shoot but you might be put off when u see the tiny-tiny
black spots in the food, the pounded dried leaves does not dissolve like the Jap ANM. It would be better
to use it as fresh leaves but it takes 3 hrs to get it from the forest in Bekenu as Chang Yii said.

Ann said...

Sorry Kallang didn't give the name, I have asked him for it.

Ann said...

The Iban I think call it - daun tubu Kallang

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann..thanks..I hope to get other names too..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Vee Zee
thanks for the tips...I have a tall bungkang tree in my backyard and every one is welcome to come and pluck the leaves...excellent with tapah and patin pansuh!! but this leave is much bigger and may be one day I will plant a tree...

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ann...I have checked with several Ibans and they all say that the name is Tubu as Kallang has indicated...thanks...

Hog Ginger said...

does anyone know the botanical name for said plant?

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