July 24, 2017

Sarawakian Local Delights : Fried Salted Wild Boar Meat

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Wild boar meat used to be plentiful in the past when rural areas of Sarawak were not opened up to oil palm plantations or timber logging. The Ibans and other indigenous people hunted for food only when they needed. As they were far from any towns or cities, they did not even think of selling the exotic meat they obtained. So hunting was mainly for food, and not for trade.

In recent years with rapid development of the rural areas, wild animals have become endangered although hunting for food is still permissible. Laws are stricter on sale of game meats.

When wild boar is caught, the longhouse people would share according to their adat or regulations. Usually the hunter shares the meat with relatives on his "left and on his right", usually five doors on each side, meaning, he would prepare 10 plates of cut up meat and send them to his 10 relatives. If he had hunted with some friends, then the wild boar would be divided among his friends, his gun would have a share and his boat would have a share too. This is the communal adat of the Ibans living in a long house. However times have changed tremendously and this adat might not be followed.

Wild boar meat is best cooked over an open fire. However to keep some wild boar met for future meals, a housewife would preserve the belly pork especially. This salting of meat is called "kasam". Well made kasam is very tasty. When a family has guests, some kasam is usually prepared with chilli padi and even terong Dayak.

Today kasam babi is considered a delicacy. There is a special sweetness in wild boar meat which lends its special taste and aroma to the salted version.

However according to some gourmets, domesticated wild boar meat may not be the same any more.

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