September 30, 2017

Sarawakian Local Delights : Emplam Pickle

The emplam is an indigenous sour mango of Sarawak. It is a relative of the fragrant mango.
However this variety will never be sweet and juicy. When ripe it would not be as nice as when it is green.

The local people of Sarawak love this fruit when it is still green in fact, making the best salad
of the shredded fruit. Basic ingredients which will bring out the flavour of the green fruit are
belacan or shrimp paste, pounded chillies,onions, garlic and ginger.

This local salad is really very appetising. It is indeed often part of the buffet in five-star hotels in
Sarawak. However during its fruiting season, a large number of this fruit can be sliced and made into a large pot of sourish salad for invited guests in the longhouse. It will definitely make the guests want to eat more rice!!

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This kerabu is made with a bit of cincaluk for added flavour
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This Sarawak mango, or emplam, is slightly yellow and riper. But its sourness  and the pounded fresh chillies
with salt and a bit of belacan together make it an excellent appetizer.
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This is another style of preparing slightly ripen emplam, with pounded ikan bilis,
ginger,,mall onions, garlic,lime juice, a bit of sugar
Emplam trees are rather tall. The fruits are picked when they are still young and crunchy.
Farmers usually use a big stick to hit the branches and the fruits fall to the ground. They are usually sold quite cheaply. Often a tree produces more than 200  smallish fruits of  less than 5 inches in length.




The emplam grows well in drier soils in kampongs. Its tree is tall, usually more than 50 feet tall. Fruits cover the whole tree during its fruiting season. Hence when a farmer has a tree which fruits, he can make a few quick ringgit and his family would enjoy eating the emplam as a salad for a few weeks.

Some of the  whole fruits can be pickled in bottles. 

But usually the Iban farmers love to eat slices of this fruit in the farm with just salt and chillies.

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