October 23, 2017

Sarawakian Local Delights : Pork Liver in Iban Rice Wine (Tuak)

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Fresh liver is highly prized by the Foochows and the Ibans too.

It is very easily prepared. slice the liver thinly and season with salt, pepper and sesame oil. Pound some ginger for the aromatics. Once the kuali is heated up, stir fry the ginger with sesame oil. Once fragrant, add the liver. In a few minutes add some tuak , cook through with just a bit of blood still showing. This dish is good for those who are anemic.

This dish would always remind me of my adventures with pig slaughtering in the longhouse. Here is one anecdote.

The Iban family had just slaughtered a family raised pig and the meat was to be shared by 4 other families for the Gawai.

As an in law it was not the "to do thing" for her to ask just for the liver even though she had the good intentions of cooking the liver for her ailing father in law.

The normal procedure of dividing of a slaughtered pig  in that longhouse would be as follows:
1. The head of the pig would be shared among those who did the slaughtering, which was usually by the pebble beach, along the river near the longhouse. While the pig was being prepared, the head would be cooking over a fire.
2. The body of the pig would be equally divided and portioned out part by part, and they would be chopped up and placed on the buckets or leaves prepared. How big the pieces would be depended on the size of the pig might be be 30 kg to 40 kg. The normal price of pork would be 12 ringgit a kg. no part being more expensive than the other. The total weight per portion would be charged at the end of the por
3. For example, the hind legs would be chopped into 5 portions and equally placed in the different buckets.
4. The belly pork would also be chopped and divided into 5.

This would go on and on for all the different parts of the pig.

This is the practice of this particular longhouses so I am not sure if it is the same with other longhouses.

I once asked about the tail...OK, the tail would be chopped into 5 also, to be fair.And NO I could not just buy the tail.

Well you see. I love to eat the tail as much as I like the liver.


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