February 3, 2010

Food : Baccaurea angulata or tampoi belimbing (Wild Star Fruit)


Photo courtesy of Sarawaklens .

Would you like to know another fruit that is only found in Borneo island?

This is the tampoi belimbing and is found growing wild and  in abundance in the second division of Sarawak. Often called buah ujong or buah geruming by the local Ibans it is a nice end of the fruit season fruit or end of the year fruit. It appears at the same time as the rambai. The fruit is sweet but is not so fleshy. It makes a nice decoration on the table especially if you can buy the really red ones. There are also pink versions like the ones I bought recently.

You can dry the skin in the sun after you have eaten the fruit. The skin is used as asam keping for flavouring fish soup. I have tried frying ikan bilis with the sliced dried skins and lots of onions. Tasted really good!

I bought I large bundle of it for RM2.00 recently in the Tamu Tani in Miri.

They are as pretty as  Christmas bells or Christmas glass baubles.

This is an Iban lady who hails from Batu Lintang in the Sri Aman district. A housewife who speaks excellent English she is a part time vegetable and jungle produce seller. Well done!! Here she is with her two daughters and sells fruits like tampoi belimbing.

this is the redder version of the wild star fruit. If you have a lot of it you can freeze the fruits and just dry the skins for future use.

Here's a pretty photo of this angle tampoi. I often wonder if this fruit can be made into jelly or a fruit sauce.

Support the jungle produce market!!


Daniel Yiek said...

I wonder whether anyone plant them commercially. After I blogged on this under "wuchong", one foreigner from the tropics emailed me to send her seeds for her orchard. I ignore this because this is Sarawak's treasures.

Ah Ngao said...

yeah,this i tasted before.the sweetness is special.nicer if taken after storing in the freeze.

Ensurai said...

Dear Daniel
I am not sure if it is grown commercially. But I am fairly sure that some villagers have grown it like Rambai. The other spelling is uchong.

Yeah although we like to keep our treasures some people can always propagate our special fruits. Check out Cape Tribe. I think they are very very enthusiastic about tropical fruits.


Ensurai said...

thanks Ah Ngao for your comment. I heard that this fruit once frozen like rambutans can last very long and really taste good.

Many of my friends like the fruit frozen. So I am sure it will be nice with icecream...What about some uchong icecream? A bit like kiwi fruit in taste actually if you close your eyes.

[SK] said...

hmmm, this is the first time i've ever heard of this fruits.. how does it taste like??

William said...

I wonder whether I have eaten this fruit b4. Now I know that it is actually wild star fruit, I think I should try.

Ensurai said...

Dear SK
thanks for dropping by.
It tastes like tampoi if you have ever tried tampoi before. Or a kind of langsat with only one seed in it...

You can only get this if you are in Sarawak.


Ensurai said...

This is the fruit eating by children in the longhouse and villages which are found on the fringes of our Sarawak jungles. If the trees are not yet domesticated that is.
You should always try some...and I am sure the Tamu Tani ladies will let you try when you put on your charms...hehehehe. They usually offer one and sometimes even two.


Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

If you ever go to Kuching, I would like to introduce you to my younger sister Prof Madya Dr Margaret Chan Kit Yok of sarawak.uitm.edu.my

She will take you to this tree.

Jay said...

I Love this fruit. it tree is still stand strong behind my house in kpg. Your article really touch my memories.

Ensurai said...

Dear Ann
Sure I would love to meet the Sibu born Professor Madya!!

And I would really love to see this tree.

Ensurai said...

Dear Jay

Please tell us about your tree and your memories of your kampong!! Worth telling!

God bless.

Ensurai said...


Where is this tree? Wow!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cikgu
Nice of you to highlight ladies who sell at the tamu tani.

They are honest and hardworking. women should be like that...



Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...


Margaret says the tree is at the Semengo Orang Utan area. I don't know if it is where the visitors can see it, or only Dr, marg can see it.

When Marg came in Dec, I mentioned your name. She seems to have heard your name though I thought may be it is your youngest sis who was in Christchurch. Marg got her PhD in Lincoln, she went to St Elizabeth.

Marg trains the tourist guides on Plant pathology. The guides in Mulu knew her.

Ensurai said...

Dear K..
thanks for writing. Sure these ladies are hardworking and they are at their stalls for long hours...they even bring their own home cooked food to eat...thus saving a bundle!

I hope their kids will have higher education and not be wasted....Education is the key to wealth and life changes.

Ensurai said...

Dear Ann
My Auckland sister went to Christchurch. Lincoln is where Dr. Lily Belabun is. Do you know her? I met Lily in London at the end of the 70's.
It would be nice to meet up with Dr. Marg...Tourist guides really need to be knowledgeable.

A few I have met in the tourism industry are really pathetic in the knowledge area. Glad that they can attend courses.


RWS Photo Blog said...

we called it belimbing merah

Unknown said...

hi..may i know where can i get the tampoi belimbing? i do try my best to find it around Sabah but this fruits is currently out of season. i need it for my research project..thank you!!

acslim said...

Is it fruit season still on now? I'd like to buy some for the taste.

Ensurai said...

thanks...appreciate it.

Ensurai said...

Nov and Dec in the Central parts of Sarawak, From Sarikei and some parts of Kuching areas too.

Ensurai said...


November to Dec would be a good time.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Hi CY,

a group went to Bau and saw a tree. I linked this blog post to it.

Anonymous said...


I would like to obtain seeds from the Baccaurea angulata or tampoi belimbing for growing in our Botanical Garden.

Please contact me at TropAdvenGarden at gmail.com

Thank You!

Director - Tropical Adventure Botanical Garden

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