Archive for March 16th, 2007

Midin: The Sarawak special

March 16, 2007

Sarawak is famous for being stereotyped as under-developed, ulu, sua pa, all those jungle and forest related words you can think of. Now looking down on Sarawak’s jungle and rivers means you are looking for trouble, you could have been beaten up into pulp or even beheaded – Sarawak was known as The Land of Head Hunters.

Do you know why? Well, basically, rivers and forests in Sarawak have huge influence in the lives of the indigenous people where they relied very much on forest for food, medicine, building materials, etc while the rivers serve their purpose to give food, water, sanitation as well as means of transport to the local folks.

Forest fern has a special place in the heart diet of local people. One of which is known as the MIDIN is a MUST when you visit Sarawak.

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Midin is something like the pucuk paku but it is not pucuk paku, far from it. Midin grows wild in the secondary forests and is peculiar to the state.

It has curly fronds and is very crunchy even after it has been cooked. Only the tender tips of the fern is used in cooking. It is much sought after for its crisp texture and great taste. In fact, midin is a nutritious vegetable. Midin is uaually served in two equally delicious ways – fried with garlic or belacan. I personally prefer the third way of preparing midin – the Foochow style i.e. fried with ginger and appropriate amount of red wine! The taste is superb!

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Today, the midin is widely available in the market. A fist-sized bundle costs less than RM2. We simply love this dish. It is enjoyed by all. A lot of eateries have midin on their menu, usually stir-fried with sambal belacan.

Unfortunately, midin is not fond of travelling so it only stays fresh up to two days after harvesting. Therefore, Sarawak is largely the only place to try midin dishes.

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