Once a year…

My uncle and his wife, my auntie and their children, my cousins, would drive all the way from Kuching once a year without fail every year. They were here on his 75th birthday in 2015 and last year, they came again…and again this year.

They would stop at towns or bazaars along the way to buy the fruits but this year was a disappointment. The fruits were not out yet but they did manage to get me these buah engkala or buak terbulus in Melanau

Buah engkala/terbulus

from Jakar where they stopped for the celebrated prawn noodles and they drove into Sarikei too but all they got was this unripe durian

Derian mantak

They did bring me a whole lot of things from Kuching though. I asked for a bottle of tuak, the traditional ethnic rice wine – my aunt is actually of Iban descent and she just made a fresh batch in October and brought me one bottle and another bottle, a vintage dating back to 2015…

Tuak

She also made me a whole lot of nyonya changs…

Nyonya chang

She and my mum and also my aunt, her 2nd sister since deceased, were the ones who knew how to make them and now, she and my aunt’s daughter-in-law now residing in Miri are the only ones left who are able to do so…and she is actually an Iban! I hang my head in shame!

One of their daughters could not come with them, only two of my cousins were here but she sent me this huge loaf of no-knead bread

No-knead bread

…that she made herself. That was indeed a great achievement considering that she has never ever been a kitchen person her entire life.

It was very nice and went so well with the lovely Saudi Arabian (made in Riyadh) cheese that I had in my fridge and my extra-creamy scrambled eggs…

Bread with Arabian cheese and scrambled eggs

…and it was good too, toasted and eaten with a generous spread of butter and raspberry jam…

Bread with butter and raspberry jam

She went to Korea on a holiday not too long ago and she gave me this cute fridge magnet…

Fridge magnet from Korea

…from there.

Another cousin in Kuching made some tempoyak (fermented durian)…

Tempoyak

…and sent me a bottle through them just when I was running out of the precious stuff stored in my fridge.

Thank you so much, everybody, for all the goodies. It sure looked like Santa came early this year!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

17 thoughts on “Once a year…”

  1. Sure looks like Santa brought gifts from your wish list early this year!

    Yes, so blessed! I’ve cooked the unripe durian for my mum and with that to go with rice, she sure had a good appetite! She loves this kind of traditional Melanau delights.

  2. I am very sure Santa comes early for you every year. I love the changs & no knead bread and it looks so good with butter & raspberry jam spread. I only eat durian on its own and never try tempoyak before.

    Yes, the bread is good and so easy to make, it seems…but no, I will not try – it’s not gluten free. I’d rather go for tempoyak than any of those ang moh dips – my girl bought a bottle of guacamole or whatever dip, over RM30 don’t play-play, bottle-size like the small peanut butter one – not nice at all! 😦

  3. First time I’m seeing these buah engkala. What do you use them for?

    We eat them! The white creamy inside is like ice cream, some say…or has the taste of avocado, others say, but nicer. I think it is more commonly found in the central region of Sarawak, not elsewhere.

  4. The fermented durian, I can finish in no time….

    You know how to eat tempoyak? Wowwww!!! I’m impressed! πŸ˜€

  5. I loved learning about this new food! Thanks! They look like a trippie kind of acorn LOL

    I wonder what acorns are like, probably some kind of seeds. These, you eat the creamy flesh and the skin, the seeds we throw away.

    1. Not sure if this helps or not…
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn
      It’s been a LONG time since I have had one. We usually just use them as decor more often than not…or more often than food.

      Yes, I thought so too. None here but I grew up reading comics (no TV then) of squirrels eating acorns, Chip n Dale. πŸ˜€

  6. I’ve never seen the buah engkala – and from your description of the taste, it sounds wonderful. I’ve never had tempoyak either, but I think I’ve heard some old folk in Singapore mention them.

    Buah engkala is very nice, rich and creamy and sweet, just that some people like my girl are not fond of the skin, so they eat all that is inside and throw the skin and the seeds away. Tempoyak is an acquired taste – I only learnt how to eat it quite recently but if used for cooking fish or prawns, that is a different story altogether. Not so strong on the fermented taste, very nice.

  7. I’d like to have the tuak pls! Is it common to find tuak in miri?

    You’re going to Miri? These are not licensed wine producers, home-brewed for own consumption so you will not be able to get it in Miri unless you know somebody who has some left over stock from Gawai in June in the house.

    They do sell at the smaller pekans (bazaars) like Selangau sometimes but I am wary about those, dunno clean or not and they keep in plastic bottles, dunno any chemical reaction or not, the alcohol and the plastic.

  8. Making chang is a dying art. It is a tedious process. I remember helping my auntie make chang and I could not fold the leaf properly 😦 I suppose practice makes perfect and in some ways I regretted not paying attention 😦

    My missus tried but failed. Actually I did not mind that hers were not quite triangular as long as they tasted great! πŸ˜€

  9. Haha, I just about to write, you have got your early Christmas gifts!
    Mana tau, you wrote it at the end of the post πŸ™‚

    Got come, got go. Happiness is in giving and receiving – I did get them some things from here to take home.

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