There’s always a first time…

My paternal cousin mentioned in passing that night at his birthday dinner that he had never tried babi hutan (wild boar) before for fear of its gamey smell but he had heard of people cooking it with a whole lot of ginger, lengkuas (galangal), serai (lemon grass), pepper and everything else but of course, you would never catch us doing that, not in my family.

My friend, Mandy, on one of her working trips to Selangau and beyond, did get to eat it cooked that way, probably at the zhi-char place at this coffee shop, along with all the other exotic meats available there. She said that every dish was cooked that same way and with all the ingredients used in the cooking, she could no longer tell what meat she was eating…and she added that everything was way too oily so she did not enjoy any of it at all.

The way we cook it is very simple and I did blog about it here – no ingredients are required except perhaps some salt and msg at the end, if one so desires and these days, with the slow cooker, it is a lot easier and there is no need to worry that the meat will be tough, no need to put a porcelain spoon in the soup during the process of simmering either.

Well, it so happened that I managed to get a couple of kilos of the much coveted meat at the Selangau market so I cooked the soup…

Wild boar soup 1

…and gave a bit to my cousin to try – just a bit in case he did not like it and would throw it away, such a waste of such good stuff and of course, we got to enjoy it…

Wild boar soup 2

…ourselves that day.

He and everyone in the family tried it for dinner that night and even before it was time to sit down and eat, they were bowled over by the lovely fragrance that filled the whole house when they were heating up the soup. Yes, they loved it! The soup was so very nice, he said and the meat was so tender and when eaten with the super-spicy chili sauce from Payung…

Payung chili sauce
*Archive photo – current stock in bottles of a different shape & size*

(I gave them a bit along with the soup), that sure brought it to a whole new level.

I was such a great cook, he said but honestly, it does not need a great cook to cook that soup. If you click the link to look at how I did it, you would agree that any kid would be able to do it.

The next day, we had a little bit left in the house so I decided to do something different with it for a change. I got these ingredients…

Ingredients

– a shallot, peeled, three cloves of garlic, crushed, some slices of ginger, a few thin stalks of serai (lemon grass) bruised at the ends, some daun kesum and tapioca leaves, crumpled.

I lined the bowl with young daun kunyit (tumeric leaves), mixed everything together in the bowl…

Ready for steaming

…and put it in the steamer to steam till it was good and ready…

Wild boar soup with added ingredients 1

There was just enough for one meal, that one bowl…

Wild boar soup with added ingredients 2

…and yes, we enjoyed it very much. For one thing, the fragrance and taste of all the ingredients drowned out that of the wild boar meat but since it was also good cooked this way, I will keep the option open – sometimes, we may cook it like this again for a change.

Author: suituapui

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

9 thoughts on “There’s always a first time…”

  1. Here I have only seen wild boar meat cooked in curry. Did you put a bit of msg this time since you have stopped using msg for your home cooked meals? I wonder why the juices from the meat are dark – is it from the blood because if we cook chicken this way the soup will not be dark unless we add soy sauce.

    Yes, a bit…and a bit of salt too…in case my cousin and his family found it bland but I told him to taste and add more of their own if they felt like it, didn’t hear him saying that he did though. Whenever I gave my mum any…or anything for that matter, they would add more of their own. They were used to things a lot saltier. It’s like beef soup, a darker shade, not so clear as pork or chicken and yes, I do think it’s the blood or whatever – it will be less dark once it settles.

    When I was in college in KL in 1986, some friends cooked the meat in curry and smuggled it in for their friends. I did get to try but it could have been any meat – I could not tell what it was as whatever taste or fragrance it had was all drowned out by the curry. I hear the meat over at your side is not as nice – it’s the diet. Here too, best during the engkabang (illepenut) or fruit season…and the older, the better.

  2. I have never eaten wild boar meat before but I have heard a lot about its weird smell. The hairs on the skin looks scary too.

    Good! Good! Let everybody think it has an unpleasant smell…go around spreading the word some more. Ignorance is bliss! Then not many people will go and buy and eat so the price will not shoot up. Some doctor friends came to our house for dinner – they said it was good meat, organic…ate only fruits…not all those chemical feed that people feed their pigs and poultry these days and all hormone-injected some more.

    Easy! I just slice the skin off, bye bye hair and all and throw it away. Some sellers will burn all the hair away but I will not buy from them as some of the meat gets burnt and the cooking will not be so nice, has that “salai” smell.

    Even regular pork has hair too – the sellers burn them away with a blow torch and I always worry about the gas getting in contact with the meat plus I can imagine all the roots of the hair, still in the skin! And when they do not slaughter it properly, it will have a horrible smell – I bought once when I was in Kanowit. It was so bad I could not eat it but my Bidayuh housemate said there wasn’t any smell so he finished the whole lot all by himself – just like pork overseas at one time.

    At least, wild boar…like beef or lamb, has its own special smell. A lot of people don’t like lamb either, very smelly, they said. My missus is not crazy about it but my girl loves lamb!

  3. I always tasted the wild boar meat with lots of gingers, lemongrass. Never try other way of cooking. I still have a chunk in my freezer, haven’t get down to chopping and cooking it. Lazy me. And weather too hot to eat wild boar. Lol.

    I don’t know of wild boar being heaty but I’ve heard of deer meat/venison as my cousin complained of waking up the next morning with her eyes glued together, so much bak chiew sai. I hear goat’s meat is heaty too – they say good for people with asthma…so I guess lamb is as well. I’ve some wild boar left, cooking it with all those ingredients in the slow cooker today – that day I did it with the leftover soup, see how it turns out, nice or not.

  4. i like wild boar too – i’ve never found it to be terribly gamy, but i guess the cooks who prepared it knew how to make it taste good 🙂

    Indeed! Just like the smell of lamb! A lot of people do not like it either but it can be so very nice when people can do it well. Personally, I prefer lamb to beef…while pork and chicken can be so unexciting at times, cooked in those same old ways. Boring!

  5. Hadn’t had wild boar soup in ages, so yummy if you pour the hot soup over some saguk to make “teramau”

    Can’t buy in Sibu kah? Next time I see in Selangau, I buy for you…but last time, not nice, got smell – now I see one lady, bought twice from her already, both times very nice. I, tak guna punya keturunan Melanau – I don’t like saguk…so I do not eat samui too – my mum loved it so much, durian with saguk with lard.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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