Make it last forever…

This is kasam babi hutan

Kasam babi hutan

– salted and preserved wild boar meat.

It is protected here though I really wonder why as the animal is very productive, not endangered in any way, plus it is very destructive. However, there is a provision in the law that allows the ethnic tribes to hunt it for food and with the lack of electricity and refrigeration in the interior, they would salt the extra meat to make it last like…forever and eat it slowly. They are also allowed to sell the meat to supplement their income and some will also sell the kasam too.

When I was teaching in Kanowit in the late 70’s, I rented a little room on top of one of the shophouses and my neighbours were all Ibans and they ate it ever so often. Everytime they opened the tin with the preserved meat inside, I felt like throwing up – the stench was terrible! Ah well!!! Salted fish is so nice but we all know that the smell is just as bad. It was only until quite recently when I tried it at the ethnic food stall here in town that I thought it was very nice and I really liked it.

Now that my girl is no longer teaching in the school in the jungle, I no longer have the opportunity to stop by the market at the bazaar along the way to buy the meat. I’ve loved the fresh meat since young but not the kasam. I bought one kilo of this kasam way back in May or June and I did cook half of it, steamed with tuak (the traditional Dayak rice wine) but it did not taste great, overpowered by all the herbs and leaves and everything that I added to the dish.

Well, I tried cooking it again the other day, the remaining half and this time around, I toned down on the ingredients used and these…

Ingredients

…were all I used – a few slices of ginger, a few cloves of garlic, one shallot, two stalks of serai (lemon grass) and one chili, thinly sliced.

Instead of steaming, I cooked it the way I would cook the soup with the fresh meat. I put it in the slow cooker and left it till all the juices had come out and had started simmering. Then I added the ingredients and let it go on simmering.

After sometime I took it out…

Kasam babi hutan, cooked

…and garnished it with daun kunyit (turmeric leaves) cut into thin strips and yes it was very much nicer, just very salty.

I did read somewhere that one would need to soak it and rinse it a lot to get rid of the salt and the salty taste – perhaps I did not do that enough. I put it back into the slow cooker and added boiling water, not too much as this was not meant to be a soup…and it was quite all right and a bit nicer after that.

Feeling not quite satisfied with it, I went to an empty plot of land round the corner from my house and plucked a few tapioca leaves from the plants growing wild there, pounded them and added them to the dish…

Kasam babi hutan & daun bandong

…No, it did not help reduce the saltiness, unfortunately so we just mixed the sauce with our rice and ate and yes, it wasn’t too bad. Thank goodness I did not cook it as a soup!

RUAI AKU CAFE is located below Eden Inn (2.285223, 111.831256) along Jalan Maju to the right of Hai Bing Seafood Restaurant, right across the road from the Rejang Esplanade.

Author: suituapui

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

5 thoughts on “Make it last forever…”

  1. I like to eat wild boar meat in soy sauce. You just reminded me that i had not eaten wild boar meat for a long time.

    Not easy to get here these days. I guess I will not be eating that for a long time now too…since my girl is no longer teaching in the school in the jungle.

  2. Since it is too salty, just eat a bit each time with rice, should taste great. Dish looks very good though.

    I would say it was nice but nowhere near the fresh meat cooked in soup, our traditional family way, far from it!

  3. I have never eaten wild boar meat and I guess I will never do. I have heard people saying that it has a weird smell. Is that true? Anyway, that bowl of wild boar meat you cooked looks good though.

    Not available in Kuching or not that easily available…like dabai in the past.
    The quality and taste of the meat may vary between regions – it is affected by what it eats, it seems…like I hear the ones in West Malaysia are good only for curry and it is best during the fruit and engkabang season.

    I would not call it a smell, but rather, its fragrance and taste…like duck has its own and beef and lamb too, very nice…unlike the smell that regular pork may have sometimes. That puts me off!

    Wild boar is best old – the young ones do not have that – could just be any other kind of meat, no difference.

  4. Looks interesting! Have you tried sauteing it with sambal? I’ve seen some recipes featuring mutton and other wild meats — such as sup kambing — that call for boiling in spices to remove the game-y smell.

    The main attraction is its smell – the very nice fragrance and taste of the meat, the good ones. People here fry with lots of ginger and lemon grass and soy sauce and chili to drown it out…and in the end, it could just be any kind of meat, no taste, just all the ingredients used in the cooking.

    One reason why I am not that fond of this salted version is that it seems to have lost that special fragrance and taste, not so nice anymore.

  5. ooo, i assume there are no restrictions against wild boar hunting in the peninsula, since you’re right, wild boar curry can be seen on the menu of many restaurants. even stalls that serve nasi lemak with wild boar curry, etc …

    WHAT??? Are you sure? Isn’t it…a pig?

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.

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