Never heard of it…

I am sure many have never seen nor heard of it before but it is very popular in our local ethnic (Iban) cuisine – the upa pantu. It is actually the core of the nipah palm trunk – if you are interested in having a glimpse of the plant, there is a photograph of it here in this blog.

It so happened that my girl’s colleague had some…

Upa pantu trunks

…for sale and she bought one home, something that looked like the trunk of the banana tree. I am quite sure I saw it before but I cannot remember where – probably at the jungle produce market here or in Selangau or elsewhere. It was quite a chore peeling it layer by layer to get to the core – I believe that is called the upa and in the end, after all that work, you will find that there isn’t really a lot of it.

My missus cooked it with pork belly, pansoh style, the traditional ethnic way of cooking meat or seafood in bamboo over a hot charcoal fire. She took my giant kunyit (turmeric) leaves and wrapped the upa pantu and the meat with some stalks of serai (lemon grass), daum kesum (Vietnamese coriander), Thai basil leaves and even a kunyit flower (they have been blooming like nobody’s business) and dunno what else, all from my garden…

Ready to cook

…in them, sealed the “parcel” inside some aluminum foil and put that in the oven to cook.

Oh boy! That was absolutely out of this world, so very very nice…

Pansoh-style pork belly with upa pantu

I told my girl that if ever her colleague has anymore, we sure would not mind another round of this. I bet it would taste really good too, masak lemak style.

In the meantime, my missus also cooked this green curry chicken…

Green curry chicken

I asked her to add potatoes and eggs like the Indonesian opor ayam (something like the Malay masak korma) that I enjoy a lot.

That sure was a lot for the three of us that day so we invited my sister to come over to our house and have lunch with us. We enjoyed the meal to the max, no doubt about it, anytime nicer than eating out at most places, in fact!

Author: suituapui

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

6 thoughts on “Never heard of it…”

  1. I have never seen it too. Totally new to me. Shame to call myself a local Sarawakian…. 😃😃😃. In fact alot of these jungle produce I am not aware. Green curry chicken for me pls. Has been a long time I didn’t cook green curry chicken.

    Well, at least you know lakia kio. Rose has that in her blog and I am amazed to see the comments from those in the peninsula!

  2. So out of this world? Then it must be pretty damn good.

    You are right. I have never heard of it: upa pantu! Really out of this world for me. 🙂

    I’m sure you have nipah swamps there, just that nobody goes to harvest to cook and eat.

  3. Wow… your wife is really a good cook! So blessed you certainly are! I am salivating here!

    Indeed, truly blessed. Give thanks and praise always.

  4. We have a similar dish but dont know the name, same thing it is wrapped in that banana trunk. I also seen some dishes that uses it, they are edible too

    There are so many things that are edible, just that people do not know of it or do not bother.

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