"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." ~ Jawaharal Nehru

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rejang Epicurean Epic Part III

Went to visit one of my rural health clinics in Nanga Tekalit. Was in for a treat! After consultation, the staff prepared a fine lunch for me and the other visiting staff from KK Song. What was special about this meal was that all food laid out on the table was either self grown or sourced from the nearby jungle or river. 

Couldn't help but reflect...

As West Malaysians, we take many aspects of our life for granted. For example, when we're hungry, we just head out to the nearest hawker centre or mamak for some chow. We're spoiled for choice. Chinese, Malay, Indian, Japanese, Italian, etc... Whatever we want, we've got it. If we feel like cooking, we head over to the nearby kedai runcit or Cold Storage to get our fresh ingredients.
Here up river, don't even dream of finding a restaurant or stall. Can't even find a kedai runcit to buy provisions! The nearest is in Song, a 40 minute boat ride away!

Kalau mau makai ikan... tangkap sendiri!
Kalau mau makai ayam... jaga dan sembelih sendiri!
Kalau mau makai sayur... tanam sendiri!
Kalau mau makai midin... pi cari sendiri! 

I salute the people who work here, be they teachers, MAs, nurses, etc... Being a government servant, they could have easily asked for a transfer once their "tour of duty" is up but yet they choose to stay on to serve the people here, sans electricity & all the trappings of modern life. Makes me wonder if I'm really made out for this!

Back to the feast...

A real treat!

Prepared by the staff of KK Nanga Tekalit in the Dapur Sihat

River prawns caught by MA Anthony
Cooked in a broth of garlic and ebiko (prawn eggs)
Don't ask me how Anthony only managed to catch pregger prawns
or for that matter differentiate male and female prawns!

Deep fried river fish
Crispy till the bone!

Mawang fruit salad
Only found here in Sarawak.
Fruit looks like a humongous ciku and the insides looks like mango

Tapioca leaves 'lecek'ed
Sauteed with garlic and ikan pusuk

And cause one of the nurses here was Melanau, we also had some sago to eat with our rice. These little balls are addictive, so she gave me a whole tupperware full as a snack.

I've also been told that a certain tree grows only along the Katibas region.

Ijok palm

The ijok palm produces a sap that is alcoholic. Apparently, it is quite sweet & nice. I can only imagine that it tastes something like toddy. At the moment, it isn't the season so I didn't get to taste any. Rest assured, Anthony promised me some the next time I visit (notice the ladder propped up next to the palm?)

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