Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dabai oh Dabai

When I first read about Dabai on STP's blog, I was like - DABAI?!! What was it? Sounds like CB (a rude word that you shouldn't know if you can't figure it out) to me. Lol.... ok forget about making fun of this fruit and let's get down to business. I was commenting on his blog telling him that I have not encountered or have I heard anything about babai oops I mean Dabai before and I would like to try it one day.

The very day that I happened to have the chance of trying was last week, just a few days after the comment because Philip was in town and he brought me some Dabai. Ok, it wasn't some, it was like a few kilos! So sweet of him. He even bought me some herbs and together with a CD containing photographs of the Dabai. Philip was in town to do a photo shoot on the graduation ceremony at Segi College in Kota Damansara. I met up with him at Nikko Hotel since I was at Petaling Street and he had an appointment there.

A quick google got me some information on Dabai or its scientific name is known as Artocarpus Heteropyllus. Dabai is its local name. I can't be telling you that I have just eaten Artocarpus Heteropyllus and you might start thinking I might be some freak whom has just fed on some carcass. "DABAI is a native fruit of Sarawak harvested by local natives and sold it in the native market. It can only be found in SIBU. The external colour of DABAI is black while the fresh of the fruit is yellow in colour. The seed in the centre is a 3 angled diamond in shape. You can only eat the kernel if you can crack open the seed".

The pictures below are a courtesy from Philip.

Do you know that the trees can take up to 7-10 years to grow from the seedlings and they have an economic life of 25-40 years. Do you also know that the male plants are thrown away? They only keep the female ones! Hmm... I wonder how they can tell. No wonder I said the Dabai sounds like CB because only females will be kept.

They are also known as Sibu Olives.

Good ones can cost up to RM20/kg.

To eat the Dabai, you must first wash the Dabai and then put them into a bowl. Then pour luke warm water into the bowl and soak the Dabai for 15-20mins. Never use hot boiling water as told by STP. To know whether it is done, you can try seperating the flesh from the seed. If the flesh is soft, it is ready to be eaten. It can go with soya sauce or sugar. I know that sounded weird but it did taste better compared eating it just like that). The seeds can be cracked open and the white kernels inside can be eaten. I was too lazy to do it so I didn't taste the kernels. This blog here has completely "dissected" the fruit for your viewing.

All I can say that it is an acquired taste. not everybody is going to love this exotic fruit from Sibu because it has a very bitterish and sharp acidity taste. The fruit is just like having your foie gras or blue cheese. Some may find it too out of the world and some may love it. As for me, I still love my foie gras and blue cheese anytime but Dabai... not too soon. No harm to try anyways. What's life without new adventures?

P/S: Thanks to Philip again for your kindness. Hope to have tea with you next time!


Huai Bin said...

I love the stuff. It's called "ka lang" (direct phonetic translation of the Mandarin term too. It's kinda like olives and tastes great with soy sauce and sugar. It's available only once a year (I think) at the same season as durian season. It's good with certain dishes. :)

Definitely an acquired taste though. I hated it when I was a kid (was born in Sibu but lived in Kuching until I was about 7 years old) but love it to bits now.

suituapui said...

Not as bad as blue cheese...Have tried many times but yet to acquire the taste. LOL!!! Maybe it was called Da (Big) C-bai and thru the years, it has shrunk to just dabai? Hahahahahahaha!!!!

* ZILING * said...

U memang hak yan zhang!!! When I asked u what's that U told me OLIVE!!! Then I dont want to eat somemore!!!! Hate u forever!!


-eiling- said...

Huai Bin: Well...it's still not my thing. Yet to acquire a taste for it!

STP: Haha you like Dabai and hate blue cheese. I think blue cheese tasted better!

Ziling: I told you Sibu olive la. It is memang called olive what! Ish...

LD said...

haha, another dabai convert!

truth be told, although i'm a sarawakian, i have absolutely no love for it!

it's definitely an acquired taste...

foongpc said...

Interesting fruit. But must soak in warm water first? Too much hassle for a person like me. I want instant gratification. haha, just kidding. If it's durians, I don't mind all the hassle! Not some fruit with an unholy sounding name. LOL

-eiling- said...

LD: Yeah. The taste is too exotic for me to comprehend.

Foongpc: haha I can't imagine having to soak durians first before eating. I wonder how many buckets you'll need to have to eat 5 durians! Lol

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