Friday, November 13, 2009


Dabai, Canarium odontophyllum, is a member of family Burseraceae is a seasonal fruit found in Sarawak markets, especially toward the end of the year. The outer skin is dark purplish, with yellowish mesocarp. It has hard triangular big seed with edible cotyledon. Dabai also know as 橄榄 ( ca' na , literally olive) among the Chinese community, due to its similarity in shape of olive fruits.

The fruit is pre-soaked for 5 - 10 minutes in warm water prior to consumption. It’s soft, creamy with slight eccentric taste of its own. Locals often have it slightly marinated with sugar and soy sauce. Alternatively, some prefer to sun-cook it. Sun-cook is an interesting process . . . . The dabai fruits are first mixed with soy sauce and sugar, then it’s left under hot sun until the flesh turn soft.

It is interesting to know that the de-skinned dabai flesh is made into dabai cake ! It tastes just as eccentric as the fresh fruit.

The cotyledon too is edible. But getting to it through its hard seed is not an easy task at all. One must use a huge chopping knife, or a nut cracker to get to it.


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