Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Umbuk Pisang Masak Sup - Experimental Cooking

I remember eating the pith ( umbut in Malay language ) of banana trunk. Yet, I dun remember when. I remembered people talking about dishes of umbut pisang. Or it is I remembered wrongly. Mind does play tricks, you know..


There are several plants of which their piths and young shoots are edible. Among them are bamboo, and coconut, oil palm, banana…..

Enough of talking. It’s time to make things happen.

The banana tree ( technically it’s not a tree, it’s a giant herbaceous plant ) is peeled tilk the core, the pith, that is. The banana tree must never bore fruit. As once banana fruits, it's pith will be hardier. Lagipun, banana won't fruit twice ( Ta’kan pisang berbuah dua kali, the Malay says ), after fruiting, the tree will be chopped down. It’s not productive anymore, put to death lah.

Make sure peel till the 2nd layer, where the pith is tender, easily snapped. The innermost layer is the best part ! Slice the pith evenly, about 0.5cm thick. There is some sort-of-latex forming once the pith is cut. Never mind that. Won’t die eat that.

Sauté some garlic, anchovies, chilies. Then pour in a bowl of water, bring to boil. Add in the pith slices. Lastly, little salt to taste.

It’s done ! It tastes good. I’m not dead yet, that’s for sure.

The local Malays cooked it with curry or asam. They say that the latex substance will dilute in acidic media. Well, try it out la !


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