Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Minyak Engkabang

Shorea macrophylla (de Vr) Ashton is locally known as engkabang in Sarawak.  It is also known as Light Red Meranti.

In Sarawak, engkabang is not known for its timber, but rater its oil, fondly called minyak engkabang among locals.  

Engkabang tree fruit once or twice a year,  often in coincidence with durian season.  The seeds are instantly recognised for its 4-wings, which make the seeds drop like a helicopter from the canopy atop.  The nut is collected, dried and processed for edible oil.

The fruit is first peeled to exposed the seed.  After the seeds are dried, they are pounded before extracting the oil.  The oil is collected in bamboo canisters.  Engkabang oil will solidified similar to butter, yet more hardy. 

The oil is used mainly for cooking or for massage.  It is also widely practiced where crushed solidified engkabang butter is mixed with hot rice, the hot rice melts the engkabang butter, which release a fragrant smell, making the plain rice irristably delicious.

Engkabang butter in bamboo canister of about 10cm height cost about RM5…


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