Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Nonsoom Bambangan

Nonsoom Bambangan

After reading Babe in the city 'Merdeka Open House 2007: Muhibbah', it had me thinking hard about doing something special for our nation's 50th.

The season of fruits is here in the Land below the wind, and the bambangan are everywhere....

Bambangan is a type of wild mango with a pungent aroma. It has a very thick and tough skin which is brownish in color. The flesh is fibrous and more tangy sour than sweet even when fully ripened. It is not usually eaten fresh as a fruit but made into a preserve or cooked with fish for that distinctive flavour. The flesh can also be fried with onion and chilli and served as a side-dish or sambal.

This fruit is unique to this part of Borneo and is very popular among the Kadazan Dusun, Sabah's largest indigenous group. The preserved bambangan is synonymous with the Kadazan as kimchi is with the Koreans.

Even though the family loves this, I have never tried making it before because it is so easily available ready-made. Anyway,i checked with all my Kadazan friends and those ladies selling the fruits in the market regarding the preparation.

To preserve, the diced mango flesh is mixed with its grated seed and salt.
It sounded simple enough so I decided that's what I wouid submit for this 'Muhibbah'. Here goes...

Three bambangan from the tamu

The peeling and dicing was easy - piece of cake.
The grating of the seed core...now that's another story

Holding what was left of the fruit after having taken off the flesh, I was at a loss....what was I supposed to grate?? There was this thick fibrous layer which wouldn't yield to any grater at all. Washed my hands and got on the phone....aha! sakai! (thats local slang for..duh....)I had to peel off that hard outer layer!

I poked and I cut and I snipped but to no avail... that layer would not budge! Sweating and swearing, what I thought was an easy peasy task turning into a nightmare!!

Finally, took out the chopper and whacked it right through the middle.

See the thick layer wrapping the white seed that I was suppose to grate?? That was a tough nut to crack.

The snowy white seed grated onto the diced mango flesh.

Preserved Bambangan - a Kadazandusun dish

3 big bambangan fruits, peeled and diced
2-3 bambangan seeds, grated
3-4 tablespoon salt

Mix well, bottle it, let it sit for 2-3 days and there your are ...the famous NONSOOM BAMBANGAN.

The sourish concoction is delicious eaten with rice and fried fish. It makes a very appetising salad. We often add into fish soups for that tangy taste.
The grated seed can also be dried and used to add sourness and fragrance to dishes such as Hinava, a raw fish pickle.

Not sure whether I will ever attempt this again but I am glad I did it once. At least now I'll appreciate the preserve more wherever I buy it knowing how much effort it takes to crack the nut!!.



Precious Pea said...

I have never heard of this exotic fruit before...well, not until now. Wonder if i can get it over here.

The Drool Team said...

Don't think so. Mangga wani has the closest resemblance in its pungent aroma.

babe_kl said...

Whoa, I'm impressed. Thanks for participating and this post is so enlightening and educational, well at least for sua koo like me in peninsular.

Gosh I havent even decide what to cook yet! Look out for the round up on Merdeka Day

Terri @ hungerhunger said...


The Drool Team said...

babe_kl: U r most welcome! It was educational for me too!

terri: Tq. Like a bottle of nonsoom bambangan?

Anonymous said...

I can't comment about the food, but I flinched at the grating of the seed.

I am all thumbs when it comes to prep involving sharp edged objects. I used to regularly grate my nail, my skin and bits of my hand. I believe the word 'hopeless' comes to mind when I am face-to-face with a grater.

But, in all fairness, I excel at eating, so all in all, can be considered forgiven. :p


The Drool Team said...

Chan: 'Kah liau'? Bits of nail and skin for seasoning...fancy a bottle of preserves?

daisyfused said...

frank and wife coming back with me, mi!!!! :) get ready!!!

Terri @ hungerhunger said...

no thanks! i love d smell--so pungent!--but don't like d taste. plus so much fibers hang bet. my teeth after eating it!

Hanie said...

We have this fruit in Sarawak too! Only that we call it buah mbang (emm-bang). My dad would usually grit his teeth when he peels and cuts it because the feel of cutting through the quite fibrous flesh made his nerves stand on end XD

just chanced upon your gem of a site while blog-hopping - I enjoyed every second of reading it!

Anonymous said...

My first love with this fruit started when I visited my Sino-Kadazan friends (from uni) in KK a long time ago. After that I'll try to get a bottle every time I'm in KK, but it's not available in many places. They're only available in the tamu, I guess. In my last few visits to Sandakan, I couldn't get them - my Chinese friends are not aware of this fruit!

You either love it or hate it. My family members hate it, so I had to wrap up the tightly bottled bambangan in the refrigerator each time I have them. I love the flesh, but not the grated seed because it's tasteless to me, and gets stuck to my teeth which is irritating. Hinava...ahhh..I love this better than bambangan. I try to make it myself in KL, but it's difficult to find super-fresh fish here.

Thank you for this post - I never knew how they grated the bambangan seeds prior to reading your entry.