Thursday, December 11, 2008

Now THAT'S a Recipe!

"One of the most unusual dishes I had was called Telluh Babi – sour preserved pork, aged without cooking or refridgeration in a section of a giant bamboo. It is prepared in the following way. Mix one-half small water glass of salt and one plate (three double handfuls) of fatty wild pig meat cut into 1-inch-by-2-inch-by-3-inch pieces and adjust seasoning with pepper – or chillies, if available. Add one double handful of steamed rice (cooled) and mix with a clean wooden paddle (if you touch the mixture with your hands, it will go rotten). Store in a new bamboo container, tightly sealed, for at least one month, but preferably for six months.
"… Uncooked, the mixture does have an almost overpowering odor of sour fermented rice, but the pieces of coated meat become transformed into something altogether different when laid directly on the coals for five minutes. The fat flames up until one would think the meat was burned to a cinder, but when slightly cooled it is absolutely delicious. Crispy and sweet on the outside from the carmelized, tangy, fermented rice and juicy on the inside – full of complex and unexpected flavors. Each bite brought forth a new taste sensation. What a spectrum of flavors: piquant, sour, fragrant, and sweet! When sliced across the grain, the meat reveals an iridescent shimmer similar to corned beef or pastrami."
--from Stranger in the Forest: On Foot Across Borneo, by Eric Hansen

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