Fancy a dish of paku miding or miding fern? I tell you, it is absolutely delicious! So far, I have not encountered it in the markets in Kuala Lumpur but it is available in Kuching, Sarawak. If you were to ask me to choose between Belacan Kangkong and Belacan Miding, I will go for the latter anytime. The fern is very crunchy to the bite and tastes wonderful with belacan (shrimp paste).
Miding is quite expensive nowadays. The small bunch above costs RM2.00 per bunch but that is not all. Only the tip of the fern is used in cooking and the rests and discarded due to its tough fibrous feel. On the other hand, the tip is tender yet crunchy to the bite.
Back in the years when I used to stay in Kuching, I’ve seen some women gathering the miding fern from thick bushes along the road side. It is no mean feat as much needs to be gathered. The tip of the fern will wilt during cooking and thus, the volume of the dish will decrease. I suppose many people like this dish because it is probably pesticide free. Nature’s good stuff!
And here is my recipe for Belacan Miding
- About 500 grammes of paku miding (pluck tips only like what is shown above, discard the rest)
- About 20 to 40 grammes of belacan
- 5 cloves garlic
- 5 cloves shallots
- About 30 grammes of dried prawns (pre-soaked for 15 minutes)
- 5 red chillies (remove seed if you prefer it less spicy)
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil (palm oil preferred)
Pound or blend belacan, garlic, shallots, dried prawns and red chillies.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok and saute belacan mix till aromatic (approximately 1 minute). Add another tablespoon of oil if belacan mix too dry or begin to burn.
Add miding to belacan mix and stir-fry briskly. Add water and continue stir frying till water almost dried up (but miding is moist).
Dish up and serve with steamed white rice.
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