Excited to share a wonderful wild jungle vegetable. It’s a fern and locally known as ’midin, milin or bilin‘. This special wild jungle fern stir fry is one of the only 2 dishes that I cooked during my recent holiday back to Malaysia. The other dish was Bitter Gourd And Egg Stir Fry. These are just a couple of my favourite local vegetables. Midin stir fry is one dish that everyone who visits Sarawak must try. It has a crispy texture and tastes very good.
Midin is very popular in Sarawak. It is a common dish in restaurants. It’s a creepy plant and grows wild in the forest. It’s regarded as a delicious and nutritious wild vegetable. Apparently this particular fern only grows on the island of Borneo. I’m interested to know where else they grow. The natives would pluck the top section of the fern and sell them at the local jungle produce market. I heard that these days people plant them for sale.
There are various ways to cook midin. It’s usually cooked with belachan, anchovies (ikan bilis), garlic or wine. I love all of them. But here I fried it with garlic and the red rice wine that my mother-in-law made. It tastes superb! The recipe is very simple. You don’t need elaborate ingredients or seasonings for a tasty vegetable like midin. Sometimes simplicity is still the best.
red rice wine
Pluck the tender tips of the fern. Wash it very well and drain.
Heat up some oil in the frying pan. Add some chopped garlic. Fry until it’s golden and fragrant then add the midin. Keep frying using high heat. It doesn’t take long to cook, maybe a couple of minutes.
Add some salt to taste and pour in some red rice wine. Stir and dish up. Serve hot with rice.
This special red rice wine that my mother-in-law made is of very high quality. It has a beautiful, delicate smell and taste. When added to chicken soup, especially with ‘mee suah’ (Chinese longevity noodles), it just blows me away and sends me craving for more. I don’t think there’s any substitute for it.
Have you seen this fern in your place or somewhere else apart from Borneo? Please share, add and comment in the comment box below.
For more interesting story about longhouse, you can visit Uncle Lee’s blog on The Hospitality Of A Longhouse Chief.
Quote of the day……
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”