The part of what I loathe the most when living in a foreign country is when you crave more of your home country’s foods.
I finally uploaded my vlog #20 here. When I see there are still backlog videos that I need to edit for the sake of ‘purging’ them out of my cellphone storage, I realized most of them are all foods. It already sucks that I’m living away from Brunei it even sucks that some of the main ingredients or products I couldn’t even get from any Asian shop here.
For example, if I wanted to make Kuih Kosui, this sweet jiggly pandan taste-like cakes coated with shredded coconut they need to have lime water to make it perfect.
Can I tweak or substitute it?
The answer is yes and no. Yes, if you expect the imperfect taste of it. However, if you are like me, who doesn’t know how to tweak or couldn’t find any substitute for the ingredients or even worst a bad cook, then you’ll know the answer to this is no.
I miss eating…
There are so many I miss about Brunei foods. But I mainly miss eating the traditional wet dessert cakes like Kosui or Malaysian called it Kaswi, Pinyaram, Ardam, Wajid, and Kelupis. Whilst Brunei traditional cuisine that I miss as well are Belutak and Aminah Arif Restaurant’s main dish, Daging Urat Tumis.
The appearance of traditional kuih-muih you can watch in my latest vlog below.
My attempt & What Is Missing
Glad I still keep this picture with me. Compare to the first picture here and my experiment, straight from the bat you already know something is missing. My Pinyaram tasted tough, but the perfect Pinyaram usually tastes soft and has this crunchy edge frills that roll up after frying and the middle usually raises like a UFO spaceship shape and does not turn up like Dorayaki.
What did I do wrong here? Simply say the substitute ingredient that I thought I could tweak made it a failed attempt. Instead of using gula Anau I used brown sugar. Bear in mind that gula Anau is nowhere to be found here. In order to get it, you have to wait for my husband’s generous colleague who wants to help us to bring it here– that if they want to help. Asking my family to post it via normal mail post is not an option here because it’s not dry food. Even if I ask them to crystallize the sugar so that it’ll turn up like refined sugar I’m not so sure the quality will be good.
Same as Ardam although it almost looks the same as the perfect one (pardon me there’s no picture of my failed attempt) the texture was very unlikely the same. Mine was hard and not soft and gritty at all.
Selurut, Wajid & Kelupis
I think I can make the filling of these two wet foods. However, I couldn’t find the leaves that wrapped these foods here, because Selurut uses Nypa Palm leaves, which come from a tropical palm tree that is usually found near the mangrove swamp river, and for Kelupis, you gonna need Daun Nyirik (peel leaves).
The only leaves that I saw last time in the Asian shop were just frozen pre-cut banana leaves packed in clear plastic. So without the leaves, it won’t be as fragrance and authentic as the original recipe.
For Wajid, since I used to help my mother make it during Eid Ul Fitr’s eve I can accept that I can eat it without the need to wrap the Wajid with Daun Nyirik. I remember my mother giving me a spoonful of serving size and placing it on the plate for me to taste. To me, the taste was already good so I don’t think I need the leaves to complete the taste.
My 6-year old’s brain used to think this snakelike food was fine as long as this ‘snake’ tastes as beefy and sweet, just like real beef meat 😄 but actually, Belutak is made up of salted minced meat stuffed into casings of cow’s or buffalo’s small intestines.
In Brunei, they sell it in a clear packet in the supermarket or personal vendor and the price ranges from BND6 to BND10 depending on the weight of the product. I love to buy it from Perindustrian Beribi which cost the cheapest and stir-fried it with onion and a pinch of salt. I can make 4 portions from just one whole roll. But don’t expect me to share it with you because it’s so so so delicious, although the look isn’t that appealing.
Daging Urat Tumis Aminah Arif
It’s trimming of the beef cooked with soy sauce and turmeric and other ingredients that no one can copy no matter how many recipes you can find out there that claimed it’s Aminah Arif’s real recipe. It’s already their signature dish along with their main dish, Ambuyat that is solely served here. One dish cost BND4 and it’s for two persons serving. If you order in a set with Ambuyat I think it’ll cost you much cheaper. A whole set of Ambuyat full package (if I can remember) comprises of Ambuyat, Daging Urat Tumis, choice of cooked veggies, Ulam-ulaman, the Ambuyat dipping sauce, Belutak, and cooked fish. You can watch my vlog below for a better view of it.
So have you ever tried any Bruneian delicacies?