Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Buah Dabai

Sarawak Olive is a kind of fruit which can only be found in Sarawak. It is called Buah Dabai in local Iban Dialect.

[Buah Dabai]

Dabai is a seasonal fruit, just like Engkalak. Therefore, you can only taste this fruit in certain period of a year and normally it is around durian season (Ya! same as Engkalak!). Now it is the season of durian thus season of Dabai as well. When you happen to go to native market, you can easily see natives selling this fruit everywhere.

[Dabai selling in native market]

The older generation native hawkers are still using "Kong" (cupak), a hollow cylindrical object, usually tin of can food as a measurement when selling Dabai. Meaning saying "I want to buy 1kg of Dabai" is not really appropriate. The more appropriate way should be "I want to buy 1 Kong of Dabai". Anyway, the newer generation started to use typical scaling method (Kilograms) for measurement .

Each "kong" will price at RM3 or higher depends on quantity of Dabai available on the market and also the quality of the fruit sold. The fruit quality will depend on the thickness of the skin and also creaminess of the fruit. Thinner the skin and more creamy the fruit will make it more tasty.

[Tin is used as measurement to sell Dabai]

Dabai cannot be eaten instantly because it is hard. To eat the fruits, first of all you need to soak them in warm water for about 15 to 20 minutes to soften them. Don't use hot water to speed up the process of soaking! This will spoil the fruits.

[Soak the hard Dabai fruit in warm water to soften it]

If you are worry if the fruits are enough soaked, you can take one and press it with your fingers. If it's soft meaning the fruits are ready to be eaten. So, pour away the soaking water.

The fruit itself not really tasty. Therefore, in order to eat them, you need to add some flavor. There are 2 types of flavor people usually add in:
  1. Salt - just soak the fruits in salty warm water instead of plain warm water as explained just now. The fruits will taste salty and ready to be eaten when they are soften.
  2. Soy source + sugar. This method is recommended and tastier. After the soaked fruits soften, mix with soy source and sugar then eat it.
[Dabai mixed with soy source and sugar]

Dabai has yellowish flesh and it tastes very creamy.

[Creamy yellowish flesh of Dabai]


  1. hahahhaha.... I don't like eat it even I am a siburian, always scold by my mum, she told me that only Sibu got sales of Buah Dabai, how can dont know how to eat, hahahahha...

  2. Not all the Siburian like this fruit. Last time I also not really like it but recently love it more.

    Anyway, the fruit itself is not really tasty, but when you used to its smell and taste.. slowly you will like it.... hehehe...

  3. Wen, you can start a documentary on fruits in Sarawak liao hehe...

  4. hahaaa... sooky.. if I got enough information... I don't mind..

  5. wen, sometime, when we are in sibu, we don't really appreciate this unique fruit. But when we are away, then only we know certain fruit/food cannot be get somewhere else, except Sibu / Swak... example, engkalak, dabai, kolok mee, kam pua mee.. etc. sigh!


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