Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Have you see this fruit before? I am sure a lot never or maybe you did come across it at native market but you never care to pay a look at it before.

It is actually a fruit that can only be found in Sarawak area. Usually local called it Buah Engkalak (Iban language) while the Melanau called it Buah Tebuluh. It's the fruits from a wild plant.

[Buah Engkalak]

Therefore initially it was a favorite dishes for the native like Iban and Melanau, but these days more people including Chinese families love to eat it. Yes! I am talking about dishes. Actually this fruit is more to vege type rather than fruits like papaya, banana or water melon. Thus, people usually eat it together with their lunch or dinner.

How to eat? Good question! No cooking is needed here. It's very simple.

First of all, take off the stalk on top of the fruits. You just need a gentle pull to remove it. Then, of course wash it with plain water to clean up the fruits.

[Engkalak with stalk removed]

Now you have 2 choices how to manage the fruits.

First, soak them in the warm and salty water until the fruits are soft enough to consume. The fruits itself are soft actually, but without some simple process like soak them in water, they are still not suitable to eat. However, I heard if the fruits are soaked in the water, their taste will be washed away as well. Therefore, it is not as tasty if you process them in this way.

I more recommend the second method. Just take a spoon, smash around the fruits gently with it. This is to make the fruits softer and looser so that they are good to eat. Then, apply some salt on the fruits. Leave the fruits aside for about 15-20 minutes or more. Then, they are ready to be eaten.

[Smash the fruit gently to soften and loosen it]

[A plate of ready-to-eat Engkalak]

The taste? The fruit itself has no strong smell but it tastes mild sweet. With the salt applied to it, it tastes a bit salty with little sweety, just nice as dishes. It's delicious!

There is a perfect match when eating buah Engkalak - the "Sago seeds"! It's not the real seeds from Sago plant but is a snack type of food made by Sago flour. You can get it in native market as well.

[Sago "seeds"]

To eat Engkalak with Sago seeds, first press gently Engkalak from side to push out the big round seed inside the Engkalak fruit, then put some Sago into it. Put it into your mouth and chew it!

[Big round Engkalak seed inside the fruit ]

[Sago "seeds" eat with Engkalak - a perfect match]

++++++ p/s: ++++++

Oh ya... Engkalak is a seasonal fruit, meaning you cannot get it throughout a year. Just certain time in a year you can have chance to taste it and now it's the season! Usually, it's almost the same season with durian.


  1. wen, i have almost forgotten this fruit after staying in KL for 13 yrs now... so sad ah... can't believe I have been staying in this metropolitan for so long already... really miss Sibu/Sarawak...

    thanks for sharing


  2. It looks like baby brinjal in the first picture.

    But from your description, I've started to drool oredi although I've never tasted this fruit before! :P

  3. Bro, its Tebulus not tebuluh, hardly found in KL. At my grandpa orchard a lot. Do u know, if u used the branch of this trees, it can be use to whiten your teeth. You need to make it jadi arang first.


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