Ahhh, midin….the quintessential vege to indulge in whenever I’m in Sarawak. And it really is an indulgence because trust me, they’re getting more expensive and harder to find these days. This is because of tourism and the big restaurants are chalking up most of the midin supply. I don’t know if you can really ‘grow’ midin because it’s wild fern but I wonder if people could like…make cuttings out of it and plant it in various parts of the jungle and let itself take care of the rest. I do wonder that if foragers keep picking and not replanting, won’t the supply of midin end soon? That would be a sad day.
Sadly this is one vege you can’t get anywhere else. Currently, it only grows in the jungles/ forests of Sarawak. After picking, you have to consume it on the same day. It would not even last to the next day. I actually have an old post where I speculate the differences between midin and the normal paku you might find. Click on the picture caption.
You will hardly find midin in big, modern supermarkets. Most of the time it’s sold in wet markets or foragers who pick midin will just display their goods by the roadside early in the morning. They pick in the morning and sell it for the day because it wouldn’t last and they can’t keep them anyway. It is hard work and I get that prices are going up because of that but restaurants tend to be wasteful at how they prep it so I’d rather have them at home.
I tried looking for the health benefits of eating midin but could not locate a reliable source. Well, i guess if I have to go with the general, it’s a vegetable…eating vegetable’s always good for you and it’s wild so that means it’s chemical-free from any pesticides or herbicides. There are many ways to cook midin; with bird’s eye chillies, shrimp paste (belachan), dried shrimps, just simple garlic and onions…the important thing is to not lose that natural woodiness of the midin. I know in culinary terms, that’s not always a good thing but midin would not be midin without it.
I did a simple cooking video (below) of how the midin was cooked (my first! – Of course, hubster did the fine tuning). Well, to be more precise, when I said I did….I was the one taking the video and that’s my mother cooking. I also edited the video which was quite a feat for me considering I’m such a noob manipulating softwares and codes. It’s all Greek to me. If you can’t see anything the first time, click the refresh button, sometimes it takes a while to load. Hope you will enjoy it and try this dish when you visit Sarawak.
- 2 big bunches of Midin
- 3 cloves garlic chopped or sliced roughly
- 1 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ang chiu / rice wine / Shaoxing
- 1/2 teaspoon salt / chicken powder
- 1/4 cup cornstarch slurry 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water
- Prep your midin accordingly, break off the end bunches that is a bit tough and woody. Just bend the midin till it breaks at a point naturally. If it doesn't it's fine, that means the midin is in good condition.
- Discard any leaves that looks old and wilted too.
- Heat a wok till it's hot. Add some sunflower oil and sautee the chopped garlic.
- Sautee till it's fragrant, add the prepped midin and stir fry.
- Add some oyster sauce and rice wine. Stir fry for 1-2 mins.
- Season with salt.
- Pour in the cornstarch slurry last. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Dish and serve. Eat immediately!!
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