Going Engkabang


Last Friday, during Moulidur Rasul, mom called up and asked if I was to join her at my Grandpa’s garden to collect Engkabang.  Errr, she did text me before that, but I was still fast asleep, and when she called up and said “Are you still sleeping?”, and my reply would be “yes”, she immediately said “Then it’s time for you to wake up then”.. which I eventually did after noticing it was sunny outside.

Mum told me that my aunt will be expecting me at the village, so I had to hurry since my aunt has already left, and I didn’t want to hold everybody up.  Bathed, and rushed to a nearby cake stall to buy some cakes to eat on the way home, and also went to Tasty Corner to buy 2 can drinks.

On the way, I ate the curry puffs I bought, and drove as fast as I could home.  The SAGA BLM has amazing pick up, and they move fantastic at the speed of 90km/h.  By the time I reached home, my aunt and mum was no where to be found, but my granny was there.  She asked me all sorts of questions, like did I have a tambok(photo above), did I bring food, water, and how on earth am I going to the jungle in shorts, short sleeves and only using my Adidas tracking shoes (well, she didn’t know it was tracking shoes)… When I met with my mum and aunt, I had the same conversation again and was eventually forced to bring a long sleeve and a golf cap =P  Somehow, after years not going to my grandpa’s garden, my family has forgot that I actually knew what to expect when going to such a place, and I have a good nudge that they feel that I’m already ‘a town’ person.

Can’t blame them also because I don’t like farming..teeeheee…

Anyway, the main reason for this trip to the garden was for this fruit called Engkabang (pic above).

I learned that this fruit catches quite a hefty price in the market, and the fruit, once processed will produce oil.  Don’t ask me about details, because I don’t know much about it.  In fact, Googling the word came back with little information.

This is only my second time collecting Engkabang (due to the fact the fruit only bears once in four years), but this time it was serious work.  I actually had a serious back pain at the end of the whole process.  The 1st time I collected Engkabang, my cousins were heavily involved, and we were all around 10 years old (if I’m not mistaken).  That was a fun time.  Reflecting back, I can’t believe how we cousins sat on a tree trunk which crossed the Tubah River which then had strong current, in the name of ‘collecting Engkabang’.

Yea, of course we were more fond of playing in the water than actually doing work… and I can’t imaging how worried our parents were during that time.  One of my cousins lost her boots due to the strong current… *smile  Again, I can’t imaging how worried our parents were, and at night, we still had time to run up and down my grandpa’s house continuously, ensuring everybody in the house that we were alive and kicking 😛

But, the other day was different.  Everyone was working, and there was little fun.  By 2pm, I can say I’ve surrendered. Was really tired, and my back was killing me.  My grandpa whom came later managed to get more Engkabang than I did, and he was working on an injured foot.  Gosh, I admire him!

Anyway, if there is anything I’ve learned from this trip to the garden, it would be ‘NOT TO WEAR PERFUME‘ to the garden (Already used to spray up before heading anywhere) because… everywhere I went, these insects we call ‘HONEY BEES‘ followed me around.

They didn’t sting, but landed on my body, looking for something I believe is honey.  Well, I can’t blame anyone for thinking I am sweet.. teeeheeee… (I know, masuk bakul, angkat sendiri..LOL!!)


  1. Hahah,

    Collecting Engkabang is no joke bro. I get to know this fruit during my visit to an Iban longhouse in Entanggor. They said, engkabang is best eaten raw. Some of them cooked engkabang before eating them, but I did try eating them raw. And it is true that engkabang is best eaten raw. Have you tried it?

    I never knew it cuold be eaten!! We just collect and sell it off… This is something new. Must ask granny to explain..

  2. Hahahaha, your perfume smells like honey is it? LOL!Btw, I’m really a town person who doesn’t know what Engkabang is… Nice post Cyril! 🙂

    If according to the packaging, its suppose to smell of citrus.. hahaha… Maybe bees like citrus :p and Connie, not many ppl know about Engkabang as it only bears fruit once in 4 years.

  3. take minyak engkabang and eat with warm hot rice…its taste superb, just like butter on bread.

    Will give it a try when I get back to the kpg 🙂 Thanks for dropping by 😀

  4. Haha cyril, reminds me of my childhood too. I think this is one of the memorable childhood experience of growing up in kampung. i think i helped sold off a few tamboks of sun-dried engkabang (we called it bekawang in Biatah). and if u noticed on the ground around the engkabang trees, there r some plastic-looking material oil-excess which can be burnt to light up fires.

    Willie: boleh makan mentah meh? i think i wanna ask my nenek too boleh ka sik. hahah.

    So it has different names in different places. No wonder its not popular 🙂 Hahah… I also want Willie to answer the question. Didn’t know it could be eaten at all!

  5. uik.. boleh makan paduhal.

    At this point, I think ppl whom have roots from Bau do not know that Engkabang can be eaten.. hahahah.. Ur the 3rd or 4the person whom question whether the fruit can be eaten. I’m the first.

  6. I wanna knw more about this Engkabang …hehehe curios nie..
    i wonder if in KK ada nie…

    I don’t know if KK has engkabang.. and I’d really like to share more about engkabang. Problem is, I know little too. 🙁

  7. eaten this engkabang oil long2 time ago…masa masih primary school, nowdays don’t know where to fine and who can produce it. had experience collecting engkabang or bidayuh called it ‘kabang’ di satu area dipanggil ‘Tonyuk Potod’, the kabang trees belong to my grandfather so u can imagine besar ne saiz pokoknya. by the way…i’m from bau too…..

    Ahhhh.. ur the first from Bau to tell me that Engkabang can be eaten 🙂 nad hey, my grandparents also call it Kabang..heheh…Adin, doi bogok nyia miak nguluk kabang, noh la jolak miak kalik iyoh adin.

  8. My dad..salah sorang yg masih berminat kumpul buah kabang tok, maybe nya agik terkenang zaman dulu2 kot; nang byk keja, mok dijemur la..mok di-smoke la..apa2 jak…

    Hahaha.. byk kerja ba.. I think thats why not many want to collect it now.

  9. So I was mentioned *lol* yes I lost my pretty little boot boot, though in reality it was actually a humble leather plain boot. I still remember people laughing when it happened 😛

    man, I was always the weakest one >.<

    LOL!! I can still laught myself remembering you screaming “My boots!! My boots!!”.. haha

  10. Cyril, i read ur blog yesterday, was looking for info on engkabang, and guess what? i had breakfast this morning and i thought i saw a guy with his two friends at the coffeeshop and he looked like you…or was that you? what a co-in!
    anyhoo, engkabang is a type of fruit and it produces oil. this oil is gathered and hardened in a room temperature [it will look like a bar of popinjay soap – yes i, talking bout the green colour].
    the engkabang ‘soap’ is ready. it is used to add some flavour to your freshly cooked rice. just dab the ‘soap’ on your bowl of hot rice and voila! the taste was indescribable [my experience when i was a kid] u may ditch the China Bridge/Camel soy sauce when your have engkabang ‘soap’ in your fridge.

    sidik tubik muk i tell you…

  11. Ms LC:
    Interesting. I was in fact at a coffee shop with two other colleagues this morning having our breakfast.

    Now, I have a big question mark in my head wondering whether u actually did see me or not coz I can’t put a face to your pseudonym.

  12. ok. u had chicken rice as your brunch this morning? what a hefty meal to start your day off, sir 😉 anyhoo, nice meeting you and it was just a total co-in. bingo!
    having said that, i thought i was mistaken for someone else or dejavu or sumtin, but i got back to my computer and clicked to my browsing history..yup..no doubt bout it anymore. so how was the chicken rice?

  13. Ms LC:
    Okay.. now that’s too fitting to be a coincidence. Now, where were u seated? LOL… I have a BIG QUESTION MARK in my head now. Yea, its a hefty brunch… Was not planning to eat till dinner ba 🙂

  14. seriously im not a bloggers’ stalker. LOL! yup, of course you didn’t notice me seating few inches away from you since we do not know each other remember? and on top of that, i believed u had your eyes fixed on the chicken rice. LOL! who hadn’t noticed that?
    anyhoo, its good to see that Swak bloggers are gettin into real interest in exploring on what’s happening around Kuching (to be exact) and hope to read more on your blog.
    btw, any plans to cover the gawia sowa @kupuak Stass? better get your gadgets ready & on tip-top condition.
    till then…

  15. Ms LC:
    Was very hungry ba.. LOL. So concentrate on the food instead of the surroundings 😛 Well, Sarawak Bloggers are having things coming up, but I’d rather take things one at the time. Sadly, sowa ti, oku doi pari kupuo. Decided to skip Gawai this year, and head on to KL 🙂 Doi hal la.. kupuo oku Gawia 12 onu bulan 😛 Dapod cover and promot sit. Anyway, still unsure about who u are, but I bet u must be the bucnh of girls seated behind me in baju kurung coz I dont recall any other girls which looked like a proper ‘miss’ in the shop.

  16. Sir, where’s your kupuak? Muk from Serian but you sound like Bijagoi. Oku memang looking forward to gawia because of the traditional delicacies [pogang – though i can buy from the makcik by the roadside jual pogang time weekend, kasuom ikien, p**k and etc – talking bout mouth watering food] asal time gawia memang best parik kupuak sbb bala madih lagi bogok. Hmm..since kupuak muk gawia on the 12th, make sure your cover one and make us proud 😀
    Btw, of course muk idoh perasan since your back was facing our table and excuse me, what kind of proper ‘miss’ are you referring to? (*clearing throat*) Having said that, I wasn’t wearing b.kurung.

  17. Ms LC:
    Im half half la.. Oku Bi-Opar ;P Oku rasa ku on parik la Gawia is the time to eat everything.. Pork in particular 😀
    Proper ‘miss’ .. as in old enough to be called a miss. I dont recall seeing any other people in the shop. Maybe my colleague would notice you. He notices girls better than I do. I go for the food 😛


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