GUEST POST: If you want to learn about the Ambuyat dish of Brunei, then read throughout this post and Ryan Smith of Mr.Abroad will let you know the reasons why the dish is loved by many.
Indeed, every country is proud to represent their delicacies to everyone, particularly to those tourists visiting their place. And Brunei isn’t an exemption to that! Lucky I am that I was able to experience one of their best dishes portraying their national identity too. It is no other than the Ambuyat dish of Brunei.
Though there could be numbers of other delicacies that you can try if you are in Brunei, still you shouldn’t miss this dish. To give you more ideas, here we go!
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WHAT IS AMBUYAT?
As I first heard the name of the dish, I also wondered what Ambuyat is. If you’re non-Brunei residents, then the dish might sound uncommon.
Well, Ambuyat is a dish made from the interior trunk of the sago palm. Do you know what sago is? It is white solids being derived from the trunk of a Rumbia tree. And Ambulung is the local term for sago.
Ambuyat is a national dish of Brunei and it is a local delicacy in the Malaysian States of Sabah, Sarawak and also the federal territory of the Labuan. In some cases, it is known as linut. The dish could be eaten with a bamboo fork referred as chandas by rolling the starch around the prongs, then dipping into the sauce.
In Indonesia, Papeda is the similar dish to Ambuyat. Getting to know the said recipe first will help you enjoy its real taste. Lucky I was to learn more things about the Ambuyat dish recipe of Brunei.
In addition, Ambuyat also depicts some insights on the traditional culture of Brunei. You might observe that it is often served with many side dishes together with a main dish. This main dish is served in a big bowl then separating it to the smaller bowls for every diner. And it is also equipped with numbers of eating utensil candas which are usually placed near the main dish.
Well, this simply suggests that the Brunei culture shows the culture of sharing as well as the art of communicating by means of food. Also, it also depicts that people of Brunei would typically eat in groups or would always gather around to dine by this culinary culture.
In fact, it was hard to see any Bruneians eating alone in public.
PHOTO: By e_chaya (Flickr: Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons / Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom
HOW TO PREPARE THE AMBUYAT DISH OF BRUNEI?
I know you might also want to try the said recipe. Though many would say that you couldn’t exactly make an Ambuyat recipe as similar as the one made in Brunei, you can still give it a try.
- 1 lb sago starch/potato starch/tapioca starch
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- 1 Thai chili pepper
- 1 Tbsp shrimp taste
- 1 Tbsp dried shrimp
- 1 Tbsp durian
- First, you need to combine the tapioca, sago or potato starch with some cool water. Set it aside in the bowl for a few minutes.
- Next, heat the water in the kettle and slowly pour the hot boiled water in the container with the starch.
- If the starch begins to appear sticky, you can utilize a wooden spoon to start whisking it together. Once it is done, the Ambuyat will now be starchy and sticky.
- Now, you have to prepare a shrimp flavored tempoyak or Durian sauce to serve with your Ambuyat.
- To crumble the dried shrimp with a Thai chili pepper, you can use a mortar and pestle. Or traditionally, you can use the stone bowl or lasung.
- Then add the shrimp paste to the pepper mixture and minced shrimp. You need to sprinkle a bit of salt to taste.
- You can now transfer it to a separate serving bowl. Stir in a little hot water slowly to the durian and shrimp mixture.
- Finally, serve the Ambuyat dish of Brunei while still hot with the shrimp sauce for dipping. Some other side dishes are cooked vegetables, fried belutak, fried fish fillets, and sweet and sour sauces.
And here’s a video on how to eat Ambuyat:
THE TASTE OF AMBUYAT
With regards to the taste of Ambuyat dish, honestly it has a bland taste. And it is the reason why this dish is served with Cacah or an Ambuyat’s dip and some other side dishes. If you will also try Ambuyat for the very first time, I recommend that you eat it with a good dip. Because if not, you might not want to try it again ever.
The taste of Cacah is spicy and sour. As you keep eating it, this combination of taste would awaken your taste buds. In fact, I was left speechless because of the tanginess of the Cacah. I could say that I might not find such a taste in some other countries.
I could say that once you get used to the taste of it, you might be addicted and crave for more. In fact, I would want to eat more of Ambuyat and enjoy the experience of eating this great dish. You will definitely want more and more Ambuyat if you begin tasting one!
So, there you have it! Have you imagined how the Ambuyat dish of Brunei looks and tastes by reading this post? Indeed, trying what other countries can offer in terms of food or delicacy is something worth remembering. There are certain delicacies that you can only taste in a specific country and you couldn’t even try in some countries. In this case, the said dish of Brunei is really worth trying!
How about you? Have you ever tried the said dish? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below! Happy reading everyone!
COVER PHOTO: By Gunawan Kartapranata [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons / Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom