Tasty Kerabu Baluik: Malayan Cooking

Kerabu Baluik AKA Unagi Salad is salad of raw vegetables or unripe fruits which today becomes the favorite of many people. When you search in Indonesian Dictionary, you can find the word kerabu with a synonym rujak. Rujak is the mix of many fresh fruits and unique sauce in which the ingredients are raw.

However, the Malayan people describe Kerabu differently from rujak, the name kerabu has been unknown within Malayan culture. Whereas another different name emerged in Gresik which is Krawu doesn’t give the same meaning as kerabu since the meanings between those two words are totally different.

Kerabu is used by many Malayan tribes as important ingredient in their culinary. Kerabu is popular in Malaysia that it becomes an important culinary icon, and because of this popularity many housewives include kerabu into the ingredients of the menu they are going to cook and use their creativity to cook special cooking with kerabu as well. In fact, they use the whole parts of kerabu, not only the mango and papaya that are almost ripe, but also including the other part of the pulp.

From time to time, the basic ingredients to make kerabu are slowly getting varied. Although the usual ingredients used like chili, onion, brown sugar, and grated coconut fruit are still used today, many people start to serve it in another way by pouring the coconut milk instead of the grated coconut fruit. Therefore, many other chilis or biting cooking using coconut milk are then called kerabu.

What about karabu baluik in West Sumatra? Kerabu baluik or eel kerabu is the traditional serving in that region but now it is hard to find. Even in many Minang restaurants, among those eel balado cooking or fried eel, kerabu baluik is hardly found. Also, the special occasion like “makan basamo”, kerabu baluik is no longer served.

It is undeniably true that kerabu is very appetizing. Eel which is roasted traditionally using charcoal or fire from wood instead of gas or electric stove tasted tenderer and is wholly cooked, even without any burnt meat. The eel is then cooked again by adding other ingredients like chili, onion, salt and lemon.

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