Asam Pedas

Even for those from other parts of the planet, the red stuff in the photo requires no introduction, but those green fruits are called camias (kamias. kamyas) or iba in the Philippines and are incredibly sour, still some people enjoy them just like that – raw. In Malaysia they are called belimbing asam or sour belimbing to distinguish them from the sweet belimbing manis also known in English as starfruit. Camias does not have an English name but they are commonly referred to as Sour Carambola or even sometimes Sour Cucumber Tree (as the fruits do look like mini cucumbers! But fancy cucumbers growing on trees!). (Photo taken by Mee)

Aside from being eaten raw (!) camias is mainly added to dishes that need some sourness to it like in some fish recipes as well as in salads, pickles and some curries.

A favorite recipe of my mother is to make it into a kind of sambal (side dish) with pounded or ground-up dried shrimps. A quantity of camias is rouhly chopped up. A handful of finely cut garlic and shallot and lots of pounded red hot (pungent) chillis are fried in hot oil together with dried shrimps until fragrant. (At this stage get ready the handkerchief or tissues for the tears and sneezes!!) A small piece of lightly toasted and pounded belachan (Malaysian shrimp paste) may also be added for its flavor. The camias is put in together with the other ingredients last and the mixture sauteed until done. If a large quantity is made some of it may be put in jars and kept in the fridge until required.

Scientific name of camias is Averrhoa bilimbi.
Asampedas means sour and hot (pungent) in Malay.

No comments:

Lakbayan Map - Where the dragonfly has landed

My Lakbayan grade is C-!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.