Making a Sarawakian Treasure: Dabai Paste

I can’t believe it’s been 9 months since we left Sarawak to return to the States! While we are settling in to our new home, we still keep in touch with our old friends from Kuching, through Facebook, email and WhatsApp. They’re always sending pictures of the yummy Sarawakian food that they’re eating, like Sarawak laksa and kampua mee. The good thing about dishes like these, though, is that we can make them at home, as the ingredients are not impossible to get.

One thing we cannot get, though, is dabai. Dabai, also known as “Sibu olive” (though it is not a true olive but a completely different species, Canarium odontophyllum), is grown only in Sarawak, generally in the central part of Sarawak around the town of Sibu. Over the years that we lived in Sarawak, we grew to love eating dabai. It’s one of the foods I really miss.

Fresh Dabai, “Sibu Olive”

dabai sibu olive

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Boiled Breadfruit in Coconut Milk

A taste of home in faraway Borneo.

Boiled Breadfruit in Coconut

Breadfruit is a fruit in the Artocarpus genus, so it is related to jackfruit and buah tarap but the flesh is very starchy and not at all sweet like its cousins. With origins in Papua New Guinea, it is cultivated and eaten in tropical regions all over the world, from Southeast Asia, to the Indian Ocean, to the Caribbean, to Central America, to the Pacific Islands.

In Malaysia breadfruit is called “buah sukun”; in Hawaii it is called “ulu”. I call it “good eats:-)

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Mango-ry Birds

I’m mad. Insane. Cuckoo over cones. Somebody help me!

Mango-ry Bird with King Pig

Day 29 of the 30-day Royal Selangor Jellyriffic Challenge and I’m still thinking up crazy things to do with the Royal Selangor Jelly Moulds. Case in point, this comical, conical “Angry Bird” clone cone that I made using pureed mango, food coloring, milk and agar-agar.

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Tamarind-Ancho Chile Popsicle

This popsicle has got some serious pucker!

Tamarind-Ancho Chile Popsicle

Tamarind Ancho Paleta Popsicle 

When Annie was looking for different recipes to try for the Royal Selangor Jellyriffic Challenge, she happened upon this recipe for Tamarind-Ancho Chile Popsicle on Saveur. She said she could actually imagine the sweet-sour-spicy flavors, and it made her mouth water. So she put it down as one of our options. Last night, she tasked me with making it (the instructions seemed easy enough for me to do).

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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