IN Sarawak, terung Iban is synonymous with the Iban community but it is widely enjoyed by all communities.
This small, round eggplant is easily recognised by its orange or yellow colour.
A common food source for the multiracial community in the state, it has a sour, acidic flavour and is said to contain vitamin C, calcium, fibre, phosphorus and potassium.
Terung Iban is widely sold in the markets by Iban traders at RM10 per kilo. Walk into the central market in Sibu and one can easily buy them as there are a number of sellers.
For Bill Jugah and his family, they usually have this vegetable twice a week.
“We cook it in soup. Our style is to cook it with smoked fish,” said Bill, the founder of the Sarawak Independent Council Of Natives.
Meanwhile, English tutor Albert Tay prefers a more appetising dish by adding a number of ingredients to the soup, such as garlic, onion, anchovies, ginger and lemongrass.
“Mash all these ingredients together, then fry until they are fragrant. After that, add sliced terung Iban and stir fry a little longer.
“Finally, add water to your desired level. If you wish, you can add salt and sugar or use chicken stock,” he said.
Educationist Ting Suk Hee has another way of preparing terung Iban soup.
“I will add either fish or prawns to make it tastier,” she said.