The “hao lian” Cooknengr bared all but his family jewels in his Gawai post. Well sexy chawat aside, his American Gawai dish lacked one crucial ingredient which all Ibans cannot live without– the daun bunkang (bunkanglicous extraordiranimus). This post is dedicated to Fish fish who asked the Chawat dude what daun bungkang was.
Well staying true to our 2nd division roots (parents are from Engkilili), dad digged up a daun bungkang plant from his old home a couple of years back and planted it behind our house. Looks like dad’s tender loving care did yield results. Behold, I present to you, the original Daun Bungkang (Ari Rumah Miracle8). This is something unique to the Iban community. Ask a Bidayuh if he/she knows what a daun bungkang is and he/she most probably will look at you with a bewildered face.
These magical leaves gives poultry, fish and pork a fragrant and robust taste. The beauty of daun bungkang is that not only can you cook it with chicken, but you can also add it into pork dishes as well as seafood such as fish and prawns. You do not need any other seasoning except salt.
So Hiao da ger, don’t waste your time buying seeds at an exorbitant price online. I can spare you a couple of daun bungkang branches which should grow well amongst your fresh produce of strawberries, *stinking* mani chai plants and corn. Just remember to trim it often as the young leaves are more flavourful than the matured leaves.
If you want to have an idea of how your food will smell like with the daun bungkang, all you have to do is to rub a daun bungkang between your palms, take a deep breath and suck all the goodness of the leaf in. One word- heavenly.