By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Nov 10: When Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore (Statos) announced it was opening pre-orders for Sarawak’s crunchy and delectable midin, many Singaporeans and Sarawakians living on the island were elated.
At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has curtailed travel in many parts of the world, it is not easy to reach Sarawak from another country, neither is it convenient to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon reaching here which is a requirement for all arrivals.
On Oct 29, Statos via its social media page announced that 200kg of fresh Sarawak midin will be air-flown direct to Singapore on Nov 8.
Within 18 hours after the announcement was uploaded, all available supply was sold out at the price of SGD12 (RM36) per kg.
Sarawak-born Angelyn Yii, who is married to a Singaporean, was among the lucky ones who managed to get hold of the high in demand fern.
Yii, 38, said midin has always been her favourite, as well as a favourite of her husband Ken Chua, 44, and their two children aged 6 and 9.
As the family is unable to fly back to Kuching due to the Covid-19 pandemic, ‘so the midin comes to me’, Yii jokingly said.
She even cleared her fridge to make space in preparation for the arrival of her whopping 10kg of fresh midin.
“Yesterday, we were so excited to receive our 40 packets of midin. My husband is also a big fan of midin and all types of Kuching dishes. He follows Statos on social media and many Kuching foodie groups. In fact, he is the one who informed me about this special air delivery. While I was reading the Statos announcement he showed me, my husband did the order and complete the transaction. I had a shock when I found out he bought 10kg worth of midin,” Yii told DayakDaily.
Commenting on the quality and packaging, Yii only had praises for the supplier.
“I find the midin quality very good. They are bundled and wrapped in a leaf, secured with a rubber band, which I find it very Sarawakian. I feel like I had just bought them from the local Kuching wet market.
“Besides checking the ferns visually, one way to test the freshness is to see if the stem snaps easily. I am happy to say these midin passed the test,” she added.
While 10kg of midin may sound like a lot, Yii revealed it would not take very long for her young family to finish this quantity of their favourite vegetable.
Yii ended up cooking nine packets of midin over three times for dinner last night.
“I cooked it with rice wine for dinner and ended up going back and forth to the stove three times because it was so good, even my daughter finished one big plate. It is absolutely our family’s favourite.
“The truth is, I had never cooked midin in my life until last night. A week before the midin was due to arrive, I messaged my dad in WhatsApp and asked for his help. He gave me the list of ingredients which I can use to cook it with,” Yii disclosed, adding that her friends in Kuching were amazed to know that she could find fresh midin to eat in Singapore.
Thanking Statos, Yii and Chua also expressed their hope that more such deliveries will be made to Singapore, as well as to West Malaysia in the near future.
Meanwhile, another Sarawakian living in Singapore, Andrew Wee also succeeded in ordering 10kg of midin through Statos.
Wee received his 40 packets yesterday, neatly sealed and packed in a huge Styrofoam box.
“I ordered 10kg so I can share with my Singaporean friends on why it is a big favourite among us Sarawakians. I also gave some to my neighbours and told them to cook it with sambal belacan (shrimp paste),” he said.
Wee, who owns a restaurant in Singapore, also highlighted the importance of packing the shipments well to keep the delicate vegetable fresh.
“I am very pleased with the midin that I received. They are all very fresh and I’ve cooked some, ate them and yes, they are very crunchy, just like what we get back home,” Wee added. — DayakDaily