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Midin Jungle Fern
Inventory, lb : 0
Midin ferns have long stems with small, tightly curled fronds. The stems have very few leaves, are fleshy and crunchy, and range in color from dark green to green with a red-brown tint. The fronds are pinnate, which means they have tiny alternating green leaflets, and the young fronds are typically harvested when still curled. Midin is crisp, slightly sweet, and vegetal in taste with flavors similar to the fiddlehead fern.
Midin is available year-round.
Midin, botanically classified as Stenochlaena palustris, is a wild fern that thrives in tropical, swampy regions and is treated as a vegetable in cooking preparations. Also known as Biling, Kalakai, Paku Midin, and Lemiding, Midin is highly perishable and must be used the same day it is picked. Malaysia is home to over 1,165 species of ferns, but the Midin is one of the most popular ferns to be used as a culinary ingredient and is easily found in the wild or purchased in local markets.
Midin is an excellent source of iron, fiber, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.
Midin is best suited for cooked applications such as stir-frying and sautéing. The fern retains its crunch when cooked and is commonly enjoyed sautéed in a skillet with a few aromatics such as garlic to enhance, but not overpower its green flavor. Midin can also be stir-fried and mixed with vinegar to make a salad or used in soups with Sabong leaves. Midin pairs well with oyster sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, turmeric, shallots, dried shrimp, belachan, bird’s eye chiles, mushrooms, calamansi, and lily flower. Midin must be used the same day it is picked, as it will begin to turn black and lose flavor over time.
Midin has been a local ingredient in the cuisine of the indigenous tribes of Sarawak, Borneo, and is used in folk medicine to reduce symptoms of fevers, stomach aches, ulcers, and skin irritations. Midin increased in popularity in the city markets in the 1980s because of its availability in the wild and the community’s shift towards a health-conscious diet. Though Midin is now widely found in local restaurants and street vendors in Sarawak today, it is still prepared similarly to the original tribal preparations and highly regarded as a delicacy because of its short shelf life.
Midin is native to Southeast Asia and thrives in wet, tropical climates. Today, Midin can be found at local restaurants and markets in parts of Southern India, Southeast Asia, Polynesia, and Northern Australia.