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Kecombrang is a large, leafy plant that begins with an underground rhizome that grows into tightly clumped, long leaves and flowers stalks. The leathery, green leaves are distinguished by their lanceolate shape, shallow ribbing, and prominent central vein and can reach up to ninety-one centimeters in length. Growing through the clustered leaves, the bright green flower stalks are thick, fibrous, and bare, and on the end of each stalk there are slender, tightly compacted, fleshy buds with a consistency similar to lemongrass. When these buds open, they reveal large, showy flowers, ranging in color from white, pink, to red, that have waxy, tubular petals averaging 3-5 centimeters in length, and eventually, these flowers bear hairy red-green fruit. All parts of the Kecombrang plant are edible, including the rhizomes, flowers, leaves, and fruit. The unopened buds are tart, peppery, and slightly sweet with a light floral and citrus-like flavor and the fruits are sour and seedy.
Kecombrang is available year-round in tropical climates, with a peak season in the late spring through early summer.
Kecombrang, botanically classified as Etlingera elatior, is an evergreen, herbaceous plant that can reach over six meters in height and is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. Also known as Honje, Kantan, Torch ginger, Ginger flower, Red ginger lily, Torch lily, Wild ginger, Wax flower, and Siantan, Kecombrang is predominately used for its unopened flower buds and is a staple flavoring in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia. Kecombrang flower buds are extremely versatile and are favored for their tart, peppery, and floral flavor, commonly used as a spice in salads, curries, soups, and fried rice. The flowers are also considered to be highly ornamental in Southeast Asia, and the showy blooms are often used in tropical bouquets at celebrations and as decoration in homes.
Kecombrang flower buds are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, and also contains some anti-inflammatory properties.
Kecombrang flower buds are best suited for raw applications and are thinly sliced, commonly added to soups, stews, curries, sauces, and salads. Used as a spice to flavor many Southeast Asian dishes, Kecombrang can be boiled and consumed with sambals, mixed into fried rice, stir-fried with vegetables and meats, sliced over fried chicken, or served with seafood. Kecombrang pairs well with jackfruit, green apple, green mango, coconut, lime leaves, kale, garlic, shallots, soy sauce, and meats such as duck, smoked beef, poultry, and fish. The buds should be used immediately for best quality and flavor. They can also be stored in the refrigerator for 1-3 days.
Kecombrang flowers are still being used in traditional cuisine in Southeast Asia, but chefs are also creating new uses for the peppery, citrus-flavored buds. In Kuala Lumpur, cutting edge restaurants and bars are infusing the flower in cocktails and teas to create unique drinks showcasing local flavors. Kecombrang flowers are also being used in desserts such as sorbet and ice cream. In Thailand, Kecombrang flowers are a symbol of love. Legend has it that two cross-cultural lovers were torn apart by their disapproving families. The lovers promised to reunite by returning as Kecombrang flowers, and the flowers were a reminder of their love.
Kecombrang flowers are native to Southeast Asia and have been growing wild since ancient times. Today the flowers are still primarily localized to Southeast Asia, foraged from the wild and cultivated on a small scale in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand, but the leafy plant can also now be found in Hawaii in the United States.
Recipes that include Kecombrang. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Cook Pad||Sambal Kecombrang (Torch Ginger Sambal)|
Someone shared Kecombrang using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Sharing allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.
Near Pulo, Jakarta, Indonesia
About 217 days ago, 7/23/19
Sharer's comments : kembang honje or can be say kecombrang at indonesia, u can found at all fresh fatmawati south jakarta