ASAM ROM DISH
The cuisine known by various names such as asam rum or asam from or rong originates from the Jerantut district in the state of Pahang. In the beginning, residents from villages around the Hulu Tembeling area, made asam rong using 'perah' fruit. But due to the difficulty of finding 'perah' trees that can only be found in thick forests, they turned to rubber beans. The many rubber plantations opened throughout Jerantut made it easier for villagers to make rubber seeds instead of 'perah' fruit. Young rubber seeds are green and turn dark brown, black, or reddish with light brown spots when ripe. Fallen rubber seeds are collected, washed clean and the skin is broken to get the filling or rong. In order to speed up the process of removing the contents of the rong, a stone mortar will be used to tap the hard skin of the rubber seeds. The white, soft, and chewy filling will be dried for several days until it dries and shrinks completely. It needs to be dried to remove the skin membrane from the filling. Once it is dry enough, it will be pounded or ground with salt and chili according to individual taste until it is easily crushed. Then it is stored in a closed container such as a jar or jar in a dry place to prevent mold and spoilage. The fermentation process for several weeks to a month will produce a delicious fat chelation. After the rong is perfectly fermented, it is ready to be used as a stir-fry essence in cooking. Its dry texture makes it a versatile seasoning that can be modified to suit a variety of cuisines. It can be mixed into fried vegetables, goulash, asam, or sambal depending on each individual's taste.
Asam rong goulash is best cooked with river fish such as catfish, keranak, and baung. But it is also suitable to be cooked with meat and vegetables such as pumpkin or scallions. It can also be made into sambal by mixing chilies, and anchovies and eaten with side dishes or dried fish. Asam rong is now one of the heritage dishes that is increasingly known throughout the state of Pahang and is in high demand from the community. For the Malay community, especially in Jerantut and Hulu Tembeling, asam rong is a must-have food in their kitchen. If the Korean community is proud of kimchi, the people of Pahang can also be proud of their traditional food that does not go bad in the rain and does not fade in the heat. If you want to try the original asam rong, you can start planning a trip to the state of Tok Gajah.