Tuesday, 11 November 2014

buah binjai (white mango)

Buah binjai, or white mango, at the Terengganu market.

We came across these potato-like fruits at Pasar Payang, the big market at Kuala Terengganu. Curious, we asked the vendors what they were. "Binjai" was the answer. How's the taste? "Sangat asam." Very sour. "Makan dengan sedikit garam, sedap." Eat with a little bit of salt, it's delicious.

Convinced, we purchased a few to try.

Over a few days it ripened further and gave off an increasingly pungent scent. My mum was not impressed by this turn of events, and we were finally persuaded to take the plunge...

Mangifera caesia, also known as: white mango, binjai, jack, wani, yaa-lam, bayuno.

So we finally peeled it, sliced it and ate it - yes, with a touch of salt, as suggested by the fruit vendor. The first bite, and a few subsequent ones, had an intense acidity that made me cringe, but then it grew on me and became more tolerable, even addictive. It has the texture of a mango, and tastes like a super-sour version of a soursop.

I'm glad that we tried this, and hope to see it again in the future so I can buy more - with a texture that lends well to blending, and such a strong, assertive flavour, I'm thinking this white mango could be pretty amazing in a mixed fruit smoothie.

Intensely tart white mango with a sprinkling of salt.


  1. I love hearing about ingredients I've never seen or heard of before!

  2. This is totally new to me. I don't know how I'd do eating something that didn't smell too good. :)

  3. Replies
    1. Hannah I'm so so so sorry! I mistakenly removed your comment with my fat fingers while I was on my phone, and I don't know how to get it back. But I did read it. Yes, like sour gummy worms, but even more intense - Simon thinks they're like Warheads candy.

  4. amazing! nothing like that here in Milan )-:

    1. But plenty of other amazing things in Milan, no doubt!


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