September 1, 2009

The Traditional "Rock Cooking" Experience

早期台灣原住民都以狩獵或採集取得食物,餐具及煮食的容器則就地取材,不管走到哪都不怕會餓著肚子。「石煮法」與「吉發」,就是傳統阿美族人順應自然,取之於自然的烹調智慧。到底什麼是石煮法,吉發又是什麼?要怎麼製作?要解決這些疑惑,那就走訪一趟花蓮馬太鞍吧!

In the past, the aborigines in Taiwan hunt for food and utilized the local materials to make utensils; therefore, they would not suffer hunger. “Rock cooking” and “Giva” are the traditional cooking methods developed by the Amis tribe based upon their wisdom of adapting themselves to the Mother Nature. "What is “Rock cooking”"? “What is “Giva""? “How would they work”? To find out the answers, let’s go to Ma Tai An in Wua-Lien!

「石煮法」是將滾燙的石頭投入水中,把食物燙熟的一種阿美族傳統烹調方式。煮食前,要先把石頭預熱,等石頭燒成白色,才可以開始煮湯。在石頭預熱的空檔,就是採集與準備食材的時間,於是大夥捲起褲管下溪去撈魚與採菜囉!

“Rock Cooking” is a traditional cooking method for Amis tribe. The natives cooked food in the water boiled by the pre-heated rocks. Rocks were heated until the color turned white and then poured into the water. While we were waiting for heating the rocks, we were preparing the food materials. We rolled up our pants, and got into the creek to catch some fish, and picked some vegetables!

西洋菜是一種對水質要求很嚴格,且必須在低水溫的環境下才能成長的野菜,味道鮮美脆嫩,相當營養,而且還有清燥潤肺、化痰止咳、利尿等功效。

Watercress is a wild water plant growing in cool water. Watercress is tasty, crunchy, and tender. It also has good nutrition and has been known to clear the dryness and moist the lung; suppress coughing; and diuretic…etc. with its herbal functions.

洗好西洋菜、切好魚片,在竹筒製成的鍋內,放入些許的薑絲與適量的清水,這樣食材就準備完成了。接著,要來製作餐具,免得等會煮好了卻沒器皿裝,只能口水直流的乾瞪眼。

We cleaned the watercress and sliced the fish fillet. We then put some threaded ginger and water into the bamboo tube to cook. We were making utensils so that when the food was ready, we would be ready for it, or we could only stare at the food and lipped our mouths.

「吉發(Giva)」是傳統阿美族人的盛物器皿,通常是用榔檳樹的葉子製成的。 頭目發給大家一人一張檳榔葉鞘後,便開始講解吉發的製作步驟。大家很認真的看頭目示範,先平摺再來左褶右褶,然後用竹籤把葉子固定住,這樣就功告成了。看起來相當簡單,但是大夥仍摺的亂七八糟,不是兩邊不平均,就是弄的歪七扭八。更慘的是,還有人把竹籤給弄斷了。

“Giva” is a traditional food bowl of Amis’s tribe. It is made with Betel-Nut tree leaves. The chief distributed one leaf to each person and explained the making process. We watched the demonstration carefully. He showed us how to do the half fold, left fold, and right fold. He then inserted a stick to secure it. It looked very simple; however, it turned out that the folding of the leaves was crooked. The worst of all was the stick was broken.

做好的碗就是這個樣子。雖然我做的左右高度不太平圴,該摺整齊的沒對好,還有竹籤也被差點我弄斷,不過,這也不要緊,能用就好啦!

This was how it looked after it was complete. Although the height of each side was not the same, the folding was crooked, and the stick was almost broken too, it was usable!

接下來要做湯匙了。這湯匙更簡單了,只要把葉片往上摺一點,摺起來的面積大小就是湯匙的舀面,然後把葉片反捲起來固定好,再把摺起的那一端拉成四十五度,修成圓型即可。這樣的餐具,既環保又美觀,真配服阿美族人的智慧呀!

We then made the spoon. It was easy. We folded up the leaf to the same size as the bottom of the spoon, rolled the spoon handle up in the opposite direction, and then tightened the handle with bamboo string. The bottom of the spoon was kept in a 45 degree angle and the edges trimmed into round corners. The spoon was completed. It was a nice looking spoon and also was environmental friendly. We admired Amis’s talent!

火紅的炭火堆中,一顆顆溫度急遽升高的石頭,已變成灰白色,看來煮魚湯的「瓦斯」已經就緒,可以開始烹煮了。滾燙的石頭一放入備妥薑與魚片的水中,水馬上就泛起白泡。把水預熱後,再換上另外的石頭,讓溫度繼續升高。石頭才剛放入,水就噗嚕噗嚕作滾,速度之快。頭目開玩笑的說:「這瓦斯唯一的缺點就是,火太大時沒辦法關小啦~」,他才一說完,馬上就煙霧迷漫。

The rocks were turning to gray white color from the heated wood charcoals. It looked like that the “Gas” was ready for cooking the fish soup. The gingers and fish fillet soup were boiled as soon as the heated rocks were put in. Additional rocks continued to be thrown in to increase the water temperature. As soon as the heated rocks were put in, the water started boiling. The chief joked to us” The only problem is that we can’t turn the gas down when it is too hot” The fumes were so thick!

最後加入剛才捕撈的小蝦與現採的西洋,鮮美的魚湯就差不多完成了。味道實在太香了,魚湯一上桌,大家紛紛迫不及待要嚐鮮。到底魚湯好不好喝呢?我平常不喝湯的人都喝了二大碗,你說好不好喝呀?

After the small shrimp and fresh watercress were added, the delicious fish soup was ready. All of us could not wait to taste the soup. Was it good? I usually don’t drink soup, but I had 2 large bowls of soup, and you tell me it was good or not?

順應自然、尊重自然,與大自然共依存,是台灣原住民傳統的生活哲學;取之自然,用之於自然是他們的生活方式;適取適用就是他們的很重要的生活態度了。走訪一趟花蓮馬太鞍,體驗傳統烹調方式,學習阿美族人的生活智慧,真讓人受益良多。

To adapt, respect, and live with the Mother Nature are the life philosophy of Taiwan’s aborigines. To utilize natural materials are part of their lifestyle. To take whatever is available in Mother Nature is their way of life. During the trip to Wua-Lien Ma Tai An, we experienced the cooking method and learned the Amis’s way of living. It has taught us a great deal!

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6 comments:

dennis said...

awesome read :) thank u

Kristen & Micki said...

Thank U too!

Stefan said...

How did you participate in this, is it a tourist event the tribe offers? Or did you know someone from the Ami tribe and had a private invitation?

Great blog btw, I've only recently discovered it and already found many ideas for my next visit. :-)

kristen and micki said...

@Stefan-There are many Family Lodgings in Ma Tai An. They all provide similar activities, such as Palakau Fishing、Rock Cooking、Giva making and wetland ecological tours. They all need to be reserved ahead of time. Welcome you to come to Taiwan!

Stefan said...

Thank you some much for the info! My wife is from Taiwan, so we go there every year.

kristen and micki said...

@Stefan-If you are interested in Ma Tai An, don't forget to visit there next time you and your wife are here.

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