The Royal family of edible ferns in Malaysia (part 2)

Paku Midin/Paku Miding/Lemiding (Stenochlaena palustris)

Woo….., hoolahoolahoola…lala……Look, what is in here? It is the Queen of the jungle Ferns in Sarawak, midin. You won’t miss midin when you come to Kuching. During our younger days, midin grew in abundance in Kuching but nowadays they are shying away from the city heavy traffic and hiding their cute little fronds in the villages and farmhouses. Price of midin (光叶藤蕨 ) has shot up rocket high ever since.

Picking wild edible ferns like Paku midin and Paku pakis in the bush was one of our childhood past time activities. We even competed for picking the ferns. Whoever had the biggest bundle of midin would be awarded with more bundles of midin from other participants. I was never the champion. There were always somebody who had better motor skills than me.

Paku midin is well-loved by Sarawakians and I believe students studying aboard do miss this Paku midin from our homeland. I remembered when I studied in Kuala Lumpur 35 years ago, I had my good share of sobs, partly due to homesick and partly because I missed midin so much.

The five grades of  Paku Midin are displayed here:

 Grade 1  Paku midin

– With fiddle heads, straight fleshy stems and very few leaves. Best for stir-fry and is the most sought after midin by restaurants and sea food centers. It tastes good and has crunchy texture even after the cooking process.


                                           Grade 1  Paku Midin


Grade 2  midin

– With some loosen fiddleheads, thinner stems and more leaves. Personally this writer prefers Grade 2 Midin because it is cheaper and less slimy than the Grade 1 midin. May be its stem is not as crunchy  and fleshy as the Grade 1 Midin after cooking but it is still very popular among the locals.


Grade 2  Paku Midin


Grade 3  midin

– With loosen fiddleheads, thinner stems and are more leafy. It is quite troublesome to pick the leaves of this grade 3 midin but picking leaves of grade 4 midin is really a nightmare.


Grade 3 Paku Midin


Grade 4  midin

– No fiddleheads, harder stems and  are leafy with some big mature leaves. Best for cooking soup with Cangkok manis or Sabong(melinjou) leaves.


Grade 4 Paku Midin

It is very troublesome to pick leaves of Grade 4  midin because of those minute leaves so we mothers are just too happy to go for the ready-picked midin in baskets.


Ready-picked Grade 3 & 4 midin in baskets
Ready-picked Grade 4 midin in baskets

Grade 5  Paku midin

– is a mixture of fleshy stems, some shoots and some young fronds of Paku midin. Some people do not go for midin shoots but some are very fond of this Grade 5 midin with crispy, fleshy shoots and stems. To some local people, this is in fact the top grade midin.


                                             Grade 5 Paku Midin

Grade 1 Paku Midin stir- fried with slices of ginger and fresh mushrooms.


Grade 1 Paku midin Stir-fried with ginger and mushroom



  • 200 g Grade 1 midin (use only the fiddle heads and cut about 2 ” length)
  • 100 g fresh oyster mushroom (tear into strips)
  • 2 ” long ginger (sliced thinly)
  • 1 chilli (sliced thinly)
  • 1 tsp miso
  • 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
  1. Wash and drain the fiddle heads.
  2. Fry the mushrooms and ginger together.
  3. When the ginger slices are slightly brown, add in midin and chilli.
  4. Sprinkle some water if necessary.
  5. The crunchy ferns are ready with miso and light soya sauce being added.

Check out Midin/miding nutritional value from Table 1.      



Wakakakaka……Those who miss midin can feast your eyes on pictures shown in this post.




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