I was at the Seremban Wet Market (some photos and info: http://siewkaiyek.blogspot.com/2007/07/seremban-wet-market.html ) a couple months ago and one of the vendors had these beautiful pink bud flowers for sale. I asked the vendor if they were for decoration and he told me the pink part was used for cooking. I got enough out of him to understand that I could add it to the wok while making stir-fry something. So I bought a bud.
R was totally skeptical, but he allowed me to add a small amount of chopped up flower bud to a chicken and veg stir-fry we were making. And let me tell you, it was great. The bud gave the whole dish a great snappy taste. Zingy we thought. And compared the taste to ginger, but it wasn’t like the ginger we know. We loved it. I searched it online without knowing the name and finally found this Tropical Bloom website: http://tropicalbloom.blogspot.com/2007/06/bunga-kantan-story.html talking about the Bunga Kantan Flower (Torch Ginger Flower) plant. And I was finding exciting Mango and Bunga Kantan Flower recipes like the one on http://1001resepi.com for Kerabu Mangga Bunga Kantan http://1001resepi.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/kerabu-mangga-dan-bunga-kantan.jpg
Prior to buying the house, I was too busy to go to the wet market, but I couldn’t wait to get hold of some more of this flower after we moved into the house and the kitchen was ready to actually cook in. But guess what? When were were going on the final inspection for the house, we noticed that the plant at the front of the house behind the carpark was getting really tall and had big pink flowers in bloom. R noticed one thin bud and mentioned that he thought it looked like the bunga kantan plant we had cooked. I agreed but wasn’t sure at the time. The plant has been continually in bloom with large pink flowers since we moved in! And today I went over to take a few photos for this site. I cross checked what I saw on Tropical Bloom and am happy to say we have a Bunga Kantan plant on our property!!!!!!!!!!!! Now all we need is the kitchen.