The Ma Khaen berry is traditionally used by the Akha people in North Laos. It is harvested solely by women. The Akha are an animist hill tribe who live in the province of Muang Sing, on the border between Myanmar, Laos and China.
The key seasonings used in Akha cuisine are: salt, garlic, chilli and the Ma Khaen berry. The Akha dishes mainly use rice, vegetables, grilled meat, eggs and beans.
This berry is also harvested in Vietnam in the Diên Biên Phu region and in Thailand in the province of Chiang Mai.
In Vietnam it's called "Mat-Khen" or "Mac-Khen". This literally means "eyes of the forest" or "gift of the deep forest". It is harvested in January at altitudes of between 500m and 1,500m .
The Vietnamese use it for preserving game.
They also roast the berries using a wok before adding them to a traditional shrimp dish with vegetables, beef or chicken…
Its aromas of mandarin and acidic notes will enhance soups, grilled meat, fish, fruit salads and vegetables
|Shelf life||5 years|
|Ingredient||Ma Khaen Berry|
|Genus and botanical species||Zanthoxylum rhetsa|