Nov 30, 2007

Sarawak Favourite Food

Sarawak Laksa

The state's signature dish is freshly made vermicelli submerged in a concoction of deliciously thick soup rich in 'santan' (coconut milk) and spices, topped with tasty chunks of seafood, chicken and slice omelette.

This mouth-watering delight is a Sarawak original and best-taken piping hot. You have not savoured Sarawak until you have tasted Sarawak Laksa. A gastronomical delight that is easily available and served in most coffee shops and hotels.

Kolok Mee

Kolok Mee is a type of noodle dish commonly found in Sarawak. It is served throughout the day - for breakfast, lunch or even supper. It is made of egg noodle, blanched in water that looks like instant noodle and served in a light sauce with some condiments like shredded beef.

The difference with Kolok Mee and the Wantan Mee, that is popular in Peninsular, is that Kolok Mee is not drenched in dark soy sauce and water is not added to the noodles when served. But the taste is still pretty amazing.

Manok Pansoh

One of the best known Iban dishes is manok pansoh (ayam pansuh). Chicken pieces are cut and stuffed into the bambo together with other ingredients like mushrooms, lemongrass, tapioca leaves etc and cooked over an open fire - similar to the way lemang is cooked.
This natural way of cooking seals in the flavours and produces astonishingly tender chicken with a gravy perfumed with lemongrass and bamboo.

Kek Lapis Sarawak

It is said that the Sarawakian modern layered cakes was commercially introduced to people in Sarawak about 16 years ago. But of course, Kek Lapis Sarawak has been around much longer than that, as it is traditionally the main staple for the Malays as they celebrate Hari Raya Aidil Fitri (the end of Ramadan, the fasting month).

The cakes are interesting as it was almost always colourful, use lots of eggs (sometime about 30 eggs for one loaf of cake), and kept stored in the refrigerator for six months!
And it tastes good too!


Umai is a raw fish salad popular among various ethnic groups of Sarawak, especially the Melanaus. In fact, umai is a traditional working lunch for the Melanau fishermen.
Umai is prepared raw from freshly caught fish, iced but not frozen. Main species used include Mackerel, Bawal Hitam and Umpirang.

It is made mainly of thin slivers of raw fish, thinly sliced onions, chilli, salt and the juice of sour fruits like lime or assam. It is usually accompanied by a bowl of toasted sago pearls instead of rice. Its simplicity makes it a cinch for fishermen to prepare it aboard their boats.


The locals greatly indulge in jungle fern such as the midin (quite similar to pucuk paku that is popular in the Peninsular). Midin is much sought after for its crisp texture and great taste. Midin is usually served in two equally delicious ways - fried with either garlic or belacan. Yummy!

Mee Sua

Mee Sua is basically a breakfast dish, much like Mee Kolok. It is a variety of rice noodles served with a chicken drumstick in chicken/mushroom clear soup and usually some Chinese white wine.

Bubur Pedas

Another signature dish for Sarawak is Bubur Pedas. Unlike many other porridge that we know, Bubur Pedas Sarawak is cooked with a specially prepared paste. It is quite spicy thanks to its ingredients, which include spices, turmeric, lemon grass, galangal, chillies, ginger, coconut and shallots.

Like the famous Bubur Lambuk of Kuala Lumpur, Bubur Pedas is also prepared most often during the month of Ramadan and served during the breaking of fast.


The Melanau has their biscuits called Tabaloi, which is a mixture of desiccated coconut, sago and sugar. Tabaloi can easily be bought at most shops. Today, it is produced in several flavour including cocoa and vanilla.

Bamboo Clam

Another unique dish in Sarawak is ambal or bamboo clam. It is usually cooked in a mild curry or steamed in Chinese wine. Though it looks like worms in a bamboo shell, it is very delicious.

Swallow's Nest

Bird's nest, a Chinese delicacy touted to maintain youth and beauty, is harvested from designated caves of Sarawak by special permits. The bird responsible for this delicacy is the Swallow. Try a bowl of this jelly-like delicacy at upmarket Chinese restaurants.

Source : Sarawak Tourism Board

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