Unique Taste of Borneo Cooking
“Don’t just eat like a local. Learn to cook like one, too!” – John Lee, The Globe and Mail
Sabah is filled with various types of delicious foods like Western food, Chinese food, Indian food, and so on. But the most interesting type of food to checkout when you are visiting Sabah is the Local Kadazandusun food as you can only try this when you are in Sabah and it is a must-not-to-be-missed-thing to do. The experience is unbelievable! I had the chance to be a “tourist” in my hometown one day, to join the Taste of Borneo Cooking Class Tour with our guests. We were brought to the Local Market also known as “TAMU” in the local dialect, to see a big variety of vegetables, fishes, and also some of our Endemic Fruits such as the “TARAP” fruit, “BAMBANGAN” fruit and much more. Also get the chance to mingle around with the locals at the market and see how do they do their business there.
We were guided by two elderly couples throughout the market up to their house not far from Donggongon Town. When we reach to their house, they served us a few traditional Borneo Dessert with local black coffee before starting the cooking lesson. It started with a soup called Pinasakan.
It is a popular dish among the Kadazandusun people in Sabah, this is the recipe that is used by the local people back in the olden days to keep it from going bad because, in the olden days, they usually traveled very far from home to get to the seaside to trade and get supplies. There was no refrigerator back then, so what they did is, they extract the moisture out from the fish so that it would withstand the long journey back home. The taste is sour, sweet and of course, delicious. Read our blog on “Pinasakan” being the popular dish for Kadazandusun.
The second dish is the Labu Putih Soup or Winter Melon soup with some chicken. This is a soup that is well known by both the Kadazandusun people and also the Chinese people in Sabah. It’s a simple dish to prepare but the taste is extraordinary. You’ll get that soft and tender chicken meat that is cooked together with the winter melon and also the aromatic soup that is super appetizing.
When the soup is boiling, we were introduced to some local vegetables such as the Wild Fern, Water Spinach, and also Tuhau. The couples taught us how to prepare them before cooking it. The most interesting vegetable for me is the Tuhau. It has a very strange smell to it and some people even describe the smell is like a beetle bug that the locals call the Posisang (a small beetle bug with a deadly smell).
Amazingly, they don’t taste as bad as how they would smell and it is super delicious. Once everything is cooked, rice is served together, and we all sat with the couple to chit chat and enjoy the foods. Honestly, the food was amazing! Get ready to skip your diet because the dishes was super appetizing and it is hard to resist from getting a second round.
After having our amazing lunch, we sat down to have some rest and the couple took us for a short tour around their garden to is filled with lots of beautiful colorful flowers. We took a few pictures with the couple for our good experience with them and to our surprise, they gave us a small token for our memories. It is a small recipe book for us bring back and remember the recipe.
After saying our goodbyes the driver then took us back to the hotel. It was an amazing experience that anyone should try as the couple will not only fill your mind with some super delicious recipe but also fill your stomach with their superb dishes.
Interested in joining our Taste of Borneo Cooking Class? Bring your family or your friends to get the first experience of hands-on cooking the local Kadazandusun dishes, and don’t worry there will be a local family will help and teach you! 🙂 Feel free to check our tour here.
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