“Lihing“(rice wine) The Local Kadazan Alcoholic Beverage
Lihing is the Sabahan rice wine, locally brewed by the indigenous ethics Kadazan of Penampang.
It is made from “Vagas Pulut” (glutinous rice) which is rich with sugar and “Sasad” (natural yeast made from rice) through the process of fermentation.
How to brew Lihing?
1. First cook the glutinous rice, normally “Sagantang” (about 3.5kg) of “Vagas” (rice) is needed to get a few bottles of Lihing. To cook the rice you’ll need to pour water with the ratio of one “Puut” (cup) of water to one puut of rice (1:1) and cook it with slow fire. Traditionally the rice is cook with “Suduvon” (firewood).
2. When the rice is cooked, it is then spread on the “Kohintung” (tray made from young bamboo strips) and allow it to cool.
3. While waiting for the rice to cool, pound the sasad until it become a fine powder.
4. When the rice is cooled and you can touch it without burning your hand, pour the sasad on the rice and mix it well.
5. Finally fill the mixture into the “Bunduon” (ceramic jar) then cover it with “Loun Timadang” (Tarap Leaves) and let it sits for a month.
6. After a month open the lid then put a “tataas” (sieve made of bamboo) into the Bunduon to scooped out the Lihing and transfer it into a bottle.
Lihing is normally served as a drink during all major indigenous celebrations, it is also used for cooking especially to cook the “Sup Lihing” ( chicken soup mixed with rice wine) which is good for ladies in confinement.