Sabahan comfort food to try

on your next trip


June, 2018

It’s not easy to forget the type of comfort food whenever I am away from my hometown, Sabah Borneo. The delicate taste of Sabah food is different than other countries. Not only it is so delicious, one serving of the food is never enough to meet their cravings! I remember last time I can eat 2 bowls of Ngiu Chap (beef mix noodles) at one my favorite local cafe, Loi Hin Coffee Shop. Just the taste of beef slices and meatballs cooked in yummy beef broth can please my appetite for a day. *tummy-rumbling*

But, nothing can beats when you get to try the local’s comfort food in Sabah Borneo. Though it has never gained popularity around the globe, Sabah Borneo food reigns as one of the glorious food that captures the local’s heart. No wonder Sabahan loves their food so much, right? It may due to the authentic taste of the food that is unique to many people. Sabah Borneo is the place to be when the weather is bad and all you can think of is a warm hug in the form of a meal.

So, if you are planning or already been to Sabah Borneo, you should give it a try to these comfort food of Sabahan for your next trip in Sabah Borneo.

1) Bambangan

Sabahan comfort food

Aaahh…it is just by saying the name of it, I can already feel the taste of the sweetness (or sour) on my tongue. Bambangan or wild mango is in a spherically-shaped. Its fruit is in yellow color that covered with brown skin. We don’t actually eat it straightaway raw like a mango fruit. Bambangan is usually cooked with fish soup or pickled it. Pickled Bambangan goes well with a plain rice and deep-fried fish or meat. But, my choice will be to eat the pickled Bambangan with sauteed pork meat with soy sauce whenever I am at home.

You can find the Bambangan in local market or Tamu. If you want to try the Bambangan, you can taste it at D’Place Kinabalu or Borneo Momogun Spice. Both outlets served traditional food of Sabah Borneo that you should try it when you are here. Yet, it’s better to taste it at the local’s home and nothing can beat fresh home-cooked food!

2) Steamed Tapioca

Sabahan comfort food

It may not as your usual snack but this is common in Sabah Borneo! I used to eat this as an afternoon snack during my childhood days. Grandma will steam the tapioca first and served it with a jug of black coffee from Tenom. Best to eat the tapioca with sugar as the tapioca itself is tasteless.

3) Sinalau Bakas

Sabahan comfort food

The Sinalau Bakas is the most popular native dish in Sabah Borneo. An iconic food for the locals of Sabah Borneo, especially to its major tribe – Kadazandusun people. Sinalau Bakas means smoked wild boar, sold mostly at the roadside stalls along the road from Tamparuli to Kundasang. You can find Sinalau Bakas at the interior districts of Sabah Borneo such as Kota Belud, Ranau, Tambunan, Keningau, and Telupid. A smell of the smoked wild boar is enough to make you crazy. Wait until you’ve tasted the meat, it is so juicy, tender and it will make you crave for more. I bet you’ll going to miss this food once you’ve tried this during your holiday here in Sabah Borneo.

Oh, did you know Sinalau Bakas was featured in the latest episode of Derek Eats That! And much to my surprise, Derek loves it and he even commented the taste of Sinalau Bakas on his youtube video. You can watch it below:

4) Ambuyat and Pinasakan

Sabahan comfort food

This is one the authentic dishes that you might go to miss when you are back to your hometown. Ambuyat is made from sago starch and it is one of the authentic local dishes in Sabah Borneo. Most Sabahan love to eat this exotic food and it is a kind of food that will always make us feel home. We usually eat the ambuyat by using a bamboo fork, rolled it and dip it into a sauce. Believe it or not, ambuyat is actually tasteless! So, we always have our own customized dipping sauce, such as:

  • spicy belacan chili dip
  • curry chicken/fish,
  • fried ‘basungan’ fish
  • Canned sardine with tomato sauce
  • Pinasakan (braised fish mix with wild takob akob, turmeric and salt)

But, the best dipping for ambuyat is pinasakan. It gives every scoop a superb spicy taste with a little extra of flavors from the fish.

5) Ngiu Chap

Sabahan comfort food

As I mentioned before, Ngiu Chap is definitely crossed my mind whenever I am away from home. It is also one dish that you must try it for your gastronomic journey here in Sabah Borneo. Ngiu Chap is a mixed beef noodle. It contains stew meat, meatballs, tendon, tripe, liver, heart, and other parts of cow/buffalo. Moreover, it usually cooked in delicious beef broth (Yummy!). There are several outlets that served the best Ngiu Chap noodles in Kota Kinabalu, you can read the article by SabahEats.

6) Tuaran Noodle

Sabahan comfort food

Who can resist the delicious egg noodle and you can only get this in Sabah Borneo? Mee Tuaran is a traditional handmade egg noodles which originated from Tuaran Town itself. Similar to Laksa representing Penang state and Kolo Mee for Sarawak Borneo state, Tuaran Noodle is representing Sabah Borneo. The tastes of Tuaran Noodle is different than any other noodle.It is best when it is fried, served hot with egg roll slices, roasted pork slices and local green vegetable.

7) Hinava

Sabahan comfort food

Hinava is one of the key parts in Sabah Borneo cuisine and it is the most popular dish among the Sabahan. Whenever the hinava dish is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind will be the delectable taste and homely comfort food. Without any doubt, hinava is a must to try for your trip here in Sabah Borneo. Hinava is a pickled raw river fish. It will freshly cut into small slices, then mix together with several ingredients, such as:

  • Red onion (diced)
  • Ginger
  • Red Chili
  • Bitter gourd
  • Grated bambangan seeds
  • Lime juice.

Just talking about it, it makes me salivate and I might need to go find the dish later. (hihihi)

There you go, these are some of the Sabahan comfort food that you should try for your trip in Sabah Borneo. Apart from that, you can also try the must-eat food in Sabah Borneo that we have listed out for you. Click here to read.

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