Since I started my blog about 3 years ago, I have blogged quite a number of Sarawak cuisines and I will add as and when I have blogged about new Sarawak cuisines. Some of these cuisines are uniquely Sarawak cuisines. Take a look and see what are these cuisines and remember, if you travel to Sarawak, do try these cuisines locally. For those who are interested to read more about Sarawak,
“Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang(“Land of the Hornbills“), Sarawak is situated on the northwest of the island, bordering the Malaysian state of Sabah to the northeast, Indonesia to the south, and surrounding Brunei. It is the largest Malaysian state. The administrative capital is Kuching, which has a population of 700,000.Major cities and towns include Miri (pop. 350,000),Sibu (pop. 257,000) and Bintulu(pop. 200,000)”. As of the last census (2010), the state population was 2,420,009.“ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarawak)
As per Sarawak Tourism’s “top 10 iconic food” in 2012 are:
Sarawak Laksa (included in this post)
Kolo Mee (included in this post)
Ayam Pansuh – Chicken cooked in bamboo tube
Midin Belacan – Jungle fern fried with shrimp paste
Ikan Terubok Masin – A hard to get river estuary fish
Umai – Shashimi alike but Sarawak version with different seasonings and condiments
Kompia – A traditional Foochow bread that is bagel look alike
Terong Dayak Soup – A special breed of yellow brinjal commonly found in Sarawak
Dabai – A black colour fruit that local Chinese called is olive and can be preserved to be used as side dish for porridges or rice
Kampua Noodle – A type of Foochow noodle which was rather similar to kolo mee as mentioned above but mostly served in plate with slightly different type of noodles and condiments.
Being in Singapore, I have difficulty to blog a lot of the cuisines from my home town due to the lack of raw material. However, the effort continues. If you are keen to learn more about Sarawak Cuisines, you can visit my humble page of Authentic Sarawak Food and History. However, I have to apologize the page had not been updated for quite a while due to time constraints.
Please click on the pictures or blue colour links to go to the respective recipes.
Sarawak Laksa – Cooking Illustration – A unique laksa that Most Sarawakian will be proud of. This is also one of the Asian dishes that famous TV personality: Anthony Bourdain have in mind in his new food outlet in New York City
Sarawak Laksa – Recipe – Most of the Sarawak household have cooked the laksa by using the ready pre-mix laksa paste. Being in Singapore, I have decided to try preparing my own. Overseas readers, if you are keen to prepare your own Sarawak laksa paste, you can read this post and start your own adventures.
Sarawak Kolo Noodles or Dry Noodles – Sarawak Kolo noodles is rather special type of dry noodles (干捞面）that most if not all Sarawakian will be proud of. A light colour dry noodles and comfortably sits after Sarawak Laksa in the food ranking. As far as my circle of friends are concerned, none have ever rejected this noodles and Sarawakian can have this for breakfast until supper.
Tomato Yimin Noodles （茄汁伊面） – This noodle is rather special as it is cooked with tomato ketchup. The original noodles are deep fried noodles. In this illustration, I have used the commercially sold yimin instead. I have always called Sarawak style spaghettis and see if you concur with me.
Belachan Bee Hoon (虾酱米粉） – This is a very unique Sarawak or Kuching noodle dish that you cannot find elsewhere. Diner will either like it very much or hate it. It is not as common as other noodle dishes and sold at specific outlets.
Sarawak Sweet Taugeh or Beansprout Noodles (砂朥越豆芽炒面） – This sweet noodles is one of the rather unique Sarawak noodles which is cheap and tasty. Traditionally, Sarawak produced palm sugar or gula apong was used in the preparation.
Manicai Fried Beehoon (树籽菜炒米粉） – This is an unique Sarawak noodle dish that is only common nowadays. It was not that common when I was a kid. We did prepare cangkuk manis with noodles and my mum usually prepared it in a soupy form with flour vermicelli or mee sua. However, what is commonly sold in Kuching nowadays is cangkuk manis stir fried with long life noodles or rice vermicelli (beehoon).
Red Yeast Rice Wine Flour Vermicelli （红糟面线） – This is not uniquely Sarawak but a well liked this by all Foochow descedants. Sarawak has a big population of Foochow descedants in the middle of Sarawak especially Sibu and Sarikei, as such, this noodle dish is a very common noodle dish in the coffee shops of Sarawak. Other areas that can find similar noodle dish are in Sitiawan.
Aruk Fried Rice – Nasik Aruk (originated from Sarawak). Nasik Aruk is a traditional Sarawakian Malay fried rice. Unlike Nasi Goreng, Nasi Aruk does not use any oil to fry the rice. The ingredients are garlic, onion and anchovies, fried to perfection with very little oil and then the cook will put the rice in. The rice must be fried for longer time (compared to frying rice for Nasi Goreng) for the smokey/slightly-burnt taste to absorb into the rice. It is a common to see Nasik Aruk in the food menu list at Malay and Mamak coffee shops and stalls.” (Source:http://wikitravel.org/en/Sarawak)
Motherworts Chicken (益母草姜酒鸡）– This is a traditional confinement dish for ladies who just gave birth. Motherwort have been used by midwives for centuries in Europe to assist in delivery, How this special herb become a confinement dish in Sarawak remained unclear, possibly because of the influenced of British during previous colonisation of Sarawak.. Though it is a confinement dish, but it is well liked by all age groups and sexes.
Zhao An (Chawan) Smoked Chicken (诏安熏鸡) – You may be surprised to see this recipe here. It is a unique dish of Sarawak Zhaoan or Chawan community and usually prepare during big occasions. I have never seen it elsewhere beside in Kuching and it was also not commonly sold in the shop too.
Pastry, Cakes and Snacks
Chinese Style Citrus Zested Pancake (风吹饼，风筝饼, 烘吹饼) – A rather unique type of snack in Sarawak and lots of Sarawakian Chinese love this snack. As constrasted to this illustration, it is usually round and without sesame seeds . For some Sarwakian Chinese dialect group, this is also another type of moon cake they are having.
Chawan Muah Piah or Sesame Cake (诏安麻饼） – This is quite unique mooncake that can still get it in Sarawak as it is getting less and less common. When I posted in Facebook, it appeared that none ever heard or seen something similar to this recipe. I have therefore decided to classify this as unique Sarawak Cuisines. Note that this is different from Gong Soh Paeng in Singapore or West Malaysia.
Sarawak Midnight Cake/Kek Serikaya Sarawak – a cake which is full of breakfast beverages ingredients, a rich dense and dark coloured cake usually served during festivals such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Gawai Dayak etc. It is so dark that I have decided to call it a midnight cake and taste is awesome and rich.
Steamed Brownie Cheesecake (蒸布朗尼奶酪蛋糕） – This is one of the characteristic steamed cake in Sarawak. It can come in many forms and I have created my own recipe. Only Sarawakian like steamed cakes at long hours. This recipe will suit the taste buds of non Sarawakian
Sarawak Kek Lumut Or Green Moss Steamed Cake (砂朥越青苔蒸糕） – This is a special Horlick flavoured steamed cake. Green was chosen because of its name : Mosses. With or without colour will churn out the same cake.
Steamed Fruit Cake or Kek Kukus Buah (杂果蒸糕） – Sarawakians like to steam cakes inclusive of the fruit cakes for festivals. This is the local recipe that do not have alcohol and have a different texture.
Malaysian Beehive Cake or Honeycomb Cake （蜂窝蛋糕） – This cake is not exclusively in Sarawak but it is a very common traditional household cake that many housewives can be prepared even without the oven. This cake can still be found in Singapore traditional bakeries but is not common nowadays. Sarawakian will have a fond memories of this cake prepared by their mother or grandmother.
Ferrero Rocher Layered Cheese Cake (金莎千层奶酪蛋糕） – I have like to classify this biscuit layer cheesecake as Sarawak unique cake as I have never eaten it elsewhere. Most of the local recipe did not call for the use of Ferreo Rocher but normal cheese biscuit, for recipe purposes, i have modified to include these expensive chocolate.
Horlicks Lapis (好力克千层蛋糕）– Sarawak is famous for it layered cake after introduction from Indonesian in late 1980’s. The lapis or layered cake are many with its special design and flavouring. This is one of the classic household lapis.
Coffee Peppermint Lapis （咖啡薄荷千层蛋糕）– Another type of lapis for your consideration though the more common type is the chocolate peppermint lapis. This is the healthier version of lapis.
Authentic Lapis Legit (Spekkoek 印尼千层蛋糕） – Lapis is never exclusively found in Sarawak. It was brought into Sarawak in the early 80s but Sarawakian have since used it to make tons of Sarawak style lapis and that make Sarawak very famous about its lapis . This is the basic lapis recipe.
Prune Lapis (黑枣千层蛋糕） – Prune lapis is another common variation in Sarawak
Kueh Momo or Ghee Cookies – Sarawak Kuih Momo is different from West Malaysian kuih makmur as we used only ghee and flour and roll on icing sugar. Sarawak kuih momo do not have any fillings also.
S Shape Butter Cookies (Kuih S) = This simple butter cookies in the shape of S has been done by grannies in sarawak for generations. This is truly uniquely Sarawak.
Sarawak Style Butter Buns – The uniqueness of Sarawak style butter buns is its buttery fillings. Its filling is made from mixing the butter with some flour. Sarawakian craved for this and there are no close substitute of these buns found elsewhere.
Sarawak Style Rice Flour Yeasted Huat Kuih – Many Sarawakian may not be aware that this huat kuih is uniquely Sarawak. It is rice flour huat kuih leavened by yeast and the characteristic is that it will smile happily. In West Malaysia and Singapore, rice flour yeasted huat kuih has a flat top and some called it bee kuih.
Kuih Manggis, Kuih Syara (香兰小青糕） – This is a common afternoon snack in Sarawak. While I knew West Malaysian and Singapore may have this snack name as Kuih syara and eat with coconut milk, Sarawakian version is dry and do not eat with anything. The popularity of this snack in Kuching when compare to other regions make me render it as uniquely Sarawak.
Sarawak Pickled Cucumber – Acar Timum Sarawak – Sarawak has its unique acar that have slightly different recipe as compared to Nonya Acar Awak. Sarawak Acar ingredients are simpler and can be kept for months or years. In Sarawak, Acar is usually served with Keropok or fish crackers.
Penyaram, Pinjaram or Kue Cucur Gula Merah (UFO Kuih, Mexican Hats) – Though not exclusively Sarawak, however, this was sold as a tourist souvenir item and a very common snack easily obtained in Sarawak.
Popiah – Sarawak Style – Though it may be a generalization, Sarawak style popiah is generally came with dry type of fillings. Unlike West Malaysia or Singapore version, jicama were not simmer until soft. In Sarawak, the popiah fillings were stir fried instead of simmering. With these drier filling, popiah can be found in stalls selling kuih and other snacks. One can just pick up one and have it on its way to office.
Once again, some of the recipes may not be exclusively Sarawak but its popularity has made it stands out. If you ever visited Sarawak, do give the above cuisines a try. There are still many unique Sarawak dishes and cakes that was not included here as I do not have access to the raw materials. I will continue to search for relevant recipes for Sarawak cuisines.
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