Like many different cultures in various states, Sarawak has its own delicacy that is truly unique to the Sarawakians. These authentic Sarawak foods are readily available but are hardly found outside the natural lands of Sarawak. Naturally, they became an essential day to day favourites of the Sarawakians. Today we uncover the top 5 authentic food that adds colour to Sarawakians’ day to day life.
1. Gong Pia/Kompiah
These crusty baked buns are an iconic pastry that is part of the Foochow community traditions for centuries. Kompiah originated from Sibu. These crusty doughnuts like buns are usually filled with minced caramelised pork fillings and sesame toppings. The No. 7 Gong Pia (光饼) stall at Song Kheng Hai Hawker and recreational Centre in Kuching has the right amount of sweetness and flavour in every bite. Back in the baking masters knead big lumps of doughs and portion them into bun size before attaching them to the hot walls of the coal oven. These baked buses are then delicately removed from the sidewalls after a period of time and a generous amount of sesame seeds was sprinkled on to them. The end product is the iconic Sibu Kompiah that is well-loved by the local Sarawakians.
2. Belacan Bee Hoon
Uncover various hidden Sarawak treat as you go deeper into Song Kheng Hawker. There is the Belacan Bee Hoon which is exceptionally popular among the Sarawakians. However, this bowl of goodness is not made for the weak. If you are a Belacan fan, you probably would consider the strong aroma of the shrimp paste lovely while others will regard this as an overpowering stench. No matter the preference, Sarawakian enjoy having this classic delicacy for their day to day meal. This bowl of thick aromatic shrimp paste gravy combines perfectly with cooked rice vermicelli, cuttlefish, topped with century eggs. The overall taste of this bee hoon is sweet. You have a sweet tooth, you probably will love the Belacan Bee Hoon. One could only say that the lovers will love it and haters will hate it.
3. Heng Hua Mee
Heng Hua Mee originates from Putian china located at southern Fukien when people come over to Sarawak. What makes this dish so special is the delicately handmade vermicellis. Heng Hua flour is the secret to these springy and it goes well with the broth. The end result is a slurpy bowl of delicious vermicelli immersed with sweet and savoury broth.
4. Kacangma Chicken/Motherwort Chicken
Kacangma Chicken/ Motherwort Chicken is a unique confinement dish that consists of three core ingredients, Giger, rice wine and of course the star of the dish Kacangma. Kacangma which means motherwort is a herb similar to the mint family. These herbs are often used by the Chinese as a remedy for female reproductive disorders. This Hakka dish is only popular in East Malaysia (Sarawak). Surprisingly, unlike Sarawak laksa or kolo mee, it is not popular in west Malaysia or Malaysia. Motherwort Chicken. White aromatic wine is essential in the preparation of this dish. The overall preparation is pretty similar to simmering a red date soup, where the chickens are tender and the broth are sweet. With the addition of the Chinese rice wine, this dish is a little spicy and it goes extremely well with soya sauce. This is how the Sarawakians liked it.
5. Terung Asam Soup (Golden Brinjal Soup)
This is one of the most popular Dayak (native tribal inhabitants in Sarawak) dishes in Sarawak. Terung Asam, Golden Brinjal or the Solanum Ferroc L (scientific name) is an elongated round fruit the size of a tomato. The succulent green fruits ripen to a yellow-orange firm flesh surrounded by a soft central cavity filled with tomato like seeds. It’s a traditional dish that tastes spicy with a zest of sour. It has many variations of preparation. However, the most popular ones are the addition of fish or chicken. This adds sweetness to the spicy and sour broth.
To Try or Not To Try?
These are the top favourite delicacies of a Sarawakian. Unlike Sarawak Laksa and Kolo Mee, they are not known by the general public. Would it be worth the try? Definitely! Although taste is rather subjective for different individuals, you get to discover the authentic taste of Sarawak. Who knows, it may be love at first taste?