Being Sarawakian although I have moved away for over 20 years, I am still very proud of my root. Therefore, every trip home to Sarawak will be highly anticipated. Apart from spending quality time with friends and family, I always ensure that I get my fill with the authentic Sarawakian food that I missed.
Today, I want to introduced some of my “NOT TO BE MISSED” local delicacies in Sarawak. Although some of the dishes may be available elsewhere, “HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS” which literally means to me, the food are still the best when savor in the origin.
The most popular dish in Sarawak I must say would be Sarawak Laksa. A flavorful broth cooked with sambal, coconut milk and many different type of spices, this delicious bowl of rice vermicelli is serviced with prawns, chicken, omelette, beansprouts and lime.
Available in many eateries around Sarawak, this is one dish that is not to be missed.
Oh, during my recent trip home just over a week ago, I was recommended to Laksa served with Bamboo Clams (right pic below) that is available at the coffee shop located in the newly opened ICON-Center located along Pending Road. Definitely a dish highly recommended as one savoring the bowl of delicious rice vermicelli as the Bamboo Clams compliments the dish very well.
Another culinary awesomeness of Sarawak would be Kolok Mee, a delightful noodle dish served with crushed garlic, shallots, minced pork as well as shreds of pork meat.
What makes this dish special? It is actually the springy egg noodles that is slightly similar to the Wantan Noodle but with a slight different taste. And the secret to the amazing taste of the Kolok Mee lies in the use of pork lard which coats each strand of noodles with delicious meaty flavor.
Available serve in plain pork lard (white color) or “Char Siew” pork lard (pink / red color), one can also add a little bit of black vinegar which turns the bowl of delicious noodles into a little bit sourish taste to suite the taste-bud of those who like to try something different. One dish that I will definitely not missed whenever I am back home.
Kueh Chap is not actually authentic in Sarawak only as it is available in Thailand and Singapore as well. However, this is one dish that I grew up enjoying occasionally.
Kueh Chap is actually a Teochew dish of rice sheet served in a soy sauce broth and freely customized ingredients. The most common ones are of course pig innards, pig skin, hard-boiled eggs, pork belly, “tau fu pok”, tofu and fishcake that have been braised in the soy sauce.
In Kuching, the best Kueh Chap in my opinion is the stall located on the 1st floor (food court) of the 3rd Mile Market.
One place that one definitely should not missed when visiting Kuching is Sunny Hill Ice-Cream shop, located at the corner of the 3rd Mile Roundabout, next to Sunny Hill School.
Soft served ice-cream made using special imported milk powder, this little cozy ice-cream parlor has been around for decades. I remember growing up with these yummy ice-cream during my early teenage years when I did my afternoon school @ Sunny Hill School.
The only downside about this place is the limited flavors available depending on the day / week. My favorite which is the Pandan Flavor is only available alternately weeks on Wednesday till Friday. So imagine my disappointment should the week I am home for a visit happens to be the week where Corn flavor were served and not Pandan.
Sarawak has a type of wild fern that is only found in Borneo called Bidin. Crunchy on the outside while juicy inside, this dish is a popular vegetable dish in most restaurant. Can be cooked in various way. Tasted best fried with “sambal belacan” aka prawn paste or with red rice wine. Of course my favorite style is fried with red rice wine (after all, red rice wine is one of Foochow pride and joy)
Oyster pancake are available in many different country and places. However, the Sarawak version is slightly different from those that are available elsewhere. This is because the Sarawak Oyster Pancake, also known as “Orh Chien” is a crispy and much larger version where the method of preparing the pancake are different.
The pancake is made of batter (tapioca starch, eggs, and rice flour) then deep fried until it is crispy. This is then followed by a few fresh cleaned oyster thrown on top of the surface and fried together again. The Sarawak Oyster Pancake is recommended to be eaten immediately upon serving. It taste really good on its own or you can drip it in the special soya sauce sprinkled with pepper that is served usually together with the pancake.
This special dish is usually available in the restaurant or seafood center that are widely spread across Sarawak. Definitely a dish that is not to be missed for those Oyster Pancake lovers.
The last dish I am recommending today is the Sarawak Belacan Bee Hoon, a dish that originated from Kuching making it one of the signature dishes of Sarawak cuisine.
Sarawak Belacan Bee Hoon is a rice vermicelli aka Bee Hoon dish in broth made from Belacan with a few other varieties of ingredients topped with bean sprout, cucumber and cured cuttlefish. In some places, they served it with century eggs.
So, if you are heading that way for vacation, do ensure that you checked these unique yet tasty popular dishes of Sarawak.