10 Must-Try Pahang Traditional and Cultural Food


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Embark on a culinary journey through the rich tapestry of Pahang’s traditions and culture, as we unveil a delectable array of dishes that have stood the test of time. From the heartwarming flavors of rendang tok to the aromatic allure of ikan singgang, this gastronomic adventure promises to unravel the very essence of Pahang’s culinary heritage.

1. Ikan Patin Tempoyak

Patin Tempoyak

Credit: https://pemetaanbudaya.jkkn.gov.my/state/10/2

This dish is especially popular in the Temerloh district of Pahang. The primary ingredient is patin fish, cooked with tempoyak, a fermented durian paste created by removing the durian flesh from its seeds, adding a pinch of salt, and allowing it to ferment for three to five days at room temperature.The traditional Pahang Tempoyak recipe for Patin fish omits the use of onions, lemongrass, torch ginger flower, and garlic. Patin Tempoyak is commonly served with steamed rice and veggies on the side.

2. Asam Rom

Asam Rom

Credit: https://pemetaanbudaya.jkkn.gov.my/state/10/2

Asam Rom, also known as Asam Rum or Asam Rong, is a traditional dish that originates from the Jerantut district in the state of Pahang, Malaysia.The dry and crumbly texture of Asam Rong makes it a versatile ingredient that can be added to a wide range of dishes, including vegetable stir-fries, curries, soups, and sambals. The most popular way to prepare Asam Rong is in a fish curry, which pairs well with river fish like patin, kenerak, and baung. It can also be used to season meat and vegetables like pumpkin or fern shoots. Additionally, Asam Rong can be turned into a sambal by mixing it with chili and anchovies and served as a condiment for ulam or dried fish.

It is a dish that represents the rich cultural heritage of Pahang and is becoming more widely known throughout the country. If you are interested in trying authentic Asam Rong, a trip to the state of Pahang is highly recommended.

3. Puding Diraja

Puding Diraja

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Bananas, prunes, cherries, and cashew nuts are used to make Puding Diraja, a majestic dessert that is served with a thick custard sauce. The dish is popular at special events and festivities because of its sweet and creamy flavour.

4. Dodol Kukus

Dodol Kukus

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In Pahang, particularly in the Chenor area, a popular variation of the original dodol dessert is known as dodol kukus. Dodol Kukus, in contrast to regular dodol, is made by steaming rather than stirring. Glutinous rice flour and palm sugar are the major components of this dish. It has a delicious flavour and a chewy texture comparable to normal dodol.

As a treat at breakfast, afternoon tea, and for breaking the fast during Ramadan, this dish is frequently offered. A trickle of oil is put on top to improve its taste. Dodol Kukus are sold in the Temerloh One-Day Market, which is held every Sunday, and the Chenor One-Day Market, which is held every Thursday. Fans of classic sweets love this treat since it’s straightforward and easy to make.

5. Gulai Lemak Siput Sedut

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Gulai Lemak Siput Sedut is a traditional meal that is well-liked by the Malay people in the state of Pahang. The siput sedut, a kind of freshwater snail that is common in rivers, is the inspiration for this recipe. Yam, lemongrass, turmeric leaves, asam gelugor, coconut milk, coconut cream, salt, and sugar are added to the mix during cooking. The usage of siput sedut is the key distinction in the cooking process from other gulai recipes. To eliminate the dirt and make it simpler to consume, the siput sedut must be sliced at the end before cooking.

6. Sambal Hitam Belimbing Buluh

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Sambal Hitam Belimbing Buluh is a traditional food from the state of Pahang that has been passed down from generation to generation, making it a part of the state’s identity. Many believe that only those who are skilled can produce this unique dish. The process of making this sambal hitam is quite time-consuming, but it’s well worth the effort. This unique dish is especially famous in the districts of Jerantut, Kuala Lipis, and Raub.

Apart from the star ingredient, which is the belimbing buluh (a type of sour fruit), other basic ingredients include chili, anchovies, shallots, and cooking oil. The chili is pounded together with the shallots and then fried in oil until fragrant. The anchovies, which have also been pounded, are then added along with the belimbing buluh, and cooked until well combined.

Sambal hitam was created in the past as a means of preserving food, as there were no refrigerators available to store food and dishes. Today, it has become a beloved traditional food that anyone can enjoy.

7. Kuih Mahbob

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Kuih Mahbob, a delectable Malaysian dessert, has earned immense popularity in the Pekan district. Fondly known as “Kuih Jeneral Mahbob” among locals, the dessert is associated with a British General who once governed the state. Legend has it that the General was so enamored with this sweet delight that he indulged in it daily, eventually becoming intoxicated with its irresistible taste. This incident led to the naming of the dessert as “Kuih Jeneral Mabuk” or “Kuih Jeneral Mahbob.” Regrettably, the availability of this delectable dessert is limited to special occasions, making it quite rare to find. If you ever get the opportunity to savor it, do not hesitate to try this exceptional delicacy.

8. Opor Daging

Opor Daging

Credit: https://www.pahang.gov.my/index.php/pages/view/371?mid=140

Opor Daging is a meal of slow-cooked beef in a thick, creamy sauce made from coconut milk and flavoured with a combination of spices and herbs. It is frequently served with steaming rice and a side of veggies and is renowned for its tasty, delicate meat. Opor Daging is frequently prepared during gatherings like weddings and sizable celebrations.

9. Kuih Badak Kubang

Credit: https://pemetaanbudaya.jkkn.gov.my/state/10/2

In the Chenor district of Pahang, Kuih Badak Kubang is a regional delicacy that is very well-liked. This delicious delicacy is circular in shape and has a flavour that will have you wanting more since it is sweet and creamy. The fundamental ingredients, which consist of black glutinous rice flour, shredded coconut, coconut milk, and a dash of salt, are meticulously layered on small circular banana leaves and steamed till done.

10. Lemang

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Lemang is a traditional Malay dish made from glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk, packed inside a hollowed bamboo tube, and cooked over an open fire. The dish is known for its smoky and fragrant taste, and it is often served during special occasions and celebrations.

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