List of Signature Local Food in Sabah

Every state in Malaysia has its own distinct cuisine. The same also goes to Sabah. Mee tuaran, sung nyuk mian (pork noodle), ngiu chap noodle (beef noodle), and roti cobra are some of the Sabahan foods to try (roti canai mixed with chicken curry and sunny side up egg). Apart from the aforementioned foods, Sabah has a variety of signature local delicacies that you should eat at least once in your life. The six of them are listed below.

1. Ambuyat

Ambuyat is a sticky starch manufactured from the sago palm, which is extracted from the trunk of a Rumbia tree. Ambuyat is a traditional Bruneian dish that is scooped and rolled around with a pair of pronged bamboo chopsticks known as candas. When eaten alone, the ambuyat has a rather bland flavour, therefore it’s better to serve it with a flavorful dipping sauce.

2. Hinava

Hinava is very famous among Sabah’s Kadazan-Dusun people. It’s a typical Sabahan meal made with sliced tenggiri (mackerel) with ingredients including chilli, ginger, onions, and lime juice. It can be served as an appetiser or as a main course, usually with white rice. Hinava can be made with other seafood such as prawns and squid instead of fish.

3. Pinasakan

Another fish dish popular among the Kadazan-Dusun people of Sabah is pinasakan. Braised basung fish is combined with a tart wild fruit called takob akob, salt, and fresh turmeric to make pinasakan or pinasakan sada. Bambangan (wild mango) is sometimes included in the ingredients list. It goes well with white rice and ambuyat.

4. Latok

The Bajau people of Sabah’s east coast are particularly fond of this sort of seaweed dish. It’s commonly served as a salad or as a side dish with chilli or cili padi (bird’s eye chilli), lime, and sambal belacan.

5. Nonsom

This traditional preserved food, also known as bosou, is popular among the Kadazan-Dusun people of Sabah. It’s actually made from fermented freshwater fish, rice, salt, and a local herb called pangi. The mixture is then marinated for about two weeks in an airtight glass jar or container. 

6. Linopot

Linopot is a rice wrapped in a sort of leaf called tarap and cooked with yam or sweet potato, and is another famous cuisine among the Kadazan-Dusun people of Sabah. Even though linopot is primarily offered during festive seasons or traditional Sabahan wedding rituals, it may be found at some places.

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