‘Dabai’ or black olives – uniquely found in Sarawak only, is actually rich in anti oxidant and minerals, has a creamy textured yellowish pulp under the outer black skin layer
The soursop is a fruit of the Annona muricata broadleaf, evergreen tree. It is known by several names, graviola being the most ubiquitous. In Bahasa Malaysia soursop is called “Durian Belanda”, whilst in Sabah, it is referred to as lampun.
Sarawakians love eating sambal. It is a spicy condiment that is used as a side dish. The most common sambal is sambal belacan. Chili is pounded together with toasted belacan (processed shrimp paste) in a stone mortar. Sometimes, ikan bilis (anchovies) and sweet sour mangoes are added. Salt, sugar and lime juice are the last items mixed in. It is usually eaten with cucumbers or ulam (raw leafy herbs) in a meal of rice and other dishes. Another version is fried belacan with chili that is popular among the Chinese.
There’s nothing quite like Sarawak food. With remarkable diversity and flavours, Sarawak’s unique culinary styles continue to delight locals and tourists alike. Whether it is Sarawak Laksa or Labo Senutuq (Kelabit style shredded beef), the rich tastes and aroma of Sarawak’s amazing food are guaranteed to have you coming back for seconds or thirds, maybe more so. With that in mind, let’s explore some of the key aspects of Sarawak’s food & culinary culture.
Organic food in Sarawak has yet to pick up as a major industry, but we still have our own organic food “store and supplier” – our jungles. If you frequent the local pasar or markets, we are endowed with sellers of these organic jungle produce.
As if the local delicacy that is belacan (processed shrimp paste) isn’t enough, Bintulu is also famous for cincaluk. Cincaluk is actually shrimp paste that is pickled and served as a side dish. Chilies and lime are added to give more zing to it and it can be eaten with cucumbers or in a meal with rice and other popular local dishes. Like belacan, cincaluk is an acquired taste for those unfamiliar with Sarawak cuisine. It has a strong aroma and a salty bite to it that might repel those used to less exotic foods. However for those brave enough to try this local treat it promises to grow on them.
One of the most pleasant gifts that Mother Nature has to offer is the delicious Asam Embang. Formally known as Mangifera pajang, a species of Anacardiaceae, the wild mango is endemic to the island of Borneo.