Sarawak: 12 Food You Must Try When In Sarawak

Sarawak has fantastic food and is often underrated. Here is the top food you must try when you are in Sarawak. Trust us, it's amazing.

Top food to eat in Sarawak: Laksa Sarawak

Laksa Sarawak Image source via flickr/farahmarzuki

#1: Laksa Sarawak

The late celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain, said it's good, it's legit good, ok? He said Laksa Sarawak is the breakfast for the Gods, and it's his Top 10 dish in Southeast Asia. It is rice noodles (bihun) cooked in shrimp based broth top with bean sprouts, prawns, thin omelette strips and chicken, making it a 'balanced' meal. 

Top food to eat in Sarawak: Kolo mee

Kolo mee Image source via Foodpanda

#2: Kolo Mee

It is different from the famous Wantan Noodles. One, it is not drenched with dark soy sauce. Sarawak Kolo Mee is slightly springier than Wantan Noodles and typically come with a generous topping of minced meat. The original Sarawak Kolo Mee is mixed with a sinful amount of pork lard and char siew (BBQ pork); of course, we also have the chicken version as well.

Top food to eat in Sarawak: Belacan bihun

Belacan bihun Image source via burpple

#3: Belacan Bihun

Belacan Bihun is rice vermicelli mixed in a flavourful belacan broth topped with julienned cucumber, cuttlefish and some chillies. Some stalls serve it with century eggs. If you like belacan, you will definitely enjoy this. 

Top food to eat in Sarawak: Tomato Kueh Tiaw

Tomato Kueh Tiaw Image source via kellysiewcooks

#4: Tomato Kueh Tiaw

Rice noodles or Kueh Tiaw stir fry until you have that 'wok flavour' aka wok hei topped with thick, sweet and sour tomato sauced-based gravy. Tomato Kueh Tiaw is typically served with vegetables, chicken and seafood. 

Top food to eat in Sarawak: Kacangma

Kacangma Image source via Twitter/Lewisayan

#5: Kacangma

Initially, Kacangma was prepared only for the Hakka women during their confinement period. Nowadays, it is widely available because it is delicious! Kacangma is prepared with motherwort (a type of herb), plenty of ginger and rice wine. It is definitely an acquired taste, but it is worth trying if you like ginger and alcohol.

Top food to eat in Sarawak: Tempoyak Durian Sarawak

Tempoyak Durian Sarawak Image source via resepichenom

#6: Tempoyak Durian

Tempoyak durian is fermented durian; yes, you heard it right, it is durian left to ferment. Sarawak style of tempoyak durian is to stir-fry the fermented durian with Ikan bilis (fried anchovies), chillies and fried onions. It is sweet, tangy, spicy and crunch from the fried anchovies. It is best served with one steaming hot rice. 

Top food to eat in Sarawak: Pansuh Manuk Pansuh Chicken

Pansuh Manuk Image source via nst

#7: Pansuh Chicken

Pansuh Chicken or manuk pansuh is one of the most popular traditional dishes often prepared by Dayak. Typically, the dark meat of the chicken is used in this pansuh. The chicken is marinated with lemongrass, ginger and cassava leaves slow-cooked over an open fire in bamboo. This cooking method seals in all the flavours, which result in flavourful, tender and juicy chicken.

Top food to eat in Sarawak: Nasi Aruk

Nasi Aruk Sarawak Image source via

#8: Nasi Aruk

Nasi Aruk is a special dish and somewhat 'healthy' dish because absolutely no oil is needed to 'fry' this rice. Yes, you heard it correctly. No oil is used for frying this rice. Nasi Aruk is traditionally Sarawakian Malay fried rice. Its ingredients are basic aromatics like garlic, onion and anchovies. Nasi Aruk is commonly available in Malay coffee shops and stalls. 

Top food to eat in Sarawak: Umai

Umai Sarawak Image source via Youtube/Kaki Lantak

#9: Umai

Umai is a Melanau's delicacy, similar to seafood ceviche. It was invented by Melanau fishermen to 'cook' the fish while they are fishing on the boat. It is made with fresh fish combined with thinly-sliced shallots, chillies, salt and lime juice. Sago worms, prawns and squids umai are also available. 

Top food to eat in Sarawak: Midin

Midin Belacan Image source via flickr

#10: Midin

Midin used to be hidden treasures in Sarawak. It is a wild fern that grows in the jungles of Sarawak. With its crunchy texture, no wonder it's a favourite amongst the locals as well as visitors. Midin can be eaten as a salad (kerabu), stir-fried with shrimp-paste (belacan) or plain garlic. Most restaurants or cafes in Sarawak serves Midin, and now Sarawak even exports Midin to Singapore!

Top food to eat in Sarawak: Manichai Bihun

Manichai Bihun Image source via seravaborneo

#11: Manicai Bihun

Manicai is a popular leafy vegetable in Southeast Asia. In Sarawak, the leafy vegetables are 'broken' down so it is much palatable and easier to consume. Manicai bihun is a typical Hakka dish where basically it is a stir-fry bihun or some uses long-life noodle with manicai and dried shrimp.

Top food to eat in Sarawak: Kampua Mee

Kampua Mee Image source via silverdolly

#12: Kampua Mee

This next dish bears much resemblance to Kolo Mee that no Sarawakian could possibly be unaware of. What sets it apart would be the texture of the handmade noodle. It is smooth, soft and gives a yielding sensation in your mouth. Originating in Sibu, kampua is a delicacy of the Foochow, but well, Sarawakians love to share their culture. Now even the Muslims can enjoy the halal version of kampua!

What is your favourite Sarawakian dish? Let us know!

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