Friday, March 22, 2013

Street Food in Sabah


The eastern Malaysian state Sabah, situated on the island of Borneo is home to more than 30 different ethnic groups like Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Indonesian amongst others.  All these diverse folk have their own indigenous cuisines which are crafted with a multitude of ingredients and cooking techniques. It is no wonder then that the cuisine of Sabah is said be composed of a wide array of dishes that display its various ethnic influences
One of the best ways to sample the many flavors and tastes of Sabah cuisine is to traverse the many animated street markets (Tamus) of the state’s capital city Kota Kinabalu. Hawker stalls located here offer some of the best street foods of Sabah like:-
Tuaran Mee
Tuaran Mee or Tuaran noodle is an iconic street food of Sabah.   Tuaran Mee is a substantial dish that features stir-fried yellow egg noodles (that hail from the town of Tuaran and are crispy on the outside but soft on the inside ) garnished with slices of egg rolls, roasted pork and stir fried greens.
Hinava Tongii
This dish which consists of fish salad has its origins in the cuisine of the Kadazan people, an ethnic group native to Sabah. This refreshing salad features raw mackarel fish (called tenggiri in Kadazan)which is fileted and then sliced and marinated in the juice of  four to five limes. The fish is then tossed together with thinly sliced ginger, shallots and chili. This salad is usually garnished with dried, grated bambangan( a mango-like fruit native to Sabah) seed or even finely sliced bitter gourd.
Bambangan can be found at most markets in Sabah and in fact pickled bambangan served with plain rice and deep-fried fish is an extremely popular food of Sabah.
Pinasakan
Yet another dish that hails from the Kadazan community. This dish features braised basung fish which is tossed with slices of the native takob akob fruit, fresh turmeric, salt and sliced Bambangan. Pinasakan goes well with another Sabah specialty called Ambuyat , a starchy cake made from the sap of the Sago palm.
Ikan Panggang
This classic Malay dish features a firm fish like stingray slathered with sambal(a chili and lime paste) wrapped in banana leaves and grilled over a char coal fire.  The leaves infuse the fish with a smoky taste while the sambal spices up the fish.
Tuhau
Tuhau is a pickled dish that hails from the interior of Sabah and features a type of wild ginger that is diced thinly and mixed with dried chilies and scallions. Tuhau is a condiment which is found at most street markets of Sabah.
Custard Bun
As its name suggests this dish features freshly baked buns stuffed with custard or red bean paste and peanuts.
Fish head noodles
This noodle dish features fish head, and  be had with three main soup bases namely tom yum soup,  bitter gourd soup or a vegetable soup that has tofu and tomato.
Sheng Rou Mian
Yet another noodle dish this features slices of fresh pork boiled in a broth and served with noodles fried with pork lard and dark soy sauce.
Ngiu chap
The term Ngiu chap translates as mixed beef. This dish contains different cuts of beef served with noodles and a soup base, though you can also have it dry if you wish.
Honey chicken barbecue wings
Hawker stalls all over Sabah serve this tasty morsel which features chicken wings marinated in a secret sauce and then barbecued over a slow fire.
So if you enjoy discovering new foods, a trip to the hawker stalls of  Sabah is guaranteed  to open your eyes to whole new world of culinary delights.

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