7 Must Try Dishes of Sarawak


7 Must-Try Dishes of Sarawak

There are lot of foods that you need to try here in Sarawak!

There are lot of foods that you need to try here in Sarawak!


Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia and a haven for soup lovers because the state offers a wide array of soup dishes. Besides soup, foodies are spoilt for choice because Sarawak also brims with amazing culinary options, which are all listed in the following and should be savoured by everybody!

  1. Sarawak Laksa
Sarawak Laksa (Image credit to Kuali website)

Sarawak laksa can arguably be categorised as one of Sarawakians’ main staple, which is enjoyed by many who are not from the state as well. The base of the laksa broth is prepared by adding prawn shells into the laksa paste. Cooked rice vermicelli is topped with peeled boiled prawns, omelette strips, bean sprouts, chicken strips and chopped coriander leaves, which are all drenched in the broth. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?

2. Manok Pansoh


Manok Pansoh (Image credit to iCook Asia website)

Manok pansoh is a traditional local Dayak dish that constitutes chicken cutlets cooked in bamboo. Ginger flowers, lemon grass, tapioca leaves and chicken (called manok by Sarawakians) are chopped into small pieces, stuffed into a bamboo stalk, and then cooked over a slow fire. The tenderness of the chicken and flavoursome soup on the side leave a rich aftertaste that lingers in your mouth and memory for a long time. What make this dish special is the fact that it is cooked in bamboo, making the chicken meat softer and aromatic.

3. Umai

Umai (Image credit to Kuali website)

Umai is sashimi for the Melanau tribe. Ingredients like red chillies, onion, salt, and lime juice are used to marinate the raw fish. A considerable amount of fish meat from tenggiri (Spanish mackerel) or terubok (toli shad or Chinese herring) is used to make umai. This dish’s salty and tangy flavour is appetising and stimulating the palate, excellent for eating with rice!

4. Midin


Midin (Image credit to Sarawakian Restaurant Blogspot)

Being a type of fern that grows in the wild, midin is almost similar to pucuk paku (fiddlehead), but not quite. This dish is generally served in every restaurant throughout Sarawak. The texture of midin iscrunchy and it has curly fronds, normally fried with garlic or belacan (shrimp paste). Unfortunately, midin stays fresh only for a short while, so best to be consumed immediately. Don’t miss the chance to try this refreshing dish when you come to Sarawak!

5. Dabai

Dabai (Image credit to Yanmeetsworld Blogspot)

Known as Sarawak’s black olive, dabai is Sarawak’s seasonal fruit that is nutritious and can be eaten raw together with sugar or dark soy sauce. You can soak dabai in hot water too until it turns soft before eaten. This fruit is also used as one of the ingredients for fried rice, pizza and jam.

6. Tomato Kueh Tiaw

Tomato Kueh Tiaw (Image credit to Miri City Sharing website)

Tomato Kueh Tiaw is unique and can only be found in Sarawak. This dish is made of rice noodles served with chicken, seafood, and vegetables. Adding tomato sauce to a plate of fried kueh tiaw is simply irresistible, even to the children, making it a popular comfort food in Sarawak. The taste of sourness from the tomato adds flavour to the dish.

7. Sarawak Kek Lapis

Sarawak Kek Lapis (Image credit to Great Leap website)

The colourful and flavourful kek lapis, also known as Sarawak Layer Cake, is another special delicacy you can find in Sarawak. This is a must for the Sarawakians when they celebrate any celebration or festival such as Eid, Christmas, Chinese New Year, or Deepavali. The main ingredients of kek lapis are butter or vegetable oil, milk, eggs, and jam. Usually, every kek lapis must comprise at least two colours. These days, there are various kek lapis flavours to be enjoyed such as chocolate, cheese, gula melaka (palm sugar) and more. Make sure to try kek lapis when you are in Sarawak!


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