Sabah Traditional Food



Ambuyat is a dish made from the sago palm’s internal trunk. It’s a bland starchy substance that’s similar to tapioca starch. Ambuyat is eaten with a bamboo fork called a chandas, which is used to roll the starch around the prongs before dipping it into a sauce of various flavours. It has a sticky and chewy texture.

Nasi Kuning

Nasi kuning, also known as nasi kunyit, is a fragrant rice dish made with coconut milk and turmeric (thus the name).


Buras is a staple dish made with coconut milk and served in a banana leaf pouch to substitute steamed rice or ketupat. It’s similar to lontong, but with a more robust flavour thanks to the addition of coconut milk.

Kuih Jala

Kuih Jala is a delicious and distinctive native Sabah dish that looks like little fried noodles. Pouring rice milk into a coconut shell punctured with many small holes, gyrating the shell, and dropping the liquid into a wok of heated oil is the traditional manner of preparing this crispy little snack. Scoop it out once it’s golden brown and fold it into a fan or roll shape while it’s still hot.


Kapurung has a similar shape to Ambuyat, which has a starch-based dish. But what sets it apart is that Ambuyat is normally served separately from the rest of the meal. Starch or sweet potato flour, veggies, and anchovies or sardines are all common ingredients in Kapurung.

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