10 Things To Eat in Kuching You Should Try On Your Visit!

Sarawak’s capital city, Kuching, is truly exceptional. No other Malaysian city can match its romantic, implausible past or the effortless ease with which it exudes its charms. The positive attitude of Kuching people towards visitors is evidence of how much they like living here and how much they take pride in their interesting city. Once you step into Kuching, everyone is so welcoming. It carries on with its daily activities in a laid-back style that hasn’t altered in 160 years. 

Sarawak, which is the biggest of Malaysia’s 13 states, is renowned for its distinctive regional cuisine, which features native herbs and fresh seafood. If you’re visiting Kuching without indulging in a hefty bowl of laksa Sarawak or sipping tuak, a traditional rice-based alcoholic beverage that is unique to the Dayak community, you cannot tell us your trip is complete!

Like all Malaysians, Sarawakians take great pride in their cuisine. The late Anthony Bourdain even referred to Sarawak laksa as “the breakfast of Gods” in one of his books. Aside from that specific cuisine, Sarawak is also known for kolo mee and kek lapis, which can be found pretty much everywhere in the state.

Uniqueness of Sarawak Food

You will find that the food in Sarawak is just as diverse as the state’s many different ethnic groups if you spread out a table with different Sarawak cuisines. Every indigenous community in Sarawak has a speciality that is distinctive to that group—their own culinary character. 

The spiced rice porridge known as Bubur Pedas is a speciality of the Sarawak Malay people. The Iban, meanwhile, enjoy their Tuak, a sort of rice wine. Moreover, the Linut, a treat produced from sago starch, is a speciality of the Melanau people, and Sarawak’s Chinese cuisine is renowned for its Kacang Ma, believed to be from the Chinese Hakka origin with a lot of health benefits, and Kueh Chap, flat rice noodles in pork broth topped with sliced pork meat and innards. If you ever wonder what to eat in Kuching, don’t worry because there are plenty of options!

10 Foods To Eat in Kuching

1. Kueh Chap

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A Teochew meal known as kueh chap basically translates to mean “cake and gravy.” For those who are unfamiliar, kueh chap is a hearty bowl of flat rice noodles drenched in a pork stew that is stuffed to the gills with meat and innards.

Most kopitiams and hawker centres in the Kuching area sell kueh chap, but the best place to eat in Kuching for the best kueh chap is Woon Lam Cafe. There is a kueh chap stall that has been around since 1985 and is still a locals’ favourite. Their pork meat is presented in a flavorful stew and is fresh, tender, and well-marinated. 


2. Sarawak Laksa

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Sarawak laksa, which is closely linked to other laksa variants, is the best food in Sarawak! It is distinguished by a delicate, mild flavour. The soup is served with vermicelli noodles, shredded omelette, cooked prawns, and shredded chicken. 

It also consists of a savoury chicken or shrimp-based broth that is seasoned with thick laksa paste, which occasionally contains more than twenty distinct ingredients. Lime and hot sambal are typically provided on the side. 

3. Kolo Mee

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One of the Kuching famous food one must try would be kolo mee! It is a simple noodle meal that is served for you to eat anytime whether it is for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is made up of yellow egg noodles that have been mixed in a light sauce before being topped with chicken cutlets, minced beef, or pieces of grilled pork, also known as char siew. For the non-halal ones, it may contain lard.

There are typically two flavours available for the dish: red sauce seasoning or plain. Additionally, you could ask for it to be seasoned with black vinegar or soy sauce, depending on your mood of the day.


4. Tebaloi (Sago Biscuit)

Tebaloi is one of the traditional Malaysian snacks with origins in Sarawak. Sago flour, eggs, desiccated coconut, turmeric, sugar, and different flavourings are typically used in its preparation. The dough is made up of Sago flour, coconut, sugar, and eggs.

It is flattened and set over hot embers on a big banana leaf. Once they needed to be cut into squares, the dough is removed and put back after cutting. The crackers are even more flattened by the addition of a large block on top of them. These crackers have a distinctive flavour because of the woodsmoke.

5. Crispy Tomato Mee

Another popular dish in Sarawak is the tomato crispy mee. This recipe is perfect for you if you enjoy tomatoes. Even if you’re not a fan of tomatoes, you might change your mind once you take a bite of this. Deep-fried and topped with copious amounts of tomato ketchup soup, the kolo mee is served with chicken, prawns, fish balls, green vegetables, fish cake, squid, and prawns.

6. Kacang Ma

Famous Chinese Hakka confinement cuisine known as kacang ma is initially prepared for women to replace the body’s nourishment following childbirth while they are in confinement. Motherwort herb, also known as Ka Chian Ma, is the primary herbal component in this chicken meal, which is usually prepared and served with sesame oil, ginger, and rice wine or Chinese cooking wine.

This meal is special because it has a powerful liquor flavour with a delicate dry and sweet flavour, so it could take some getting used to. These days, both men and women eat this dish frequently for its excellent nutritious content.


7. Umai

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Melanau fisherman from Central Sarawak invented the well-known native dish umai as a quick meal during fishing trips. Thin slices of raw, fresh fish, prawns, or squid are marinated in calamansi lime juice with chilies, onions, garlic, and salt in this meal. It is best served with steamed rice because the acidity in the lime juice will quickly “cook” the contents.

8. White Lady

The renowned ice kacang of Malaysia has inspired a local dish of Sarawak called White Lady. Condensed milk is used in place of the syrup and gula melaka that West Malaysians are used to seeing in traditional ice kacang, but the technique and ingredients are otherwise the same. The outcome is a delightful cool-down on a hot day: a bowl of sweet and creamy shaved ice topped with jellies and fruits.

9. Ding Bian Hu

Ding bian hu is a type of flat rice noodle that is prepared in a distinctive way. It is a cross between pan mee and hor fun. The batter will be distributed on the sides of the heated wok while the soup cooks after a large wok has been prepared to boil the soup.

In order to allow the soup’s flavour to permeate the noodles, the batter must be fully cooked before it hardens and may be scraped off and placed into the hot soup. Meatballs, pork slices, coriander, and fried shallots are frequently included in the serving.


10. Nasi Aruk

In contrast to typical fried rice, Nasi Aruk is a traditional Sarawak Malay fried rice that uses no oil to fry the rice. That means Nasi Aruk is considered healthy too! 

To generate a smokey, barbecue flavour, the steamed rice will be continuously seared in a dry wok with chopped garlic, onion, and anchovies. This dish is available to order in nearby Malay eateries and coffee shops at Kuching.

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