Pinasakan is a popular dish among the Kadazandusun in Keningau. The dish features the basung fish, a type of fish that usually found in rivers. The idea is to extract moisture from the fish, and in order to make the dish, the basung fish is cleaned and cooked in a pot over very low heat, with just asam keeping, turmeric, ginger, lemongrass and salt. It’s braised until much of the liquid has evaporated. The fish takes on a slightly sour taste but a good pinasakan should have a balance of saltiness as well. Pinasakan can be kept for up to two weeks. This traditional dish is usually home-cooked and is not readily available in restaurants in Keningau.




Tuhau is a popular food among the Kadazandusun community. Tuhau is a type of wild ginger that grows in the jungles of Sabah. It is most commonly eaten pickled, as a condiment to the main meal or sometimes made into sambal, as an added ingredient into dishes and most recently, dried and deep-fried. It can be found Keningau weekly tamu; sold in a raw form or pickled and usually sold in jars. Although tuhau looks like a wild ginger, it tastes nothing like ginger, but tastes closer to lemongrass.


Bosou or Nonsom

Another popular traditional Kadazandusun preserved dish is the Bosou, or also known as Nonsom. This dish is made using raw freshwater fish in a small size, such as ikan pelian. To make Bosou, ikan pelian is mixed together with rice, pangi (local herb), bungor and a lot of salt. After the mixing, the mixture is stored in a glass and marinated for two weeks. The smell can be overwhelming at first, but its fishy saltiness is a delicacy that cannot be missed. It is eaten as a condiment to rice, or sometimes mixed into stir-fries with chili and garlic. Not commonly found for sale, Bosou usually made by Kadazandusun families.




Basung is just big-eyed scads; the same fish often used in pinasakan, but it is deep fried until they are crunchy. The fish is simply marinated and then fried. Dip into chili and lime juice and you can have the whole fish including the bones.



Butod refers to sago worms that are found feeding on the insides of the sago palm tree, a few months before they turn into beetles.
It is said that these wriggly creatures that feed on the decaying pith of the sago tree is a solid protein source and is very nutritious. To eat it, you can pluck it straight from the tree, grab its hard head (to avoid eating it) and bite it off. Its insides will come bursting out, and has been described as “creamy” but not pungent or particularly foul. Some find the skin a bit chewy.

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2021-01-19 10:49

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