Kitchen Tips

5 Local Delicacies of Sabah

Sabah is a gastronomical delight for food lovers. With a confluence of ethnic groups, the local cuisine of Sabah offers a wide array of dishes to choose from.

Sea food is a staple in Sabah cuisine which has plenty of simple yet delicious dishes that are pickled or preserved. The cuisine reflects Sabah’s unique cultural identity.

The Kadazandusun people of Sabah which forms the majority of the state has a variety of traditional Sabah foods. The traditional Kadazan  food in Sabah is influenced by the blend of native and Chinese cuisine which adds a unique touch to the dishes served in Sabah.

Here’s a list of 5 local delicacies of Sabah:


If you are a fan of Mangoes then you just can’t miss the Bambangan, a kind of wild mango that comes with a distinct sharp smell. Unlike the normal mango, Bambangan has a thick brown skin and is used raw to make pickles using salt and slices of chilli.

Bambangan-5 local delicacies of Sabah

Image Courtesy: fmpgoh used under the Creative Commons Licence

Kazdan cuisine- Hinava

Try the local kadazan cuisine which is available in most of the restaurants and has the famous Hinava dish popularised by the Kadazandusun community. Hinava is made of fresh raw mackerel fish, filleted and mixed with chili, ginger, onions and Bambangan seed.

hinava-5 Local Delicacies of Sabah

Image Courtesy: Alexander Synaptic used under the Creative Commons Licence

Ngiu Chap ( Beef Noodles)

Your gastronomic journey in Sabah is incomplete without having the famous delicacy called Ngiu Chap (Beef Noodles). This Chinese influenced noodles is the perfect beef noodle made of a tasty beef broth with flavorful-tender beef.


Yet another popular traditional Kadazandusun dish is the Nonsom or Bosou which is made using raw fresh water fish mixed with rice and pickled using salt and pangi, a type of local herb. Nonsom / Bosou is salty and tangy in flavour and goes well with white rice and beehoon.


Sabah is a seafood paradise, Pinasakan,  is a traditional Kadazandusun dish of braised basung fish mixed with takob akob, a tangy wild fruit harvested for its skin, turmeric, salt and slices of Bambangan. You can find Pinasakan at most traditional cuisine restaurant and it goes well with white rice or Ambuyat(a dish made by mixing the sago starch powder into boiling water) and a dash of sambal.

You May Also Like

Dim Sum Deep Dive

Dim Sum Deep Dive

Dumpling Dos and Dumpling Don’ts

Dumpling Dos and Dumpling Don’ts


Kate Brodhurst

Rosalin Kristiani

Glenda Mc Donnell

Michael J Sabo

Melinda Savage

Lisa-Jane Fudge

Lillie Giang

Justine Withers

Julia Brodska

Josephine Chan

Sally-Ann Haw

Store Locator

Find your nearest Asian Store


Our Newsletter

Sign up for an authentic Asian experience. From exotic cuisines to fascinating destinations to cooking competitions and monthly giveaways - Discover the Authentic