Monday, 16 September 2013

Merdeka Open House 2013: Treasures From Sabah & Sarawak Round Up

This year Malaysia celebrated her 56th Independence Day but the establishment of Malaysian Federation was only marked on 16 September 1963. This day commemorates the day where Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore joined together to form Malaysia. This was the main reason why I've pushed the 8th Merdeka Open House to today in celebration of the union with the theme Treasures From Sabah & Sarawak. It's a pity as I did not push hard enough to email past participants to invite them to take part hence there is really just a handful of entries.

Just wished this could have been a real open house rather than a virtual one as I imagine how delicious it would be to taste dishes from Sabah and Sarawak as I've never been to that part of the country personally. I've heard so much of the cuisine from friends and relatives who have been there. For this open house, participants need to cook a special dish from Sabah or Sarawak and post up the recipe and a bit of write up about the dish.

So here's the round up:

My utmost supportive friends, Nate and Annie, from House of Annie, who were based in Kuching for a while but now back home in San Jose, California, USA. Nate mentioned that a friend had shown them how to make this Dabai Paste while they were still in Kuching. This "Sibu olives" is technically not a true olive but is only grown in central Sarawak around the town of Sibu. It's a pity that we might be able to taste this only in Sarawak as I was told these dabai doesn't last long when fresh hence it can never get travel out of the state. I know one day, yes one day, I will get to try some of these babies.

Ardent cook cum masterchef, Wendy (Table for 2 or... More) had submitted Fish with Iban Eggplant. The special eggplant was sent to her by a fellow blogger who resides in Sarawak. It is always great to see something new, what more than cooking something new and learn to love it too.

Ayam Likku

On my front end, I did 3 Borneo dishes for dinner in one shot and had a great time exploring the dishes and getting to know the dishes as well. The first is Ayam Likku which is literally galangal chicken, famous in Tawau. Surprisingly it turned out very delicious and I supposed if bake the chicken after cooking ala ayam percik would render a crispy skin :p but that would have been bastardising the recipe already!

Sambal Bawang Kampu

Another surprisingly delish dish was this Sambal Bawang Kampu. Totally different from our usual sambal as this sambal does not have any chillies except for the fresh green chillies to be stirred fried with the spring onions. This recipe is a keeper.

Stir Fried Manicai with Egg

Next, a recipe loved by Sarawakians using manicai. Simple and pretty straightforward, Stir Fried Manicai with Egg but absolutely tasted amazing.

Well, that's all for the round up for this edition of Merdeka Open House. Thank you for all the participants for submitting your entries for this virtual open house.

Check out the different themes from our previous round ups:

2006 - Malaysian Recipe Long Forgotten
2007 - Muhibbah
2008 - Mee and My Malaysia
2009 - My Sweet Malaysia
2010 - Food From Our Heart
2011 - Makan Through Malaysia
2012 - Uniquely Malaysia

Selamat Hari Merdeka & Selamat Hari Malaysia!


  1. Thanks for hosting, Babe! I am missing all these wonderful dishes.

  2. Posted the Sarawak Tomato Kueh Tiaw recipe, feel free to include that even though I know I'm late..... But no tomato Kueh Tiaw in your round up! Hhehe

  3. aww..what amazing dishes. I dont know the area well but this helps me to get to know it better. Sorry I didnt get a chance to participate- I don't even have time to think about cooking these days :( but I am sure I will get back to it.


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