11 Sabah Foods You Will Never Find in Your Locals

 sabah food

What must I eat in Sabah? Is the question all tourists in Sabah struggle getting the right answers. If you are visiting Sabah, ensure that you eat what you are not used to eating, something you will not find in your normal life.

This is not because western food is not sweet, but why eat the same thing you are used to, even in a different country? It’s a time to practice a little open-mindedness.

In this article, we will cover the eleven best “must try” Sabah foods and hope this will help make your adventure more exciting.

1.Sang Nyuk Mian (pork noodle)

Image result for Sang Nyuk Mian

The meal originates from Tawau Sabah, and it means” Raw pork noodles.” The pork is sliced into thin pieces and served on top of the noodles with a tasty pork broth Sang Nyuk Mian is best when served with soup or Kon lau mian. You can add the flavor by adding Hot Chili Paste.

Different types of the meal include; Sinsuran Sang Nyuk Mee, Siang Sang Nyuk Mee, and Melanian Sang Nyuk mian.

2.Tuaran Mee

This is the most popular type of noodles. Tuaran Mee originates from Tuaran Town. Tuaran Mee is served with Char siu, vegetable and Chun Kien slice (Sabah Hakka Spring roll).


A good plate of the noodles should come with a fragrant, springy and an “eggy” aftertaste. If you get to Kota Kinabalu and you are interested in noodles, Tuaran Mee should be the first type you should try once you get to Sabah.



A visit to Sabah without seafood is incomplete. Sabah is surrounded by sea, and so it is obvious it is the home of the most refreshing seafood. You can really taste the difference between your seafood and the ones in Sabah food menu. The seafood is everywhere and cheap, so there is no excuse of missing out.

4.Beaufort noodles

Image result for Beaufort noodles

The noodles are soft and curly and are stir-fried and covered in a smoky, thick sauce that covers every piece giving it that delicious taste. It is accompanied by tender pork slices, juices, and green vegetables, adding crunchiness to the noodles.

5.Ngiu Chap beef noodles

 Ngiu Chap beef noodles

By now, you must have realized that people of Sabah are great fans of noodles. Ngiu Chap beef noodles are one of the types that you don’t want to miss. The meal is translated to beef noodles. The soup dish is incredible as it has multiple kinds of beef and bovine organs such as heart, liver, tripe, tendon, intestines, some mouth-watering broth, and some noodles.


 latok seaweed

When you first look at Latok, you may judge it for what it is not; this is because they look like mini grapes while they are actually seaweed. The Sabahans take the traditional food as salad flavored with lime, belacan, green mangoes, and cili padi.

7.Butod (sago worm)

Butod (sago worm), sabah food

Well, this is the most popular Sabah traditional food, but it is not for the weak hearts. It requires an open mind, but it comes with lots of health benefits. There are multiple ways of eating Butod. You can have them cooked or have them when they are alive (Yes, you had that right when they are squirming). The choice depends on how confident you are. So how brave are you?



Hinava is another type of Sabahfood that you have to try that originates from Kadazan Dusun tribes. The dish comes with raw fish marinated with  lime juice. It is served with other seasonings such as slice shallots, salt, red chili, and ginger. Think of this as Hinava as Sabah sushi.

9.Roti cobra

Roti cobra

Well, this is not new to you because there are multiple stalls offering roti canai, but none of them are yet to make roti cobra. This is basically roti canai but with a sunny side up on top dipped in a meat curry of your choice. It is a dream come true kind of food.

10.Tenom noodle

Tenom noodle

This is another proof of the Sabahan’s love for noodles. You do not want to miss out in tasting tenom noodles. They are simple but very yummy. They are fried in some sinful pork lard with toppings of your choice; it could be pork, beef, chicken, or anything else that triggers your fantasies.

11.Roti Kahwin and local tea/coffee

 Roti Kahwin

This is the best tea time food in Sabah. Roti Kahwin translates to marriage bread. It is a local sandwich with a buttered slice of cold butter and Kaya (made of egg and coconut jam). It is better eaten with the local tea in the local coffee zone.

Wrapping Up

Sabah menu is very impressive, and you cannot exhaust it in one visit. Their food variety is among the best parts of visiting Sabah. This is food that you will not find in your local. It is a chance to have a taste from a different culture.

The next time you do visit Sabah, avoid the western food that you are used to eating. Try being open-minded and try something different.


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