Hari Gawai Food

Pansoh Manok

The Iban tribe are from Sarawak, Borneo. Their traditional foods are called pansoh manok (ayam pansuh), which features chicken and lemongrass cooked in a bamboo log over an open fire. It’s naturally clean, easy and simple.which.

This natural way of cooking seals in the flavours and produces astonishingly tender chicken with a gravy perfumed with lemongrass and bamboo.

The food (meat, chicken, fish, vegetables and even rice together with the spices) will all be put together into the bamboo stem, then directly placed over an open fire to be cooked.

The uniqueness of using the bamboo stem to cook is that the bamboo will give a special aroma and texture to the food where it’s impossible to have using other methods such as using woks.


Tuak is a special rice wine. It is a drink for all occasions, be it Gawai, weddings or entertaining visitors.

It is generally served during any sort of entertainment or festivities. When you arrive at any longhouse during the festival, the occupants will offer you tuak as a welcoming drink.

It used to offend the occupants if visitors refuse the offering but now the host is more understanding as some religion like Islam forbids the consumption of alcohol of
any sort.
Read more information:Tuak

wild pigs

Wild Meat

Wild meat from the river is a very important source of protein. Dayak (both Iban and Bidayuh) keep domastic animal such as pigs and chicken. Traditionally they are kept primarily for religious rituals. they killed only when there is a gawai and the these animals are part of the offering or are used in part of the ritual. of course it is consumed after that.

kueh peyek


The rempenyek is a crunchy savoury snack which is basically a batter shaped into a saucer, decorated with peanuts and anchovies, and fried till it turns crispy and golden brown. This addictive, brittle cracker can be found at the tamu markets all around Sabah. It is Sabah’s very own answer to potato chips.

forest fern

Forest Fern

Forest ferns have a special place in the diet of the people, with the two most popular ferns used as vegetables being midin and the fiddlehead fern (pucuk paku). Midin grows wild in the secondary forests and is peculiar to the state. It has curly fronds and is very crunchy even after it has been cooked. Rural dwellers have always considered the fern a tasty, nutritious vegetable and the jungle fern’s rise from rural staple to urban gourmet green occurred in the 1980s with the increased urban migration of the Iban. Aromatic leaves from trees, such as the Bungkang, are also used in cooking to flavour food.More…


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