I made a trip back to Kuching, Sarawak two weeks ago to visit my grandmother. It has been 3 years since my last visit. Kuching has many unique local foods. Here are some that I had.
The Sarawak laksa, or as the locals call it Kuching laksa, is a dish of an array of flavors. The main ingredient is a paste made of a wide range of local ingredients which is then added to the broth. It is usually garnished with prawns, chicken and omelet strips, bean sprouts, freshly chopped coriander, and lime. The soup is tangy (from the lime), spicy, creamy (coconut milk), with a hint of sweetness.
Kuching laksa can be found in most hawker centers in Kuching.
Kolo mee is a signature Kuching dish. It is dry egg noodles in a light sauce topped with minced pork, shallots, fried onion, slices of char siew (barbecued pork), and white pepper. It is a must-have whenever I visit. My mother, who is from Kuching, says that one of the best and authentic kolo mee is at the expert food court. The map below shows the exact location of the food court. The expert food court is not available on google maps but I’m guessing the vegetarian foods stall is located within the expert food court.
Crispy tomato ketchup noodles
This dish is only exclusively available in Kuching and is one of the local favorites. As one can tell from the name of the dish, it is basically deep-fried noodles in ketchup sauce. My mum and cousins love it. I, on the other hand, am not too fond of the dish. It only tasted like ketchup to me. However, if you had not had this dish before, it may be worth a try. Who knows? maybe you might like it.
Hakka Lei Cha
Lei Cha (tea rice) is a traditional Hakka dish. The Hakkas are Han Chinese people whose ancestral homes are chiefly from the Hakka-speaking provincial areas of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan, Zhejiang, Hainan, and Guizhou. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakka_people). The soup base consists of grounded tea leaves, herbs, peanuts, and sesame seeds, thus giving the soup a greenish color. The soup is accompanied with a bowl of rice topped with chopped green vegetables and beans, tofu, pickled radish, and crushed peanuts. The toppings vary depending on the person who makes them. As the soup consist of the herb Kulixin, it can be somewhat bitter to some people. Even though it is bitter, I find this dish really fragrant (from the roasted peanuts). It took a few tries before I started liking the dish. Nonetheless, it is a very hearty and healthy dish!
Not a lot of stalls make this dish well. The one I had that was really good was at the expert food court located at Jalan Datuk Amar Kalong Ningkan.
Sugarcane with Coconut Flesh
This is a popular drink in Kuching. It is a concoction of fresh sugarcane juice, fresh coconut juice, and coconut flesh. It is perfect on a hot day. The place to get this drink is at Song Kheng Hai hawker center.
There are so many more delicious food Kuching has to offer. I hope I get to share more in the future.