Tapai Papar

Traditional Food of Papar

Papar is a quiet and peaceful town about 38 Kilometres away from Kota Kinabalu City. The locals in Papar are mainly Kadazan Papar and Orang Brunei people who make some special delicacies.

1. Tapai Papar

From the name, you would think that it is the famous rice wine of Sabah. “Tapai Papar” cake is made by Orang Brunei lives in Laut Village of Papar.

Tapai Papar
Tapai Papar from Kampung Laut, Papar

Definitely it does not look like Tapai wine, but it really smells and tastes like Tapai, and really sweet too. They said they mixed the yeast with the cooked rice, then left it overnight, to produce the sweet taste and Tapai scent. Interesting huh..

Tapai Papar
The sweet rice of Tapai Papar

2. Lauk Pais

I also tried their BBQ Fish, named Lauk Pais, which is Basung or Pinaasakan fish wrapped and grilled in leaves.

Lauk Pais of Papar

The fishes were fresh and sweet, and tasted a bit spicy. Yum, yum…

Lauk Pais, grilled fish
Lauk Pais, grilled basung fish wrapped in leave

3. Pinompol, the Papar Pizza

The main ingredient of Pinompol is desiccated coconut, which is fried and mixed with sago powder and sugar. It’s cooked until golden brown to release the pleasing coconut aroma. No oil is added. You can watch the video on how Pinompol is made. The taste is sweet and soft with crusty surface.

Tour package to Semporna
Pinompol, the Papar Pizza
Pinompol is one of the traditional food that is not commonly appreciated by the young generations, so not many people know about it.

Pinompol goes well with hot coffee. You can add honey, cheese, mayonnaise or sliced bananas for extra flavours. This snack is homemade for self-consumption and not commonly sold in market. You can get Pinompol at Koposizon Homestay Papar.

4. Kuih Lidah

Kiuh Lidah, literally means Tongue Cake, is a traditional sweet snack of Bruneian Malay in Papar, the southeast part of Sabah, Malaysia. Also known as Kuih Tiram (Oyster Cake), Kuih Lidah is one of the best selling snacks of Sabah and getting popular throughout Malaysia.

Kuih Lidah
Kuih Lidah with coated sugar and milk powder, is paired well with hot tea or coffee

5. Kuih Sayur

Kuih Sayur is a popular savory pastry from Papar. Not many outsiders know about it, as this delicious treat is always sold out. Due to its shape, it is called ‘wheel pastry’ (车轮饼) or ‘little fried jicama’ (炸葛仔) by the Chinese, and some also refer to it as ‘Tin Can Pastry’ (罐头饼).

Kuih Sayur

Kuih Sayur is made from flour fried to an appetizing brown color with a crunchy crust, and it is filled with soft, grated jicama inside, which tastes similar to Ham Sui Gok (咸水角), another famous pastry.

The Kuih Sayur and pastries stall of Madam Chong
Madam Teo and the pastries she sells

Madam Teo and her family have been selling Kuih Sayur for about 70 years, and the recipe comes from her grandmother who hailed from Yongchun County (永春县) of China. Kuih Sayur is priced at RM1.20 each. Madam Teo’s stall in Papar Central Market (Pasar Am Papar) also sells a variety of other kuih and pastries every day from 6am to 11am, except Mondays.

6. Surabai

Surabai looks like a steamed rice pancake. Anyone can tell me more?

Surabai cake

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