Dayak Black Pepper Stew

September 10, 2012 by Shannon Lim-de Rooy | 29 Comments

This month’s Malaysian Food Fest brings us to the state of Sarawak. Known as Bumi Kenyalang (“Land of the Hornbills”), Sarawak is the largest of Malaysia’s States and one of the two States located on the third largest island in the world — Borneo. With little knowledge that I have on Sarawakian dishes, my research brought new understanding and delights into my life.

The Dayak are the native people of Borneo. It is a loose term for over 200 riverine and hill-dwelling ethnic subgroups, located principally in the interior of Borneo, each with its own dialect, customs, laws, territory and culture, although common distinguishing traits are readily identifiable. As Sarawak contains large tracts of tropical rainforest, the food of the natives are hugely influenced by the natural resources surrounding them whether it’s the jungle, forest, sea or rivers. Activities like foraging, hunting and fishing were important for food source. Continue Reading →