Sarawak laksa, kolo mee among local delicacies proposed to be national heritage dishes

A scoop of rich gravy poured onto a bowl of rice noodles and scrumptious toppings to make Sarawak Laksa.

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KUCHING, June 2: Sarawak laksa, ‘kolo mee’, ‘burasak’ and ‘borongko’ of the Bugis, as well as ‘nuba laya’ of the Kelabit have been proposed to be part of Malaysia’s intangible national heritage.

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) Dato Sri Nancy Shukri said these local delicacies of Sarawak, once declared, would add nine Sarawak heritage foods that are already known among locals as part of the country’s national heritage.

The nine delicacies were ‘manok pansuh’, ‘umai’, ‘bubur pedas Sarawak’, ‘sayur midin goreng’, ‘kek lapis Sarawak’, ‘kelupis’, ‘tebaloi’, ‘celorot’, and ‘penyaram’.

Nancy said this is one of MOTAC’s initiatives to promote heritage food culture by recognising locally unique foods as national heritage and documenting them under the National Heritage Act 2005.

“A total of 213 foods in the country have been declared as national heritage foods,” she said when officiating the 2022 Malaysian Food Festival in Petra Jaya here today.

Another area of focus, she said, is the emphasis on research, documentation and publication of books related to heritage foods and ‘endangered’ foods.

She said to date, MOTAC through the Department of National Heritage (JWN) has published over six books on national heritage foods to help their continuity and encourage the younger generation to learn how to make heritage foods.

“For everyone’s information, MOTAC through JWN is planning also to nominate (the categories of) Malaysia Breakfast in 2024, and Festive Food in 2026,” said Nancy.

She explained that the Malaysia Breakfast category would include foods eaten by Malaysians for breakfast such as ‘roti canai’, ‘nasi lemak’, and ‘teh tarik’ while the Festive Food category meant foods eaten by Malaysian families during festivals such as ‘lemang’, ‘kuih bakul’, and ‘Chittu Urunde’. — DayakDaily