One of my friends, Henri M, has always told me to find some nice places in Ranau to dine. He said Ranau has always been famous for its tourism spots but nobody ever tried to recommend where to grab some nice foods other than stopping at the Kundasang Wet Market. This post is not intended to be biased but I do find it’s quite hard to find places to dine in. Besides, I’m fully aware that it is unfair to compare Ranau with my home in Kota Kinabalu (KK).
Anyway, I usually bought local foods from the Kundasang Wet Market whenever I had to go back to KK. Fortunately, I met this local food entrepreneur from Kg. Rondogung (or Kg. Randagong) who produces all kinds of local Sambal, and Serunding when I was following my boss to visit each booth during Kaamatan celebration at Ranau early last month. You can read about my first experience with Kaamatan festival in Ranau here.
What is Sambal?
Sambal is a spicy, chili based sauce or relish that is popular in many countries across Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia and Malaysia. The sauce consists of ground or pureed chilies and may include small amounts of other ingredients such as citrus juice, shallots, fruit, salt, sugar, or other spices. Making this spicy chili paste is a way to preserve chilies and is often used when fresh chilies are not available.
(Source: The Spruce Eats – What Is Sambal?)
So, what is Tuhau, anyway? Tuhau is a Sabahan local delicary made from the shoots of the wild-ginger species Etlingera coccinea. It is known as ‘Upak Kecalak’ (Sarawak), and ‘Umbut Tepus’ (Kedah). It is a popular local appetizer as it is usually mixed with small diced chillies, diced scallion, and vinegar or lime juice. Not everyone can stand with its strong smell. If you would love to eat Tuhau, it is better to start with Sambal Tuhau; not the Pickled Tuhau. Similar (or slightly unlike) to the Korean Kimchi, this Sabahan Tuhau is not intended to be eaten alone unless you can bear with the strong smell and acidic taste. The best way to eat Tuhau is to eat it together with rice or instant noodles – I’d prefer Korean Ramen than Maggi instant noodles. 😛
Where is this Kg. (or Kampung / Village) Rondogung (or Randagong)? You can actually find this Kampung when you are on the way to Tambunan via Ranau road. I haven’t got the chance to visit this Kampung yet but will have my schedule arranged to visit this Kampung real soon! I’m so excited (and can’t even wait to be there, anyway!). They actually have stalls on the roadside which sell all kinds of local products such as Tuhau and Bosou.
What did I buy from this local seller? I actually ordered a large bulk of their local products for my family and close friends. No joke. Luckily enough that I was driving my Vanguard, and not my usual Prius. I bought home about 20 jars of their products. I just placed an order and they just delivered to me at my office. The seller is very friendly enough, and I am so thankful that they still made delivery despite of their tight schedule.
Sambal Tuhau (RECOMMENDED)
You might be wondering what did I bought, right? I bought their famous and delicious Sambal Tuhau, Sambal Lada, Serunding Tuhau, and Serunding Betik. Frankly speaking, their Sambal Tuhau, and Sambal Lada are delicious! It’s pretty hard to describe the taste in words as I’m not that good when it comes to describing the taste and so on. But, I can only recommend what I feel ‘sharing is caring’. I would never recommend if it is not ‘my cup of tea’.
Sambal Lada (RECOMMENDED)
I know you would like to know the price for each of this jar. For those who bought from Kundasang before, I’m sure you know the price. You can actually set your budget between RM15 – RM20 per jar, depending on the product. The Serunding are sold at cheaper price than the Sambal. Make sure to buy lots of them because you will never get enough of it. Even my Dad is a big fan of this Serunding Tuhau. Besides, I bought a jar for my Uncle to bring it to The States. The best thing about this Serunding Tuhau is the taste as it has fried anchovies and white pepper. Best to be served with soup or porridge. You can even eat it alone; like junkfood, perhaps? Because my Dad usually eat it alone.
Let’s talk about Serunding Betik or Serunding Bunga Betik. Betik is Papaya or Pawpaw, and Bunga is Flower. Hehehe. Papaya flower can be eaten even though the taste can be very bitter. Most studies claimed that Papaya flower has amazing health benefits such as improves digestion, aids weight loss, prevents strokes, and controls cholesterol. I actually bought this Serunding Bunga Betik not because of the health benefits but because I was curious with the taste. I bought Seruding Bunga Betik previously, and from other seller, and the taste was ‘awfully’ bitter. However, this product which I bought from the seller in Kg. Rondogung has a mild bitter taste, and I can still eat it alone. I must say that it is very delicious.
Serunding Bunga Betik
And yes… It would be unfair if I didn’t show you how I add them all into my bowl of instant noodles… Perfect to be eaten when the weather is really cold since it has been raining cats and dogs for days now.
For those who would love to place an order, you can actually contact the number below. I placed my order via SMS last time. I’m not so sure if they have Whatsapp, anyway. You can contact the number below for more enquiries. They are friendly and nice. Just don’t hesitate to drop them a message. They do not deliver to Kota Kinabalu but you can always ask someone to pick and deliver them to you. #SupportLocalProduct
Where To Buy
Pengusaha Tani Kampung Randagong Lama, Ranau
Contact Number: +6019-538-4021