One of the great things about Sarawak is the large number of public holidays and festivals that all the different ethnic groups enjoy. The Chinese have their Chinese New Year, the Malays have Ramadan and Hari Raya, and the Dayaks or native tribes have their Gawai Dayak. Schools close during these festival seasons to allow the folks to “balik kampung” or return to their home village.
For us, we would normally take the occasion to travel elsewhere, like when we went to Singapore in 2010 and to KL in 2011 (which I have yet to blog about – I’m so behind!). This year, we stayed local and spent the long Gawai holiday weekend with a group of friends in their hometown of Sarikei, about a five-hour drive from Kuching. Besides some great experiences and memories, here are a few of the things we brought back with us.
Welcome to Sarikei
Malaysians love their pork. Nowhere is this more true than in Sarawak, where people of all tribes and tongues use pork in a huge variety of dishes like Pork, Lotus Root and Black Bean Soup, Fried Pork with Evaporated Milk, or Grilled, 3-Layer Pork Belly.
But barbecue, that American style of cooking in the heat and smoke of a wood fire, is not easy to find. A few restaurants here in Kuching do pork ribs, but they’re usually baked, grilled, and covered in a sweet sauce. That isn’t barbecue.
So where can you find the best barbecue ribs in Kuching? At the House of Annie!
Make these Mexican fajitas meatless!
We have been eating a lot more veggies lately, compared to a few years ago. I think it’s a combination of age catching up to us, plus a desire to eat more healthily and lose a bit of weight. So when we were thinking of making our grilled chicken fajitas, I also contemplated doing a meat-free fajita using mushrooms.
We made some grilled chicken fajitas to satisfy my Mexican food cravings:
Grilled Chicken Fajitas
We don’t get to eat a lot of Mexican food here in Kuching. It’s not like we can simply drive a few miles to the nearest taco stand for an al pastor taco. I think the closest Mexican restaurant to us would be over in Singapore, and that’s a pretty far journey to go just for a taco. So when we get a Mexican food craving (admittedly a rare occurrence nowadays), we have to fix it ourselves.