Introducing Sinalau Bakas, a delicious native dish of the Dusun - the largest ethnic group in North Borneo.

Sinalau Bakas at Ranau, Sabah

What is Sinalau Bakas

Sinalau Bakas is one of Sabah's most popular food, and frankly, they have all the rights to be. Sinalau means grill while Bakas means wild boar (better known as Babi Salai in Bahasa Melayu) and they can very easily be found in roadside stalls along the way from Tamparuli to Kundasang (towards Mount Kinabalu). Though many may consider wild boar meat to be exotic, it remains as one of the oldest local favorite among the Sabahans.

Sinalau Bakas
Sinalau Bakas at Ranau, Sabah
Sinalau Bakas
Houses of the Dusun tribes in the highlands of Ranau.
Sinalau Bakas
The kitchen is simple yet thorough in terms of necessities.
Sinalau Bakas
Sinalau Bakas sold at Ranau, Sabah


Wild Boar Meat in Sabah

Most Dusuns/Kadazans are Christians so the consumption of pork is nothing out of the ordinary. However, many of these stalls do not have proper signboards except for banners with the words 'Sinalau Bakas' scribbled on them, so there have been incidents where Muslims from West Malaysia have mistakenly consumed the meat without knowing what they really were.

Sinalau Bakas
It was love at first sight (and scent). Nothing beats the sweet, sweet smell given out by chunky, fat-ladden meat on the roast.
Sinalau Bakas
Sinalau Bakas at Ranau, Sabah
Sinalau Bakas
The meat can last up to a month when frozen.
Sinalau Bakas
Grilled wild boat meat in Ranau, Sabah

Sinalau Bakas meat is absolutely tender and juicy and the marinade used is not overpowering. It can be eaten as it is, or made into another dish like curry or stir-fry. Remember to ask for the special chili dip!

Happy exploring!