To better understand a culture that is foreign to you, always have it done through your taste buds. Recipes of local food are something that has been passed down for generations. They consist not only of a timeless heritage, but each rich, flavorful bite will unfold a compelling story of its people, the mores, and their way of life for over the centuries.

My strong belief that food is a culture’s best preserved heritance has contributed immensely to my years of cultural exploration, allowing me to appreciate unfamiliar customs by using not just sight, sound, and touch, but also my sense of taste and smell as well.

This time around, I had the chance to savor the much acclaimed Tuaran Mee when I was at Tamparuli, a sub-district of Tuaran located on the west coast of Sabah.

    Traditional Tuaran Mee in Tamparuli, Sabah

    What is Tuaran Mee

    Made from pure egg yolk and flour batter, each mouthful yields a mild and pleasant egg aroma which flavor oozes out gracefully with each chaw. You’ve never really tasted eggs until you give these noodles a try. Springy, chewy, and saturated with egg essence, Tuaran Mee gives eggs the glory they deserve. Topped typically with Hakka egg rolls, pork strips, Char Siew (sweet BBQ pork), fish cakes, and vegetables - this Tuaran-originated dish is a must-have when one visits Sabah!

    Just like Laksa is to Penang, Kolo Mee is to Sarawak, Tuaran Mee is the noodle that truly represents the state of Sabah in Malaysia. This golden-yellow noodle is soaked in the fragrance of the meat, egg and local vegetables and has a slightly crispier edge. As quality is of the essence, the cooks that prepare the dish always use fresh, handmade noodles that are usually denser and incredibly chewy. 

    Tuaran Mee sabah
    Traditional Tuaran Mee in Tamparuli, Sabah


    History of Tuaran Mee

    In the 1970s, Tuaran Mee was known and made as ‘knife-cut’ noodles before machines were introduced to the town. It was traditionally thicker, wider and more rugged in shape. Using the machines, a more ‘modern’ form of Tuaran Mee has been created where the strands are thin and uniform. It is a recipe created by the Nanyang-Chinese of Sabah and has evolved to become what it is today.


    Best Tuaran Mee in Tamparuli, Sabah

    Tuaran noodles can be found in most parts of Sabah, although the most authentic one would, well, be those made in the town of Tamparuli.

    Tamparuli is a quiet and small town in the district of Tuaran on the west coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Majority of its population consists of ethnic Dusun and Bajau, as well as people of the Chinese descent. Tuaran is located approximately 30 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu.

    Tuaran Mee in Tamparuli, Sabah
    On the way to Tamparuli. It was an adventures driving across this renowned two-way single-lane road built right above a river. Well I guess it's better than having to swim across.
    Tamparuli, Sabah
    On the way to to look for the best Tuaran Mee at Tamparuli, Sabah
    tamparuli, sabah
    Sleepy town of Tamparuli, Sabah
    tamparuli, sabah
    Here, people still live a quiet, reserved and uncomplicated life. This place offers the kind of tranquillity we all seek for.


    Have you tried the Tuaran Mee? Let us know what you think of this unique dish below!