Linopot Rice: The Kadazandusun Wrapped Rice of Sabah
Linopot Rice, a traditional dish cherished by the Kadazandusun people of Sabah, is a culinary delight that reflects their rich cultural heritage. This unique delicacy is crafted by combining rice with yam or other root vegetables like sweet potato and pumpkin. The mixture is skilfully wrapped in large Doringin leaves, sourced from the Tarap tree, although banana or irik/ngirik leaves are sometimes used as alternatives. In the Kadazandusun language, “Linopot” translates to “wrapped tightly,” perfectly capturing the preparation method of this exquisite dish.
During the cooking process, the natural colours of the yam permeate the rice, resulting in a captivating purple hue. The leaf wrapping serves multiple purposes: it not only seals in the flavours and moisture but also imparts a distinct fragrance to the rice. Additionally, it acts as an eco-friendly and biodegradable casing, allowing the Linopot to be conveniently carried by villagers as they tend to their work in the farms and jungles. Traditionally, Linopot is enjoyed alongside an array of delectable side dishes such as fish salad, pickled wild mango, or pickled ginger, enhancing the overall dining experience.
While finding Linopot can be challenging in today’s times, it still holds a significant presence during festive celebrations like Tadau Keamatan (the harvest festival) or special gatherings of the Kadazandusun community. The names used to refer to this dish may vary based on individual districts, including Linopod, Linongot, Sinamazan, and more.
Immerse yourself in the cultural richness of Sabah and savour the enchanting flavours of Linopot Rice—a true testament to the culinary artistry and traditions of the Kadazandusun people.