Malaysian Food · February 23, 2022

linopot feature

Linopot Rice: The Kadazandusun Wrapped Rice of Sabah

Linopot Rice: The Kadazandusun Wrapped Rice of Sabah

Linopot is a traditional rice dish of the Kadazandusun people of Sabah. It is made from rice and yam (or other root vegetables like sweet potato, pumpkin etc.), then wrapped in Doringin (huge leaves from the Tarap tree). Sometimes, banana or irik/ngirik leaves are used instead. Linopot means ‘wrapped tightly’ in Kadazandusun language.

While cooking, the colour of the yam seeps out and dyes the rice purple. The leaf wrapping not only seals in the flavour and moisture but imparts a special fragrance to the rice. It also acts as a natural, environmentally friendly carrying case for the delicious Linopot. It was designed that way so that villagers can easily bring their rice along to work at farm and jungle. Linopot is commonly eaten with other side dishes like fish salad, pickled wild mango or pickled ginger.

It’s not easy to find Linopot nowadays but you can see them during the festive celebrations like the Tadau Keamatan (harvest festival) or special gatherings of Kadazandusun people.

Linopot is also called Linopod, Linongot, Sinamazan, based on their individual district.