When it comes to cooking traditional dishes, for most millennials, the struggle is real.
From struggling to identify the right ingredients and cooking traditional dishes a certain way, when cooking in the kitchen, there seems to be a lot going on when preparing food.
But for Sabahan Pison Jaujip, it is his love for his homeland and traditional food that first got him started on his own online cooking channel, “Ropuhan Di Tanak Wagu” on YouTube.
Pison started posting traditional and exotic local dishes on his channel, “Ropuhan Di Tanak Wagu” in 2016 as an homage to his homeland and traditional Sabahan food.
“Ropuhan Di Tanak Wagu” means “kitchen for young men” in the Kadazandusun language.
Among his recipes are ‘ikan liking lada putih’, ‘ayam goreng tuhau’ and durian petal with losun (local spring onion).
At times, some of his recipes incorporate traditional ingredients with well-known – if not western recipes – thus creating fusion recipes which perfectly blend unique elements of both Asian and Western ingredients.
Examples include Sabahan Sago Crepe with pisang Sabah and melted Chocolate and omelette.
Apart from traditional Sabahan cuisine, Pison also his own delicious line of premium traditional jams (buga kantan jam, bambangan jam and tuhau jam) as well as non-alcoholic drinks (sparkling tarap, sparkling bunga kantan, sparkling tuhau and sparkling bambangan).
And since we at KajoMag love food, we managed to get in touch with Pison of “Ropuhan Di Tanak Wagu” and ask him what happens behind the scenes.
Q: What inspired you to start Ropuhan Di Tanak Wagu?
Pison: I wanted to reintroduce the food our ancestors used to eat to the modern Sabahan. It bothers me that there are so many youngsters that have no clue about our local traditional cuisine and how to prepare it. It also bothers me that our food scene in Sabah is pretty much influenced by other prominent community style of cooking.
I also wanted to share new and improved local tradition recipes with my fellow Sabahan and to convince them that our produce are on par with imported goods. It is to let people see that Malaysian food is not just about the Malays, Chinese and Indians.
Our local food deserves equal attention and exposure too.
Q: Where do you learn all the recipes from?
Pison: Most of the traditional recipes I learnt from my late grandma, while the fusion recipes are from me.
Q: What was the first recipe that you made for your video channel?
Pison: Kinahut Sangop / Cucumber salad
Q: When filming your videos, did you first practise the steps in preparing your dishes or were they all done spontaneously?
A: They were done spontaneously because I’m very familiar with these dishes.
Q: To date, how many recipes have you posted online and do you have any personal favourite recipe or videos? If yes, why?
Pison: I think I’ve made more than 30 videos so far and my personal favourite is Pinarasakan Koruk because I grew up eating this dish. I remembered catching this koruk fish in the paddy field with my late grandma when I was a little boy. It was fun catching the fish in the mud.
Q: What was the most difficult recipe to prepare and film?
Pison: The most difficult recipe is Butterfly pea chicken ceviche; I had to find the freshest of chicken in the market. I also shot this video handheld while my other hand was preparing the ceviche.
Q: I am curious about you ‘mayonnaise tuhau’. To those who only watch your videos (but haven’t tried cooking your dishes), how would you describe the taste and what were people’s reaction when you first posted about it?
Pison: It actually tasted like normal mayonnaise, sweet, creamy and sour but a little bit spicy with tuhau flavour. Many people were shocked at first with the tuhau mayonnaise video. Most of them were curious with the taste.
Q: Are there any traditional recipes that you want to try but yet to post online?
Pison: I wanted to try making smoked meat using traditional methods.
Q: If you have the opportunity, is there any local Sarawakian dishes that you would like to learn how to cook one day?
Pison: I would like to try cooking Kelabit nuba’ Sepi-ung (rice cooked inside pitcher plants) and Kiran Pinidang or Narar (sundried Bua’ Kiran)