Scientifically known as etlingera coccinea, tuhau is a wild ginger native to the jungles of Sabah. It can be found in the interior parts Sabah such as Tambunan, Keningau, and Ranau (places with major Kadazandusun communities). Thus, tuhau is a popular food among the Kadazandusun community.
Although tuhau is a type of wild ginger; it doesn’t taste like it. In fact, its taste is closer to lemongrass. First timers may or may not like the smell of it due to its stringent and strong smell.
There are many ways to cook it depending on your taste, origins, and creativity. Tuhau can be served raw, as a pickle, or as a side dish. Usually, the locals would fry it with salted fish or cooked stew with pinasakan.
Tuhau is available all year round and can be found at local market or tamu around Sabah. They are sold in raw form, pickled, or dried tuhau floss in small containers. So, if you haven’t tried out tuhau, be sure to give it a try once you’re in Sabah. Who knows, maybe you will wish you have tried tuhau earlier?
Images by Top Peak Travel