BiG Scoop: Ropuhan di Tanak Wagu
“Ropuhan di Tanak Wagu” means “Kitchen of a Young Man” in Kadazandusun and the young man in question is Pison Jaip, proud born-and-bred Sabahan. Using the magic of social media to spread his passion for local and traditional cuisines, Pison hopes to incorporate his ancestors’ forgotten ingredients into his followers’ modern-day cooking with interesting dishes such as “butterfly pea chicken ceviche” and “salad sawi rusa”.
“I’m hoping to educate the new generation about our food heritage and our culture so we can preserve it for the generations to come. Most of the younger generation now do not know how to cook our traditional food at all. Some of them don’t even like to eat it”. But aside from his noble efforts to educate, Pison also keeps the Borneo rainforest in mind. “Due to deforestation, we’ve lost so many precious wild ingredients but hopefully with a newfound awareness, our people will begin to appreciate the benefits of preserving it and might even begin cultivating it”.
He also has a thing or two to prove. With the Bornean forest brimming over with a rich variety of flora and fauna species, Pison only has one question to ask: “Why are we always depending on other bigger countries to tell us what we should eat or what is better for us?”
And after stalking his Instagram (where he shares old and new takes on traditional cuisine and sheds light on local ingredients to last you a good hour of entertained scrolling) and you want a taste of Pison’s cultured palette, he also churns out his own delicious line of premium traditional jams. Tuhau jam with biscuits and brown rice tea, anyone?