Brunei food is unique in the way that it is a wonderful amalgamation of Arab, Chinese, Indian and Malay cuisines. The arrays of dishes that are available all over Brunei are a reflection of the cultural influences of its neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore. Rice and noodles are the staples of this country and the resulting dishes are usually rich and spicy. However, because of its trade association with other countries and being one of the nerve centers of various businesses, a lot of restaurants and hotels in Brunei offer international cuisines as well.
History of Brunei Cuisine
The food of Brunei originates in the Republic of Brunei Darussalam, which is positioned on the North Coast of Borneo Island. A neighboring country to Malaysia and Indonesia, the food and cooking methods have always been influenced greatly by these neighboring countries along with the recipes being imported from other countries such as UAE and India. This can be seen in most of the dishes that make up Brunei food.
Popular Dishes of Brunei
The staple food of Brunei is wheat and rice and most of the dishes prepared in this country include coconut milk and chilies. Though meat, especially pork, is not common in this country, certain stewed meat dishes (including vegetables) are enjoyed by many. Seafood and poultry, along with water buffalo and beef meats are reserved for special occasions. However, seafood such as Prawns cooked in coconut milk and chili is a popular dish. Other than this, fried chicken and garlic wrapped in pandan leaves, spicy beef with potatoes and beans are other popular dishes of Brunei. Nasi Lemak, Lontong, Mee Goreng, Nasi Goreng and Soto are certain other popular national dishes of Brunei.
Widely used Ingredients of Brunei Cuisine
Ingredients such as rice, wheat, coconut and its bi-products, fish, shellfish, tropical fruits, etc., are mostly used in Brunei food. Most of the dishes are flavored with garlic and spiced with chilies.
Cooking Methods followed in Brunei
The cooking methods of Brunei mostly include steaming, frying, and simmering on low flame.
Food enjoyed by Tourists of Brunei
The tourists of Brunei are sure to enjoy certain local favorites such as fried chicken, fried fish and shellfish cooked in coconut. Other than these, Malay rice cakes and sweets are also popular with the tourists of this country. Since, alcohol is prohibited in this Islamic country, tea and coffee are the common beverages enjoyed by the locals as well as tourists and chilled raw coconut water is another favorite.
Cuisinal Influences On Brunei Foods
Chinese, Malay, Indian and Arab cuisines influence Brunei food to a great extent in terms of the cooking methods as well the spices used.