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Cooking Class in Sabah

Sabah Cooking Class

Cooking classes in Sabah are quite rare but I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a traditional Sabah home cooking class by Hajjah Halimah in Kota Kinabalu.

The cooking classes are actually held in her spacious home near Kinarut which is about 30 minutes from KK town. 

Being the first-ever cooking tours in Sabah, this is something that would interest those who love local food when traveling. This cooking class also teaches you how to cook traditional Sabahan Bajau home cooking.

Cooking Class Tours in Sabah

Kota Kinabalu Cooking Class
Cooking class shopping at a local market in Sabah

The class starts with a good knowledge guide that picks you up from your hotel and then takes you to the local wet market at around 9.00 am. 

At the market, you will be led to various stalls where you will be introduced to a number of herbs and spices. 

Local names which are translated to English are shared where guests will also have a chance to smell and taste some of them before they are purchased for the cooking classes. 

Photo of Cooking Class in Sabah
The raw ingredients being sold at the Kota Kinabalu market

As you explore the market, you will be brought by the guide to buy spices, herbs, and meats before heading back to Hajjah Halimah's cooking class in Kinarut. 

In total, the wet market experience will take about one hour and journey back another 30 minutes.
 Kelas masak di Sabah
Cooking class area 

So you think you can cook?

When you reach the Sabah cooking classes, you will be personally welcomed by the chef and her assistants at a beautiful covered outdoor area. 

A welcome drink is served while you will be briefed on how the classes will be conducted in English. 

Bajau Cooking Class
Ingredients for the cooking class

Aprons are provided as you are lead to the cooking area where each person has their own little cooking station. 

The lessons begin by cutting the vegetables and preparing the right amount of herbs and spices before getting everything into the pots. 

As Hajjah Halimah guides you through the process, you will be pleased to know that only basic cooking skills are required for this. Even children can participate in a Sabah cooking class.

Cooking classes in Kota Kinabalu
Cutting the ingredients
Cut, chop and stir!

As you have already prepared all the ingredients at your station, your next step is to cook that chicken rendang curry. 

With eyes glued to the cook, it is important to see what goes in first and how long before the next process takes. 

Overall, the cooking lesson will take about 30 to 45 minutes. In total, guests will learn how to cook three traditional Sabah food dishes. 

And more importantly, the unique dishes you are cooking are also from the Bajau ethnic group of Sabah Borneo. 

Cooking Tours in KK, Sabah
Getting into the action
Feast and fancy

When the cooking class is over,  guests will then be ushered to a table nearby where they will enjoy a sit-down lunch with the dishes they cooked. 

There will be some other accompanying local dishes added to the three main dishes, which was been prepared by the host. 

Hajjah Halimahs cooking class in Sabah 
Hajjah Halimah demonstrates the cooking

After my hands-on experience, I could not wait to sample the turnout of my dry chicken rendang dish, which of course I cooked. 

Steamed white rice was served as our group looked at chef Hajjah to get her approval. As she tasted the chicken, my pulse rose to hope that it was up to her standards. 

With a nod from her head, she then said that it was pretty good and that gave me a sigh of relief. 

Sabah Cooking Tour Packages
Guests enjoying the food after the cooking classes

We were invited to have our lunch and I must say that apart from the dishes we cooked, the additional dishes were simply mouth-watering and very tasty indeed. 

After about an hour of lunch, we had some local coffee, wrapped up and then headed back to Kota Kinabalu city. 

The cooking class was something that I always wanted to try and finally got my chance to do this here in Sabah. If you enjoy cooking or sampling local food and want to experience this, please contact: 

Sabah Cooking Class Contact: 

Ms. Marlini
Mobile: +6 012 380 2434
(Inform here that you got her contact from David of MalaysiaAsia)

Cooking Class Price: RM230 inclusive of everything. All you need to do is book the experience and bring yourself. (Prices are as of 2019)

Cooking class in Sabah dishes


As for me, this is my third cooking class in southeast Asia where the other two were in Thailand, but honestly speaking, this one here in Kota Kinabalu is my best experience due to the simplicity and not one of those touristic type of cooking class. 

Nothing beats visiting a new place and trying out something new apart from the usual tourist attraction and now you have the choice to attend a traditional Sabah cooking class in Kota Kinabalu. 


Malaysia Asia said...

Thank you Dennis. Hope you have a chance to visit Malaysia and Sabah one day. Also to try the Cooking Class in Sabah, Malaysia.

missyblurkit said...

I am hoping to try your cooking soon!

Malaysia Asia said...

Haha... Lets just leave the cooking to the professionals :) But it was a great experience!

Christine (FoodWineTravel) said...

I am an Australian food & travel writer/blogger and I was in Kota Kinabalu earlier this year. I wish I had known about this cooking class then. It sounds like great fun!

Anonymous said...

So which dish have you cooked?