14 December, 2010


Introducing Lihing - Sabah's Very Own Rice Wine

Like most cultures in this world, the local people of Borneo have found ways of transforming their staple-food into alcohol, and none of the worst!

In the making of lihing (Kadazan-Penampang for Rice Wine), nothing but ‘pulut’, glutinous rice rich in sugar, and natural yeast, called ‘sasad’ and also made from rice, enter the preparations. Sometimes, lihing is referred to as hiing (certain Dusun languages), and others call it kinomol, segantang, kinarung, kinopi, linahas, and even tapai. They are all different (but always fermented, rice-based) beverages. Tapai proper is actually wine made from the tuber of the cassava plant, the preferred party drink of the Murut. To add to the confusion, the Iban of Sarawak call their rice wine tuak, which must not be confused with Sabahan talak, which is rice-alcohol (and arak in Malay just means 'alcohol'...).

Rice wine accompanies all Kadazandusun celebrations and rites, and at a Murut party there will be rows upon rows of jars with fermented cassava tapai. It is an integral part of the lives of Sabah's ethnic groups, and depending on where you are there are various ways of enjoying this drink: from bamboo or, more contemporary, plastic cups, or through a bamboo straw - and even that one comes in a modern version: a thin plastic hose...

If you visit a local home you will most probably get a taste of rice wine. Refusing the first cup is not polite, but subsequent rounds can be skipped. Simply enjoy the round with the locals, sit back and let yourself be entertained. ( source : )

Lihing is served as a drink in most local's celebration such as marriages, birthdays, even death and of course don't forget the Harvest Festival celebration. It also use widely in cooking. The famous recipe using this method is the Drunken Chicken Soup (Sup Ayam Lihing). Check out this recipe page for more recipes.

And seriously, I just read that Lihing also can be use to make cocktails! hehehe...They name it Headhunter's Cocktail, Sumandak Cocktail and Estate Party Punch. Want to know how they mix it? Just read here

Lihing maybe made by the local, but please take note that the alcohol content is higher than wine and beer.  Lihing/Wine Rice (13-21%), Wine (10-20%) and beer (3-8%). Meaning that you can easily drunk if you drink it excessively and you have to pay for the price in the morning where you will have a bad hangover (in Dusun's language, we name it kogutan). hahahaha...

For the ladies, if you want original blush on your cheek, drink a half glass of lihing. Believe me, your cheek will blush in 30 seconds. hahahahaha....okay I was just kidding.   

More information on wine rice, read here


  1. hehehe...

    aku suka makan tapai...siuk ooo terus panas perut ni hehehe...paling siuk makan time hujan...panas badan...lama sdh mamaku x bikin tapai ba...

  2. cocktail?? yayyyy!! Tp santik tu butul oo... betul2 kena kasi comercial sdh kan!

  3. haha. can i just pinch my cheeks to make it blush? hihi

  4. Aiyaaa...kanapa ko kasi tinguk sya truss ooo..heeeeeee

  5. bh ni kali la c gunsirit paling haus..minuman kegemaran dia ni

  6. gunsirit baru samalam kogutan tu... hujan2 siuk ni tau..

  7. @Nor Adzwaty Rokkafella

    Pandai makan tapai pula, hehe...tu kinomulok bah tu kan, manis mau makan. Tapi orang tertentu saja boleh buat, kalau tidak ngam tangan tidak pandai jadi kunun...

  8. @Just

    Saya pun first time tau nie, hehe...Tu lah, makin lama makin komersial tu lihing. 5 tahun lagi mungkin boleh eksport sudah ke luar negara...hahahaha

  9. @Gadis Bunga

    Of course you can, hahahaha...I was just kidding :) But its true, some people will turn red after they drink lihing...maybe it is some kind of 'alergic'

  10. @Gunsirit

    Kaino moi pomoduk...hahaha. Kalau tambah ais, ok kah tu aah...

  11. @Beaty

    Memang pun. Jangan sampai kalapik, sudah...
    Ada nanti kena suruh tidur di luar....hihihihihi

  12. @Donny

    Memang bagus kalau minum sikit, tapi kalau sampai terlebih itu lain cerita sudah tu...hehehe

  13. ya...

    mamaku belajar masa kami d kuala penyu dulu...bapaku orang bisaya beaufort tapi kami ramai keluarga yang dusun tatana...jadi mamaku belajar dari dorang...hehehe

  14. @Nor Adzwaty Rokkafella

    Ngam lah tu, sekurang-kurangya ada juga waris. Mama saya pun pandai tapi kami sorang pun tiada yang mau belajar...

  15. I use rice wine for cooking.Haven't tried drinking it though I'm sure it will get me drunk like other wines if I drink enough of it :)

  16. lihing bha tuh...power siut.aramati!haha

  17. @Jellybelly

    hehehe...of course you don't want to get drunk while cooking :)

  18. @Biskut

    Pernah try minum? Rasanya manis kan, bisa membuatkan seseorang minum bergelas-gelas...hahahaha

  19. sabah makes the best rice wine.
    my fav tu, sup ayam lihing :)


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