Hinava: A Culinary Gem from Sabah, Malaysia

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Hinava is a traditional dish that holds a special place in the hearts of the Kadazan-Dusun people, one of the indigenous tribes of Sabah, Malaysia. This dish, with its unique blend of flavours and ingredients, is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the region.

Source: finmail

Main Ingredients:

At its core, Hinava is made from fresh fish which is then mixed with a concoction of lime juice, bird’s eye chili, sliced shallots, and grated ginger. The combination of these ingredients results in a tangy, spicy, and aromatic flavour profile that is both refreshing and invigorating.

Source: kitakitapeers

Variations and Popularity:

While the basic ingredients remain consistent, there are several variations of Hinava, such as Hinava ginapan and Hinava tongii. The Kadazan community, in particular, is renowned for their Hinava tongii. This dish’s popularity is not just restricted to Sabah but has garnered appreciation from food enthusiasts around the world.

Source: ajinomoto


Hinava is not just a dish; it’s a reflection of the Kadazan-Dusun community’s culture, traditions, and love for food. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, tasting Hinava is an experience that offers a glimpse into the soul of Sabah.


  • Wikipedia
  • “Malaysia & Singapore” by Su-Lyn Tan & Mark Tay, 2003. Link
  • “Lonely Planet Malaysia Singapore & Brunei” by Lonely Planet, Simon Richmond, Cristian Bonetto, and others, 2013. Link

Article curated by Suwaytha Gopal