Malaysian Pekasam Rebung: Exploring the Unique Fermented Delicacy

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Malaysia is renowned for its diverse culinary heritage, with dishes that reflect the fusion of various cultures. One such unique delicacy is Malaysian Pekasam Rebung, a traditional fermented bamboo shoot dish that tantalizes the taste buds with its tangy and piquant flavors. This article delves into the origins, preparation, and distinct taste of Pekasam Rebung, providing an insight into this lesser-known gem of Malaysian cuisine.

History of Pekasam Rebung

Pekasam rebung is a traditional food that has been eaten in Sarawak for centuries. It is believed to have originated from the Dayak people, the indigenous people of Sarawak. Pekasam rebung was originally a way to preserve bamboo shoots during the rainy season, when fresh bamboo shoots were not available.

The Origin and Significance of Pekasam Rebung

1. A Traditional Delicacy:

Pekasam Rebung is a traditional dish originating from the states of Perak and Negeri Sembilan in Malaysia. It is deeply rooted in Malay culture and has been enjoyed for generations.

2. Fermentation for Preservation:

Pekasam, a traditional method of food preservation, involves fermenting various ingredients to extend their shelf life. In the case of Pekasam Rebung, bamboo shoots are fermented with a combination of salt, rice bran, and spices, resulting in a distinctive taste profile.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the bamboo shoots, salt, belacan, chili padi, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, turmeric leaves, kaffir lime leaves, coriander leaves, mint leaves, water spinach leaves, bean sprouts, and peanuts.
  2. Mix well and let marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
  3. When ready to cook, heat a wok or large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add the mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bamboo shoots are tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with rice.

Appreciating Cultural Heritage through Food

Pekasam Rebung not only serves as a delicious dish but also represents the rich cultural heritage of Malaysia. It highlights the resourcefulness of the Malay community in preserving food, using fermentation techniques that have been passed down through generations.


Malaysian Pekasam Rebung is a culinary gem that deserves recognition for its unique taste and cultural significance. Its tangy and piquant flavors, derived from the fermentation of bamboo shoots, offer a distinct experience to adventurous food enthusiasts. Exploring this lesser-known delicacy allows one to have unforgettable experience. 

Article curated by Naw Eh Wai Htoo