Exploring the Traditional Bruneian Ambuyat

Bruneian Ambuyat: A Cultural Culinary Experience

Bruneian Ambuyat is the national dish of Brunei, a unique culinary dish that provides a true taste of the country’s tradition and culture. Made from the interior trunk of the sago palm, it’s a dish that is both simple and complex in its significance and preparation. Ambuyat is more than just food; it’s a communal experience that brings people together.


  • Sago starch (you can find this at Asian specialty stores or online)
  • Water
  • A bamboo fork called ‘candas’ (traditional tool for eating Ambuyat, but chopsticks or two skewers can be used as a substitute)


  1. Place the sago starch in a large bowl.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a kettle or pot.
  3. Gradually pour the hot water into the bowl with the sago starch while stirring continuously with the candas or your substitute tool.
  4. Continue to add water and stir until the mixture becomes sticky and thickens into a glue-like consistency.
  5. Once ready, roll a small amount of ambuyat around the candas and dip into a flavorful sauce, traditionally a sour fruit-based sauce or a savory fish sauce.


Ambuyat is never eaten alone. It’s typically served with an array of side dishes that can include:

  • Grilled fish or meat
  • Vegetables like okra or eggplant
  • Various savory sauces, such as tempoyak (fermented durian sauce) or cacah (made with binjai or mango)


Making Ambuyat at home can be a delightful way to immerse yourself in Bruneian culture. It’s often eaten with fingers, which makes it a fun and interactive meal to share with family and friends. Try this simple recipe to partake in a dining experience that is a staple in Bruneian households and capture the essence of a nation’s culinary spirit.

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