Refreshing Flavours with This Prawn Umai Mukah Sago Recipe

Umai is a traditional native dish of the Melanau people in Sarawak, Malaysia, which was originally eaten by fishermen who often prepared and ate their catch while still out at sea on their boats, but could not risk lighting a fire. Umai is a dish of sliced raw fish or prawn with a mixture of onions, chilies, salt and lime juice served with dry sago. It’s the Bornean equivalent to the growingly popular Hawaiian ‘Poké’.


  • 50g Fresh prawns, removed shell and head
  • 30g of onions, sliced
  • 30g of Red Chillies, sliced
  • 30g of shallot, sliced
  • 30g Calamansi, cut into half
  • 20g pf ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon of ground nuts
  • 1/2 tablespoon of dried sago
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste


1.In a bowl, place the peeled fresh prawn. Make sure they are cleaned thoroughly.

2. Add in the sliced onions, red chillies, shallots and ginger,

3. Squeeze in some calamansi juice.

4. Season to taste with salt and sugar.

5. Mix evenly. Refrigerate if not serving straightaway.

6. Sprinkle the ground nuts & dried sago before serving.

Fresh Ingredients, Delicious Flavours

Whether eaten as a snack, appetizer, palate cleanser or the main course, Prawn Umai is a healthy and delicious dish that makes the most of the freshest ingredients of the sea, enriching the catch-of-the-day with a punch of spice and zest without drowning out their natural flavour.

Like more traditional recipes like this? Make sure you follow Butterkicap, be it on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for more delicious Sarawakian delights that you would want to try make at home.

For more information about Sarawak and upcoming events there, do check out the Borneo Convention Centre website. Our chef wishes you happy cooking and we are excited for you to experience flavours that all Sarawakian loves!

Borneo Convention Centre

Borneo Convention Centre aims to promote traditional Sarawakian cuisine as well as the cultural heritage of Sarawak.

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