Bosou is a signature dish for Kadazan Dusun. Bosou-making is simple, yet need practices for a perfection. Typical ingredients are including raw freshwater fish, pangi (Malay – kepayang, Scientific name – Pangium edule), salt, steamed rice and some other optional ingredients such as jackfruits, young pineapple fruits, tuhau, etc.
The making of bosou is very simple. First, all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly. Salt is usually added in excess to prolong the shelf life of the bosou. If warm rice is to be used, the mixture is cooled to room temperature before storing. Storing of bosou usually takes in a tight-closed container.
The traditional container for the bosou is the bottle-shaped gourd which is sealed with some bees-wax. Other traditional container includes kakanan. But now the traditional containers are replaced with tupperwares, glass bottles etc. Storing of bosou usually takes about five to seven days before it is can be eaten. Due to it’s strong smell and compost-like nature, it is advised to tight-close the container to avoid flies to take ‘control’ of the bosou and also to avoid growth of fungi.
Bosou can be eaten raw or cooked. Cooking is usually done to get rid of the smell and to enhance the taste of the bosou. Some may add dried onions, chillies and other ingredients during the cooking.
It’s always a pleasure to have bosou as a side dish.