English: (noun) a fermented fish delicacy - Also referred to as kau’ pingolih (for salt water fish), this is a very unique Bau Bidayuh’s dish and no other group of people on planet Earth prepares fish this way. The ingredients include as many fresh water fish as possible to fit in a typical jar or gobuk and preferably bony fish, some sea salt, rice powder and leaves from a thorny plant commonly found in Borneo forests. The fish is treated with ground sea salt to remove excess moisture and unwanted odor. Then, all the salted fish are put into the gobuk. Leaves are put on top of the fish to prevent flies from laying their eggs on them or worms from getting into the meat before sealing the gobuk. Some people use tapioca leaves or poyank leaves but others use a thorny creeper's leaves called bikolamp. After three or four days, the dehydration process to preserve the flesh is complete. The fish is taken out to spread rice powder evenly on and inside the fish. It is then put into a gobuk for the next process which is fermentation. The gobuk for the dehydration and the frementation process is usually sealed with an airtight cover made of layers of buant leaves on top of layers of manah leaves which are then tied shut with strips made of the barks of the boyuh tree. The manah leaves work well to cool the fish and help in the preservation and fermentation processes. Today, it would be a tin cover with a layer of plastic in between to prevent leakage but leaves are still preferred. The fermentation period takes approximately about 30 days and once fermented, the kau’ can be kept for many years. The longer it is preserved the better because even the bones are soft and to Bau Bidayuh, this makes it very delicious to eat. Today kau' is a rare delicacy due to the dwindling supply of suitable freshwater fish which used to populate the many Borneo rivers that are now either too polluted or over-fished.

Bahasa Malaysia: pekasam ikan

Pronunciation: /kau /

Source: Jecky Misieng