Lemang (Steamed glutinous rice cake)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I dedicate this blog to Lina (in photo). She has worked for over 13 years for my mum-in-law and the Teo family. She will be finally headed home by the end of this month. We will be missing her!

And she also deserved to be featured in this post because she cooked this sidekick to my beef rendang. I did chip in and folded a few pieces but it was largely her work with the help of her cousin.
While my Mum had done various dishes using glutinous rice, I have no memories of her making this ubiquitous Hari Raya dish. So, there is not much story-telling here.

Lemang Recipe
For a serving of about 20+ Lemangs (as in photo)
1 kilo of glutinous rice
1 coconut milk
Salt and sugar to taste
Banana leaf

Cooking the rice:
Soak the glutinous rice in water for 2-3 hours. Overnight is even better. Then drain the rice. Using a wok, boil the coconut milk for about 15 minutes till it bubbles and you can see the oil floating to the surface. Add some salt and sugar.Pour the rice into the wok. Stir and mix for about 10 minutes.

Making the “cones”
Wipe and clean the banana leaves. Tear it at about the 5 inch mark (photos below). Now, some simple origami. Fold it into a triangle cone. Make sure the sharp pointed edge does not have a hole as water will sip in during steaming. Into the hollow of the cone, packed the half-cooked rice in. Packed in tightly as this will minimize the moisture in the rice. As you will have to fold in from the top, make sure you do not packed in too much. Fold in, flip to one side and lie the cone so that the loose flap stay folded. This is it's “sleeping position” for the rest of the cooking time till it is unwrapped and eaten. Pile the pieces up in the steamer. Steam for about 30 minutes.

It also goes well with mangoes, kaya (photo, right) etc. This basic coconut flavored steamed glutinous rice is also a part of Filipino, Indonesian and Thai cuisine. And so you can imagine how the coconut rice, salty, sugary or a bit of both can complement or complemented by another dish.

After all, it is rice!

Good job, Lina and have a safe passage home!

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  1. Thnx.Well its also a Malaysian cuisine

  2. Hi,
    I found this incredible blog and was happy that you had posted Lemang & Beef Rendang. I used to live in KL and during Hari Raya Holidays we drove by the guys roasted Lemang and now back home in Singapore I don't find them anymore.
    Thank you so much for sharing and the wonderful recipes in remembrance of your Mum's legacy recipes. Your mum would be proud, good work!