Lemper

Lemper

Rice rolls with spicy filling

By
From
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Photographer
Alan Benson

Wrapping food in banana leaves is a very popular method of cooking and serving in South-East Asia. Where banana leaves are available, prepare them by stripping the leaves from the thick middle rib with a sharp knife. Leaves will be inclined to split, but this doesn’t matter, as they will have to be cut into suitable sizes for serving anyway. Wash the leaves to remove any dust, then pour boiling water over them. This makes them pliable enough to fold without splitting. Ti leaves or bamboo leaves (from Chinese grocery stores) can be used instead of banana leaves, but heavy-duty foil does the job efficiently even if it isn't as picturesque. These lempur are ideal for picnics or buffet parties.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g glutinous rice
250ml thick coconut milk
250g minced pork or diced chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 dried daun salam leaves
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dried shrimp paste
squeeze lemon juice
banana leaf or aluminium foil

Method

  1. Wash the rice well and drain in a colander for 30 minutes.
  2. Put the rice into a saucepan with 500 ml water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and steam for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix 185 ml of the coconut milk with 125 ml water in a small saucepan and heat without boiling. Add to the rice, stir gently with a fork, cover and steam for a further 5–10 minutes, or until the coconut milk has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  4. Season the pork with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy-based frying pan over low heat. Add the garlic and daun salam leaves and cook for 1 minute, then add the ground spices and shrimp paste and stir-fry for 1 minute, crushing the shrimp paste with a spoon. Add the pork and cook until the colour changes. Add the remaining coconut milk and simmer over low heat until well cooked and quite dry. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  5. Take a large tablespoonful of the rice and flatten on a piece of banana leaf. Put a good teaspoonful of the filling in the middle and mould the rice around it to make a cylindrical shape. Roll the banana leaf and secure with wooden toothpicks, or roll in the foil to make a neat parcel. These parcels can be heated over a barbecue or steamed for 15 minutes, then allowed to cool once again. Serve at room temperature as a snack.
Tags:
The Complete Asian Cookbook
Charmaine
Solomon
Asian
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