Compressed rice cakes

Compressed rice cakes

Lontong

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From
South East Asian Food

Lontong and ketupat are plain rice cakes that are eaten with certain dishes such as saté and some soto in place of ordinary rice. Ketupat is made using palm-leaf packets cleverly woven by the cook on the spot – a trick that I have never been able to perform.

Lontong are much simpler to make and you can get by using lontong pieces in place of ketupat. They do, however, require access to banana leaves or some porous pudding cloth as a substitute.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Assemble banana-leaf or pudding-cloth pieces measuring about 24 x 18 cm. If you are using banana leaves, soften them over a hot stove element or in hot water until they are pliable. Roll the packet material across the shorter length into a cylinder about 5 cm in diameter. With banana leaves, fold one end like a parcel with the point upwards and secure with a toothpick or a pin. (If you use cloth tie the ends tightly with string bonbon style.)
  2. Wash the rice well and then half fill the packet with it, leaving plenty of room for the rice to expand. Then fold and secure the second end in the same way as the first.
  3. Place the packets in a rice steamer or a saucepan filled with boiling water. Boil gently until cooked. This will take about 2 hours or more and you should add more water if and when necessary. Allow to cool, take the rice rolls out of the packets, cut them in half lengthwise and then cut each across into 2.5 cm pieces.
  4. If you find this process too fiddly, use the Malay Nasi impit instead as I often do.
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