Recipe: Lemang

Recipe: Lemang

Lemang is a traditional food which is commonly found in maritime Southeast Asian countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

It is made of glutinous rice, coconut milk and salt for seasoning and usually cooked in a bamboo stick with banana leaves in order to prevent the rice from sticking onto the bamboo stick. Lemang is originated from the Dayak tribe living in Borneo, and it is often presented in traditional festivals.

Besides that, lemang is also popular in Malaysia and Singapore due to the high population of Malay Muslims. It is also one of the iconic food during Hari Raya Aidil Fitri or Hari Raya Aidil Adha and is commonly cooked by Malay Muslims to replace white rice and pair with other traditional savoury dishes such as rendang or sambal.

Furthermore, it can also be eaten with additional sweet jam such as kaya, mocca, cheese or even chocolate. In Malaysia, it is commonly found in Northern states such as Kelantan and Terengganu. Lemang can be found in most Malay restaurants in those states, even by the roadside stalls!

Lemang Ingredients:

  • 400g of Glutinous rice
  • 200mL of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 pieces of banana leaves
  • 1 large bamboo stalk


  1. Wash the glutinous rice and let it soak for 6 hours in the water.
  2. After soaking, rinse off the water and let it dry aside.
  3. Pour the coconut milk and salt into a pot and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Place the banana leaves into the bamboo according to the circumference of the bamboo.
  5. If you can’t find bamboo, try steaming the lemang in a cake tin lined with banana leaves on top and bottom.
  6. Add in sufficient amount of glutinous rice and that has been drained. Make sure the bamboo stalk is not overfilled with glutinous rice.
  7. Pour in the coconut milk mixture and let it cook on medium fire.
  8. While cooking, turn over the bamboo stalk every 15 minutes to ensure the rice is compressed and cooked evenly.
  9. Cook the bamboo for about 3 to 4 hours before removing it from the heat.
  10. As lemang is steamed instead of BBQ-ed, let the lemang cool down in the bamboo so the lemang will hold its shape.
  11. After a few minutes, carefully remove the lemang from the bamboo.
  12. Slice the bamboo into pieces and remove the banana leaf on the lemang.
  13. Serve it with rendang or serunding for better taste.

If you find this dish too troublesome to prepare, you can always order it from foodpanda and have it delivered to you!  

Article Written By Mico Hu

Mico is a professional creative writer in Foodpanda. She writes about travel, fashion, and food. Also, she enjoy travelling to new places and also eating delicious food.

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