Today we’re going to make a tower… a tower of glorious height. And this tall, sturdy tower is going to be made out of rice. Our inspiration? The Petronas towers of Malaysia.
Aren’t they stunning?
I adore the fact that the skyscrapers are connected by a tiny walkway that seems to be a million, zillion miles up in the sky. But that’s a story for another day.
The fact is, I am simply thrilled to make rice towers from Malaysia. You see, I’m falling more and more in love with glutinous rice which is the secret to building our edible tower. I first made glutinous rice for Laos and, yikes, was I ever scared of messing it up. After that Adventure, however, I learned that glutinous rice is much more forgiving than traditional long-grain rice. It’s very hard to screw up. Which means, of course, that I’ll be making it more and more.
And add coconut milk into the mix?
Let’s just call this recipe love at first bite.
NOTE: For this recipe, you can easily find both the glutinous rice and the banana leaves at your local Asian market (the banana leaves are also available at Latino markets). Lemang is traditionally cooked in banana leaves inside pieces of bamboo, although home cooks simply wrap it in banana leaves, like this http://www.foodcanon.com/2011/03/lemang.html
2 cups dry glutinous rice, soaked for 6 hours or overnight (also called sweet rice)
1 can coconut milk
Banana leaves, for wrapping
First things first – soak the rice in water overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
Meanwhile, soak yourself in the beauty of Petronas at night …
Add the rice and cook, uncovered, for ten minutes over low/medium heat. Stir occasionally.
To make the towers, roll the banana leaf up into a cone. Make sure there is no hole at the bottom for the rice to come out.
Even a two year-old can do it!
Although some rice went missing…
.. you must cool them for several minutes until the rice is just barely warm.
This fantastically fun finger food is great room temperature or just a bit warm.
TIP: My friend MC from Malaysia suggests you add a lump of palm sugar to the middle of your packet for a sweet twist.
Love, love, love to you and yours.