Malaysian Monday 15: Pulut Panggang (Grilled Glutinous Rice Parcel)+ Award

Monday, November 16, 2009

If the weekend temperatures were anything to go by, we’re in for a hot summer (fingers crossed – I like the heat!). The warmer weather brings with it cicada song, slower days and the scent of barbecue on the air. If I had to pinpoint a national Australian pastime, it would probably be barbecuing. I bet 99% of households own some sort of device to set food on fire for grilling (no research was conducted in the writing of this sentence).

I think the appeal of the barbecue is pretty universal though. We had lots of gatherings around the barbecue when we were growing up in Malaysia, but the barbecues we used weren’t as sophisticated as the Aussie versions.

The act of grilling is what makes today’s Malaysian Monday offering so appealing. Introducing Pulut Panggang (Pulut=Glutinous Rice/Sticky rice, Panggang = Grill/Barbecue), a savoury rice snack. I always referred to this as Pulut Panggang but I have come across a very similar dish called Rempah Udang (Rempah=Spice, Udang=Prawn/Shrimp). I think it depends on which ethnic group one belongs to – Pulut Panggang is most probably Malay, and I am assuming Rempah Udang is Nyonya. (In fact, the recipe I found in Mum’s handwritten collection refers to this as Rempah Udang.)

I completely forgot to get Mr. Kitchen Hand’s scores for this snack but he ate more than one so I assume he didn’t mind them. In fact, I served these up to a couple of real live expat New Yorkers and they weren’t too scared of them either (or maybe they were just being polite).

The rempah udang recipe is at the end of this post.

As an aside, I need to say a big thank you to Ellie from Almost Bourdain, for this lovely award. Actually, she handed it on last week but I’ve been dithering about who to pass it on to. I am supposed to pass it on to 8 other bloggers who I’ve recently discovered. How do I choose? What if I forget someone and I hurt their feelings?! Oh the humanity!

So in no particular order, here are the 8 bloggers I’m sending this award to. Not all of them are in English, but I use Google translator to work out what’s happening. Judging from the list, I seem to be attracted to photography, stories of home and pretty desserts!

Barbara at Moveable Feasts
Sheba at Fork, boots and a palette
Vanille at @DownUnder
Morgana at Tartas con magia (Cakes with Magic)
Sarah at Syrup and Honey
Isa at Eat my Cake Now
The Cooking Photographer
Little Miss Cupcake

(According to the “rules” this award needs to be passed on to 8 other bloggers, but I’ve never been one to follow the rules so feel free to ignore it if you wish. To “collect” the award, just copy and paste the image onto your own post).

And finally, here’s today's Malaysian Monday recipe. And I know I sound like a broken record but Malaysian recipes are mostly agak-agak (guess-guess), so feel free to remix the ingredients as you see fit.

Pulut Panggang

For the Glutinous Rice
I used 1 ½ cups glutinous rice (wash and drain) and
2 cups water (check the ratio on your packet of rice).
1 tbsp coconut cream (optional)
pinch of salt

Using a heatproof bowl, soak the glutinous rice in the water for about half an hour. Season with salt, give it a quick stir then place the bowl in a steamer and steam until cooked – the rice should become quite translucent and sticky. After the rice has cooked, stir through the coconut cream if using, and cover until the cream has been absorbed. Let cool.

For the filling
3 eschallots (or use half a medium onion instead)
1 large chilli and 1 small chilli (add more if you can stand the heat)
Handful of fresh prawns/shrimp (about 8) – peeled, deveined and diced. (Or use dried prawns/shrimp)
1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 candlenut
1 small piece belacan (toasted and ground)
3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut (that’s all I had at home, dessicated coconut can be used instead. Better yet, fresh grated coconut if you can get it).
Pinch of salt and sugar to taste

For the outer wrappers
Fresh Banana Leaves - remove hard middle rib, cut into rectangle shapes and steam or blanch to soften.

Pound together (or blend) the eschalot(or onion), chillies, coriander, candlenut and shrimp paste to a smooth consistency. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the spice paste until it smells “cooked”, about 3-4 minutes. Add the coconut, stir well and fry for a minute or two, stir often to prevent catching or burning. Add the diced prawns and stir until cooked, Season to taste. The mixture should be quite dry. Remove from heat and let cool a little.

To prepare parcels.

Take a rectangular piece of banana leaf, spoon a little of the cooked pulut (glutinous rice) onto the middle of the leaf and spread it out into a rectangular shape slightly smaller than the banana leaf. Place a little bit of the prawn filling onto the rice. Add a little bit of rice on top of the filling and smooth it with fingers. Wrap up the parcel by folding the long edges in towards the middle. Secure the ends with toothpicks or small lengths of skewer or even staples!

Oil the leaves and grill until the skin is charred and blistered and the pulut is hot and slightly dry. Serve warm. Alternatively, char it on a dry frying pan. The smell of cooked banana leaves are fabulous.

These pulut were quite moist when they came off the grill, which tasted fine but I actually like my pulut panggang to be almost overcooked and have a dry, toothy texture. But I think that’s an acquired taste ;P


Malar Gandhi said...

I have eaten this once in a party, ever since want to make them at home, good that I already have banana leafs in the fridge...wish I get some sticky rice. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe, here:)

The Cooking Photographer said...

Shaz I only accept this honor of an award if you let me spend summer at your place. It’s winter here and snow has already covered the ground. My daughter even built the first snowman of the season which taunts me in the backyard with its cold dark basalt eyes.

I'm not ready for this.

Your Malaysian meal makes my food soul happy though. It's beautiful and I had no idea I could grill sticky rice!!

Maybe I could just come for a short stay. Say on Malaysian Monday lol!

All teasing aside, thank-you. I am grateful.


Julia @Mélanger said...

Very tasting indeed. I have never seen anything like this before.

The temperatures are soaring here in Brisbane. Unlike you, I'm not looking forward to the approaching summer! EEK.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That looks yummy! I love sticky rice!

Congrats on the award!



morgana said...

Wow!!! Thank you very much for this award. I don't know what to say... It's an honor.

Best regards from Spain.

Ellie said...

Monday is my homesickness day! This is one of my favourite snack :) bring back so many memories.

Barbara said...

Thank you so much for the award, Shaz. I'm so pleased you think I have a lovely blog! I'm really honored.

As for your glutinous rice recipe- it looks wonderful. I love your photo-directions. Makes things so much easier. I love your Malaysian Mondays.

Hungry Dog said...

Congratulations on your award! You deserve it! I love your blog.

This recipe looks a lot like Chinese jung (sp?) you can get at dim sum. Same idea, right, sort of an Asian tamale. I love it. Yours look delicious.

Little Miss Cupcake said...

oh thanks so much for the lovely award, shaz! narrowing down my 8 is going to be tough. you have a great blog as well as I appreciate that you have been kind enough to pass it on. x Cat a/k/a Little Miss Cupcake (in Paris!)

Grace said...

i think referring to any food as a parcel is awesome. these particular parcels are interesting and totally unique to me, but that doesn't make me want them any less!

shaz said...

Thanks Malar- aren't banana leaves handy!

Laura-You're welcome here anytime! The snowman sounds fantastic

Yes Julia, I probably wouldn't be looking forward to summer as much if we were up north

Thanks rosa

Cheers Morgana

Ha ha ellie - same here

Thanks barbara, glad you enjoy the MM

Thanks hungry dog- never thought of it but you're right- they are quite similar but chung(??) is steamed and wrapped in bamboo leaves

Good luck LM cupcake-I agonized over the list for ages!

Ta grace- good things come in parcels

syrupandhoney said...

what?? so rockin. looks like you certainly deserved your award and you're so sweet to pass it on.

3 hungry tummies said...

This is one of my all time favourite kuih!! thanks