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.)
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.
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 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.
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