Tuesday, December 2, 2008


My father's favourite savoury snack and mine too. I did not really look forward to making this as it entails four separate activities. The cooking of the filling, the cooking of the glutinous rice, the wiping and wilting of the banana leaves and then finally the wrapping and rolling of the food in the banana leaves. But it was worth all the effort in the end and I now have a stack of yummy 'pulut udang' that I can snack on throughout the day. Makes 12 rolls.

Glutinous rice :

2 cups glutinous rice, soaked overnight
1/2 to 3/4 cup of thick coconut milk, an approximate amount

Bring a steamer pot of water to boil. Drain the glutinous rice, add the salt, and place the rice directly into the second tier of a steamer pot (the one with holes). Dribble some cococnut milk over the rice, probably about 3 or 4 tablespoons at a time, stir to mix, cover and let steam. After about 15 minutes open the lid, give the rice a toss (be careful of the hot steam) and dribble some more coconut milk. Taste for salt and add some more if bland.

Do this intermittently, a couple or more times, until the rice is completely cooked through. Unfortunately I did not time the cooking so I can't really tell you exactly how long it took. But by a rough estimate it probably took about 45 minutes or so. When it is done just leave the rice in the pot covered until you are ready to roll. The heat in the pot will continue to cook the rice while covered.

The Filling :

3 shallots
5-6 fresh red chillies
1 stalk of lemon grass, sliced finely
a knob of fresh tumeric or a 1/2 tsp of tumeric powder

The above three ingredients are to be pounded to a paste or chopped in a food prcessor till very fine.

1 1/2 tbsp dried prawns, soaked to soften and pounded coarsely
7 -8 medium sized prawns diced

2 cups grated coconut
2 Tbsp cooking oil

Heat the cooking oil in a pan and saute the pounded ingredients, and pounded dried prawns until they turn soft and slightly golden. Add the diced fresh prawns and stir until the prawns are cooked through.

Add the grated coconut and stir again to coat the coconut with the spices. Add salt to taste.

Preparing the banana leaves :

Wipe the banana leaves down with a clean damp cloth. Wilt them over the open flame of your stove by holding the banana leaves at one end and pulling it across directly over the flames making sure every part of the laef is heated and wilted. You will be able to see the banana leaves wilt and soften almost immediately upon contact with the flames. Be careful not to burn though. Cut them into squares roughly the same size about 6 by 6 or slightly larger if you like.

Here is a good explanation on various other methods on how to wilt and prepare banana leaves for wrapping foods.

The construction :

Take a blob of glutinous rice and place it on a pice of banana leaf. Flatten it like in the picture and then put some filling over it as you would when you make a sushi.

Use the top and bottom ends of the banana leaf to bring the rice over the filling and then open it up again and roll it up into a neat roll. Fold up the left and right ends and STAPLE!

This is a little strange because this is the only occasion where I have stapled a food item. The traditional way is to use a lidi (the spine of a coconut leaf) which looks something like bamboo skewers but which are more flexible and not as threathening. I couldn't get any lidis so like many other people in the city I used staples.

Anyway once all the pulut and filling have been used up and rolled and wrapped in the banana leaves arrange them in a single layer and place them on a baking tray and cook them under the broiler of your oven or grill them over an open fire (which is the traditional way just like grilling satay) or in a grilling pan on the stove until part of the banana wrapping have become somewhat burnt on the outside and looks grilled. It probably takes about 15 minutes over an open fire.

Serve the pulut udang with the banana leaves left on.

It will have a lovely smoky flavour as a result of the grilling which goes well with the yummy spicy combination of prawn filled grated coconut and sticky rice. After grilling the surface of the rice layer will be golden, crusty and a little chewy. Not much different from the 'kerak' or crust that's left at the bottom of your pot after you have cooked some rice. Yum.

TIP : Don't worry if the filling shows through rice layer a little. It will all be covered up by the banana leaves and when cooked it will taste just as good as when it looks perfect.

TIP : If you find the sticky rice sticking to your hands as you handle it, rub a little cooking oil on your hands before you work or use a patch of lightly oiled banana leaf to press and flatten the sticky rice ready to be filled.

TIP : Make sure you leave the rice in the pot COVERED while you make the filling or do other things other wise the rice will get dry on the surface and will be somewhat crusty. Uncover only when you are ready to use it.


Denise ^ ChickyEGG said...

I loveee this! I always end up can't remember how many I have eaten! ;S
I also like the plain pulut (same wrapping)...dip with satay sauce! wow!slurP!
again I try to control not over-eaten..otherwise.. my stomach will striking from having too much Glutinous rice! ;D

Zurin said...

Well u can make it now Denise! o the ketupat pulut...yes it is yummy. If you like that then you will probably like the pulut wrapped in banana leaves also with pandan flavour but eaten it with gula melaka syrup..mmmmphhh my favourite! will make for my blog soon,,,getting hungry just thinking bout it :D

Nadia said...

mummy, ahh i HATE wilting the banana leaves....made kuih koci recently have yet to put it up on JLK, but you're right, wilting it is worth it...that was my first successfull kuih koci...ahh i love this pulut udang but cannot eat!! arghhh

Zurin said...

Check out the 'here' link I gave in my post. good tips for wilting banana leaves...can wilt them in the oven

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

superb! thanx for posting this. hey, can use the sharp toothpicks as lidi yes?

Nadia said...

oh yess..saw that..hmm that would save a lot of energy and time...will try it...when I'm rajin enough to buy banana leaves again LOL

Zurin said...

Yes Terri I suppose u can use the sharp toothpicks but theyre a little long dont u think? but wl do I guess.Hah! you can shorten them! y didnt I think of that! Thanks ..better than staples! LOL

Zurin said...

Juli :

Easy to wilt in the oven right? good thing u can get banana leaves there!

Nadia said...

i need to try the oven one lah...tula, should be easy.

how come your filling on the flattened pulut looks soo neat? lol that's where I'm still fumbling...my fingers are not as nimble..need more practice maybe...

i wish i was there...tak payah masak LOL or ...could cook with you and burn all the food LOL

Zurin said...

Eh Eh EHhhhh... if ur here mami la tak payah masak!:D


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