Pulut Panggang (Glutinous Rice Wrap With Spicy Sambal Filling)
What Is Pulut Panggang?
Pulut panggang is a famous traditional Malay snack that contains steamed, glutinous rice with a spicy sambal filling. The rice is then wrapped in banana leaves and grilled over a traditional charcoal stove. This special Malay snack is very filling and is usually served at teatime. It is good eaten hot—fresh from the charcoal fire. However, when I make this recipe I use a pan, since I didn't have a charcoal stove. Therefore, the taste is slightly different from the authentic, grilled version.
The Process Is Time-Consuming (But Worth It!)
The process of making pulut panggang is time-consuming and a little bit tedious. You begin by soaking the glutinous rice overnight, which helps speed up the steaming process the next day. Also, you will need banana leaves to wrap the rice. Cut the leaves into rectangles and smoke to make them soft for folding or wrapping. You will also need toothpicks or stapler pins to secure the ends of the leaves. To save time, you can cook the spicy sambal filling a day before and keep it in the fridge. Take out an hour or two to bring it back to room temperature.
A New Snack for My Husband
I was determined to make this snack because my husband had never had it before. I knew he would like it. I love making Malay desserts and snacks for my husband because they are new to him.
Let's take a look at the ingredients.
- 2 cups glutinous rice washed, soaked, and drained (I use Thai glutinous rice)
- 1/2 cup diluted coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup dried shrimp, washed and drained
- 3 shallots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 lemongrass, thinly sliced
- 1-inch ginger
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 7 dried red chilies, soaked in a hot water and drained
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups finely grated fresh coconut
- Water for blending
- Banana leaves
- Make the spicy coconut filling: In a blender, combine the dried shrimp, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, sugar, salt, turmeric, and water. Blend until it makes a paste. Heat the oil in a pan or wok. Saute the paste till fragrant. Throw in the grated coconut and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. If it becomes too dry, add some water. Remove from heat to let it cool.
- Make the steamed glutinous rice: In a bowl, add the coconut milk and salt. Gently stir until the salt is dissolved. Set aside. In a round container lay flat some banana leaves and place the rice on the top of the leaves. Steam for about 15 minutes. Transfer the rice into a medium bowl and add the coconut milk mixture. Mix well. Set aside.
- Wrap the pulut panggang: Take a piece of banana leaf. Place 2 tablespoons of rice in the middle and flatten the rice using the back of the spoon.
- Place 2 teaspoons of the filling and put on top of the rice.
- Roll the banana leaf right from the bottom.
- Flatten both edges and secure them with the toothpicks.
- Trim the excess edges with scissors.
- Repeat this process until all rice is done.
- Brush some oil on the leaves (upside down) before grilling.
- Grill for about 5 minutes each side.
- Enjoy while it is hot.
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