Saturday, 10 August 2013

Pulut Bakar (Grilled glutinous rice)

Much like the pulut inti kuih, this pasar malam regular is also comprised of glutinous rice and a (savoury) filling wrapped in banana leaf. The tubes of this kuih is also grilled over charcoal fire before served, giving it the name (pulut bakar means grilled glutinous rice) and smokey flavour. When making it at home, a regular grill will be an acceptable substitute for coal grill.

2 cups of glutinous rice
1 cup of freshly grated coconut. Alternatively, use the same amount of dried desiccated coconut
1/2 small onion
1 garlic clove
2 slices of galangal
3 dried chilli
1/2 lemongrass
1 teaspoon belacan
1 tablespoon dried prawns
100ml water
Banana leaves and bamboo skewers or toothpicks for wrapping

Soak the glutinous rice in some water overnight. Drain the water, place rice in a steamer and steam for 50-60 minutes or until rice is cooked thoroughly, seasoning it with salt halfway through. Make sure the steamer does not run out of water.

Blend onion, garlic, chilli, galangal, lemongrass, belacan and dried prawns with the 100ml water until it forms a smooth paste. Fry the paste in a tablespoon of oil until fragrant. Add the coconut to this mixture, stir until all the desiccated coconut have evenly absorbed the spice mixture. Season with salt and take it off the heat.

Trim the banana leaves to about 15-20cm x 10cm strips. Flatten a tablespoon of rice on the topside (darker green) of the leaf, long ways. Leave 2cm of the leaf uncovered to enable it to be rolled. Heap a tablespoon of the spicy coconut filling onto the bed of rice, flatten with the back of the spoon. Roll the whole assembly tightly, much like you would when making sushi, and secure both ends of the rolls with toothpicks or staples.
Grill this indoors or on your barbecue for 3-4 minutes on both sides before serving. Don't worry if the banana leaf burns, that's not for eating.

Tip: Work on the rice while they are still warm. They are less malleable when cold, so if the rice cools before you are finished, put them back on the steamer for a few minutes.

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