Omigod. Banana leaves, glutinous rice, muslin and a steamer. Four beasts to find. So.... warning: do not attempt to make, unless you’re up for a bit of fiddle and wrap - plus there’s that elusive banana leaf to be harvested too. Fabulous my-aren’t-you-clever party food - for those who want to recreate their Bali days, and unappease rival domestic gods/goddesses back home. To be authentic, stick some shredded dried beef in each packet. Asian shops are the places to pick up a packet of air-dried beef shreds, or use pounded shreds of South African biltong.
Put the rice and coconut milk in a saucepan and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until the milk is absorbed, but don’t let it catch and burn. It will not be cooked at this point. Line a steamer tray with muslin, spread the rice on top and sprinkle with a little salt. Cover and fast-steam for about 25 minutes, then leave to cool. Divide the rice between the banana leaf squares and gently press into an oblong shaped layer, adding beef shreds, if using. Fold up the leaf into a tight parcel, folding in the ends and securing with bamboo or cocktail sticks. When wanted, grill over a barbecue or on a chargrill pan for about 4 minutes on each side.
© 2004 Alastair Hendy. All rights reserved.