mercredi, janvier 27, 2010

Lemper Udang (Spicy Dried Shrimp Glutinous Rice Rolls)

Lemper Udang

The Chinese Lunar New Year is round the corner. I know that many households in Singapore are in a baking and cooking frenzy now trying to get ready for the occasion. Not mine, obviously, since I've not celebrated the CNY in more than a decade. But it got me thinking of what I would like to eat, and I was ticking off pineapple tarts, BBQ sliced pork, the different kuehs...and funny enough, Lemper Udang.

For those who do not know this Indonesian delicacy, it is a glutinous rice roll filled with spicy dried shrimp - usually wrapped in a banana leaf. An Indonesian sushi. A savoury snack that manages to be sweet at the same time. And deliciously pungent, of course. Hub freaked out when he saw me soaking dried shrimps last evening. "What's that? Oh, no..."

Winter Wonderland

Actually, I was preparing for the 2 days when he would be away. Getting ready to eat all the things that he doesn't like. This morning I had a really nice coffee morning with a few moms, but I must admit that I was really eager to return home to prepare my snack. Besides, we woke up to all-white surroundings this morning as it has snowed all of yesterday. This snack warms you up immediately.

Lemper Udang :

The rice :

2 cups Glutinous rice (washed and soaked the night before)
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Sugar
1 cup Water or Coconut Milk
3 Pandan leaves (knotted)

The filling :

1 cup good-quality dried Shrimps (soaked overnight and drained)
4 large fresh Chillies
1 small Onion
5 Garlic cloves
1 Tbsp ground Coriander seeds
2 Tsp ground Turmeric
1 Tsp ground Cumin seeds
1 Tbsp fresh Lemongrass (finely minced)
1 Tbsp Galangal (minced)
3 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 cup roasted grated Coconut
juice of half a lemon

Drain the soaked glutinous rice, mix it with the water, salt and sugar, put a few knotted pandan leaves on top and steam for about 20-25 minutes over boiling water. I use my pasta pot for that. Set aside to cool.

Before being steamed

In the meantime, in a grinder, grind the dried shrimps, chillies, onion, garlic, dry spices, lemongrass, galangal, sugar and roasted grated coconut into a paste. I wouldn't add salt as the dried shrimps should be quite salty already.

Before being fried

Heat up some oil in a non-stick pan and fry the shrimp paste till golden brown, dry and pungent. Squeeze in the lemon uice and mix well. Set aside to cool.

Ready for being wrapped

Normally, one would wrap the rice-shrimp paste rolls in banana leaves and grill them on a BBQ or hot pan before serving. I started to do so with aluminium foil (since I can't find banana leaves here) and then told myself that that was pointless as there would be no aroma to impart to the rolls as would be the case with banana leaves. So I just put the rice and shrimp filling together in a bowl and eat it like that.

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