Lontong refers to compressed rice cakes, usually served as an accompaniment to curries and stews or as a side dish with peanut-based sauces.
Traditionally, Lontong is prepared by compressing rice in banana leaves shaped into a cylinder, with both ends folded and secured with toothpicks. The rice should only fill about a third of the space, leaving ample room for it to expand in the cylinder as it is cooked.
The wrapped rice is then lowered into a deep pot of boiling water and cooked for around two hours or until it is firm and fully packed with rice. This process makes the banana leaves shrink and compresses the rice. When fully cooked, the Lontong is unwrapped, left to drain for about ten minutes and allowed to cool.
Before serving, the Lontong is sliced into small, ready-to-eat pieces. The Lontong has a slightly green tint and is infused with the aroma from the banana leaves.
In Singapore, Lontong is commonly added to Sayur Lodeh, a Malay dish made from the compressed rice cakes served in a mild curry containing a medley of vegetables cooked in spices and coconut milk, the final product also referred to as ‘Lontong’. Other ingredients such as crushed peanut, tempeh, or a hard-boiled egg could be added to the dish to enhance the flavours.
#FoodieFriday #FoodieFridaySG #TGIF #sghawkerculture