Lemang, made without bamboo

How to Make Lemang without Bamboo (Resepi Lemang Tanpa Buloh)

  • Author: Azlin Bloor
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 8-10 1x


How to cook Lemang without bamboo! Lemang is glutinous rice traditionally cooked in banana leaf lined bamboo poles. Let’s do it tanpa buloh (without bamboo), shall we?



  • 500g (1.1 lb) glutinous rice, soaked for 3 hours
  • 250ml (1 cup) coconut milk
  • 250ml (1 cup) water
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 pandan leaves
  • a few sheets of banana leaves
  • a drop of flavourless oil for greasing, like vegetable oil


  1. Soak the rice for a minimum 3 hours, or overnight, if you have the time.
  2. Drain, rinse and drain again. Set aside.
  3. Cut the banana leaves to manageable sizes and soften them as in the video and instructions above.
  4. Lightly grease your chosen pan or rice cooker, then line with 1 or 2 banana leaves, depending on their size.
  5. Tip the rice in, followed by the salt and sugar.
  6. Add the coconut milk and water.
  7. Top with banana leaf, cover and bring to a boil on high heat. Then lower the heat right down and simmer for 30 minutes until the liquid’s all gone and the rice is beautifully soft.
  8. When cooked, discard the leaves. Let the rice cool down slightly, so you don’t burn yourself. You could tip the rice out onto a large plate or platter, spread it out to let it cool faster.
  9. When ready, form the rice into thick sausages and place on a banana leaf at the end without the thick vein. Roll up carefully, being careful not to rip the leaf too much. This is especially important with frozen leaves, as they tend to be fragile.
  10. Secure the ends and the middle with cocktail sticks, tightening the leaf, as necessary. Please see the video for this.

Browning the Lemang


  1. Preheat the oven to 220˚C/425˚F.
  2. Place the lemang rolls on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until the leaves are charred and smoky smelling.
  3. Take them out of the oven, leave to cool slightly, as you don’t want to burn your fingers, and slice with a wet knife. Makes a great side to any meal!


  1. Soak 2 handfuls of wood chips in water for 20 minutes and light your barbecue (grill, in American speak).
  2. Drain the wood chips and scatter all over your ready coals.
  3. Place the lemang rolls on the barbecue and leave them to “burn” for a good 30 minutes or so, depending on how hot your barbie is. You want the banana leaves to be brown and dry for the best flavour and aroma.
  4. Take them off the barbecue, leave to cool slightly, as you don’t want to burn your fingers, and slice with a wet knife. Makes a great side to any barbecue this summer!


Prep and Total times do not take into account the soaking time.

  • Category: Eid (Hari Raya) Recipes
  • Method: Medium-Hard
  • Cuisine: Malaysian


  • Serving Size: 8-10

Keywords: resepi raya, lemang