Saturday, May 23, 2020

Arem Arem Ayam

I dunno how to call this dish in English. It's basically tasty rice with filling compressed in banana leaf and steamed. Appear similar to lontong (rice cake) but with more flavor and unlike lontong, this dish has filling of choice

Recipe is from Diah Didi

What you need:
(doubled the original recipe)

500g rice, washed
250ml thick coconut milk
750ml water*
1tsp salt
3 daun salam
enough banana leaves and toothpick for wrapping

For the filling:

300g minced chicken
2 large carrots, chop finely
250ml thick coconut milk
550ml water
8 shallots, peeled and halved
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
4 large chilis, deseed and cut**
3tsp sugar
1tsp chicken stock powder
2tsp salt
3 daun salam
2cm blue ginger, lightly pounded
1 lemongrass, lightly pounded
3 lime leaves


  1. For the rice, mix everything in a rice cooker and let cook
  2. For the filling, blend shallots, garlic and chili until formed a paste
  3. In a pan, heat a little oil and sautee the paste until fragrant.
  4. Add in minced chicken and cook until change color
  5. Add in carrot, coconut milk and water, followed by daun salam, blue ginger, lemongrass and lime leaves
  6. Add in salt, sugar and chicken stock powder. Stir well and let it boil, stir ocassionally
  7. Simmer until almost all liquid absorbed. Check the taste and adjust accordingly. Let cool
  8. Place a clean banana leaf and spoon rice, put at one side of the leaf (the side closer to you), flatten it and add chicken filling over it. Cover with more rice placed on top of the chicken, and shape using the back of spoon to compress it
  9. Roll the banana leaf away from you to wrap the rice like how u do when u make swissroll 
  10. Tighten it and seal each end with toothpick. Do the same to the remaining rice (I was left with extra chicken filling cos I put too little filling in the first few rolls)
  11. Place rolls in the steamer and steam for 45minutes medium fire. Once done, remove from steamer and serve warm

*The water quantity depends on the texture of rice that you prefer. Typically, it should be on the softer side, to make it easier to clump together and shape like lontong. My kids don't like lontong and all kinds of rice which is soft, so I used 750ml water. If not, I would have added another 100ml water instead

**I didn't use chili as my kids do not fancy spicy food. For me and hubby, I added sambal on top of the chicken filling

Some people enjoy eating arem arem with spicy peanut sauce, I didn't prepare that as we're fine without it :)

Oh one thing I still have to learn is how to make it smaller. All my rolls are giant sizes LOL

Place rice and filling on one side of the leaf

Before steaming

After steaming

The not spicy for the kids

Spicy of course for me :)

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