Bamboo. Will it ever be limited in the use? It is a versatile plant that has many uses in the subject of food. It can be made into spoons, forks, ladles, cups, skewers, toothpicks and the list goes on. But MT is not writing about bamboo. This write up is a shout out to Lemang. A Malaysian favourite.
Traditionally, lemang is a simple thing. Glutionous rice cooked with coconut milk inside a bamboo chamber lined with banana leaf. The bamboo full of goodness is cooked over fire until the liquid boils and then cooked over amber. A designated person, or two, has the responsibility of turning the bamboos every so often to ensure that the lemang is cooked uniformly to perfection.
It is not a stand alone dish and it is eaten with all sorts of side dishes but having it with beef or chicken rendang seems to be the most popular combination.
Through the years there have been plenty of innovations. Added ingredients to transform it into a stand alone dish. Using other things as vessels such as tin cans, aluminium foil, bpa free plastic and the latest being pitchers from the pitcher plant. Nothing really wrong with any of them. Cooking is dynamic and never set in concrete. But there are millions of lemang connoisseurs out there who would still love it the way it has always been made.
Give it a try. It is not hard nowadays. What used to be made and served during festivities are now available all year round in a whole lot of places.