My Malaysian aunty first made lontong for me ten years ago, and I've loved them ever since. In Indonesia and Malaysia they are served alongside grilled meat skewers along with chunks of cucumber and sate sauce. When trying to create a vegetarian alternative to my favourite chicken sate skewers, these delicious little pressed rice cakes came to mind. They turned out to be the star of the evening!
1. First, make some plain steamed jasmine rice. I used about 3 cups in the rice cooker to make a large platter of lontong (about 35 squares).
2. Once cooked, transfer the rice into a square or rectangular dish which has been lightly sprayed with vegetable oil. Cover with glad wrap and press down to compress. Place another dish on top and weigh down with whatever you can find (I used Stephanie Alexander’s cooks companion!). Leave to cool for a few hours or more.
3. Make your sate sauce: I used a couple of tablespoons of Jimmy’s sate as a base (it’s the best!), gently warmed with a handful of crushed peanuts, a small tin of coconut milk, a few shavings of palm sugar (the dark, soft palm sugar – not the pale, hard Thai style), a splash of fish sauce and a squeeze of lemon at the end.
4. When ready, cut the rice into squares and gently remove. Top with a dollop of peanut satay sauce, julienned cucumber and a few deep-fried shallots.
This was my first experiment with lontong as canapés; any creative ideas for other toppings?