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easy Indonesian recipes

Lemper Ayam - Steamed Glutinous Rice with Spiced Chicken Floss

Lemper ayam is one of the many Indonesian traditional snacks, and I happen to love them to death. Lemper is steamed glutinous rice filled with spiced chicken floss (or other spiced meat floss, but chicken seems to be most popular), then shaped into an oblong, and wrapped in banana leaves. What I am showing in this recipe is still the same old traditional recipe, but I skip the banana leaves wrapping part because it is such a big pain. Basically, the faster I get to eat, the happier I am. :D So, how do I shape those lemper, you ask? Well, I use a square baking pan, take half of the steamed glutinous rice, press, add the chicken floss, press, then another half of the rice, and press. Flip the entire thing into a cutting board, and then cut into individual portions. A pretty neat trick for someone lazy (and super impatient) like me. ♥

Lemper Ayam - Steamed Glutinous Rice with Spiced Chicken Floss

Lemper Ayam - Steamed Glutinous Rice with Spiced Chicken Floss

Lemper Ayam - Steamed Glutinous Rice with Spiced Chicken Floss

4.5 from 2 reviews



Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Serves: 8


  • Glutinous rice
  • 300 gram white glutinous rice (Indonesian: beras ketan putih), soak for 2 to 3 hours
  • 200 ml coconut milk (Indonesian: santan)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 4 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 2 pandan leaves (Indonesian: daun pandan), knotted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Spiced chicken floss
  • 250 gram boneless skinless chicken breast (Indonesian: daging dada ayam)
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 4 shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 3 cloves garlic (Indonsian: bawang putih)
  • 3 candlenuts (Indonesian: kemiri)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds (Indonesian: biji ketumbar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (Indonesian: biji jinten)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (Indonesian: daun jeruk)
  • 2 bay leaves (Indonesian: daun salam)
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind + 3 tablespoon water, seeds and pulp removed
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon sugar


  • Glutinous rice
    1. Prepare a steamer. Place rice in a steamed proof bowl and steam for 15 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, place coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves, pandan leaves, and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the steamed glutinous rice into the pot and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.
    3. Remove the rice and return into the steaming bowl. Steam for another 30 minutes until the rice is fully cooked. Stir and discard all the leaves. Keep warm.
  • Spiced chicken floss
    1. Boil the chicken breast until cooked. Drain, tear into really small pieces like how chicken floss should be, and set aside.
    2. Grind shallots, garlic, candlenuts, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds into a fine paste.
    3. Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté the spice paste until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
    4. Add kaffir lime leaves, bay leaves, tamarind liquid, and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
    5. Add the chicken into the pan, season with salt and sugar. Stir and cook until all the liquid is fully absorbed by the chicken. The chicken floss needs to be dry. Remove from heat, discard the leaves, and set aside.
  • Assemble the lemper
    1. Oil a square baking pan (mine is an 8 inch x 8 inch x 2 inch) so the lemper can be easily removed.
    2. Take half of the glutinous rice, spread evenly and press. Add all the chicken floss, spread evenly, and press again. Take another half of the rice, spread evenly, and press again.
    3. Cover the baking pan with a cutting board (this should be bigger than the pan), flip, and use an oiled knife to cut into individual portions. If you are using the same size of pan as mine, this should work out into 16 pieces. Serve immediately.


  • Heni Puspita says:

    Bookmarked this blog immediately ^.^ Thanks for the recipe, I'd like to try this but I'm absolutely no good in wrapping with banana leaves. This recipe's absolutely suitable for a newbie in cooking like me :D

    • Anita says:

      Hear hear :) So good to know there are others who hate having to wrap their lemper, haha, make me feel less guilty. ♥

  • Dedy@Dentist Chef says:

    Br liat lemper model bar bgini.... kreatif, lbh praktis pastinya...

  • clare says:

    I too hate banana leaf ,but do miss the aroma.Great recipe Thank you

  • Hirim Tiarma Pasaribu says:

    Exactly the recipe that I was looking for... I've tried it and result was great .. thank you for giving a simple but tasty recipe.. xxx

    • Anita says:

      I am so happy you like the recipe Hirim :)

  • Lia says:

    Hi Anita, I'm glad I've found your blog! I've just tried your lemper recipe, it turns out really good... enak bgt! ;) I can't wait to try your other recipes

    • Anita says:

      So glad you like recipe Lia. I hope you will like my other recipes too :)

  • Elli Chu says:

    Is it possible to just cook the glutinous rice in a rice cooker to save time on the 2 step steaming :)? Thank you for sharing this, can’t wait to try it! I’m Chinese Indonesian too!

    • Anita says:

      Hi Elli, I haven't tried that method myself, though I don't see why not. If you do give it a try, do let me know how it goes. :)

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