Recipe: Lemper ayam - Sticky rice with chicken filling

Sort of sticky rice dumpling stuffed with shredded spiced chicken. This is one of Indonesia's favourite snacks.

The rice (ketan) used, is sold as "sticky" or "glutonous" rice. Although the name might suggest otherwise, it contains no gluten but is very rich in starch. Use 2 cups of water for every cup of rice and boil for about 12 minutes (make sure it doesn't stick to the sausepan). Then steam for a further 15 to 20 minutes.

Serves: 4 - 6
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 1 hour
Ready in: 2 hours


  • 500 gr. / 18 oz ketan (see above).
  • 200 gr. / 7 oz chicken breast.
  • 1 large red onion.
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • 1 stalk lemongrass.
  • 2 tsp. trassi.
  • 2 tsp. cumin. (ground)
  • 2 tsp. coriander. (ground)
  • 250 ml. / 8½ oz coconut milk.
  • 2 tbl. oil. 


Boil the rice as explained above and leave to cool.

Boil the chicken in some water. Set aside.

Finely chop onions, garlic and lemongrass.

Heat oil in a wok and fry onion, garlic and lemongrass mixture.

When browned add chopped chicken and other spices.

Keep frying for a further 3 minutes, then add the coconut milk and reduce so the mixture is almost dry again.

Leave to cool. Follow procedure below to make the Ketans.



On a lightly oiled square of tin-foil spread out the cooled down rice in a rectangular shape (12cm * 8cm / 4½ in * 3 in).



Place a tablespoon of the chicken mixture in the centre of the rice and, using the foil, lift the rice around the mixture so that the end result is croquette shape with the rice covering the filling on all sides.



The lemper can now be individual wrapped in banana leaves or tin-foil. They can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days max. or frozen.

To serve the Lemper, reheat in a steamer and when hot serve as a snack with Sambal Ulek and Kecap Manis.

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