Lengko rice is a Javanese rice with mixed vegetables and crackers and all, soaked nicely with spicy peanut sauce. They have it for breakfast or brunch. My partner is from Java and he loves the rice. I have never had it, and people here I talked to never heard of it. Since it gives me an idea to over-style it with my cone mould, I made it to make him happy and for me to get one more post up for Royal Selangor.
Javanese loves to eat their rice with crackers and kecap manis. They apply those two on everything. Coming from a whole different island, he enjoys totally different dish from us. But he is a good sport and he eats like an old lady. He loves sour dishes, preserved cabbage, preserved mustard cabbage, salted eggs, etc. My mother loves him since they have the same palate for oldies Chinese dishes. And he has to eat rice for his meals. I make him eat pasta from time to time. He would sneak to the kitchen and fill up his rice bowl with rice and fry some omelette in the middle of the night. With kecap manis.
The ingredients are deep-fried to crunchiness bean curd cubes, blanched bean sprouts, chopped cucumber, chopped spring onions, and crackers. The crackers are supposed to be two types, prawn crackers, which is to be crushed to smaller bits and mixed into the vegetables and noodle-shaped crackers, to be served whole. No noodle crackers to be found, so I omitted it. Then I forgot that tempeh wasn’t meant to be in there. I deep-fried them to crunchiness too. A bit of bonus is okay.
This is what the final dish looks like, when it is properly mixed and stirred. The rice should be nicely wet and all ingredients are properly mixed. Looks like cat food, no? But it is finger-licking good.
It is easy to make once you have all the basic ingredients. Chop cucumbers finely. Mine wasn’t fine enough, we chopped them up real good after this. The thin round ones are for my garnishes. Chop some spring onions, finely.
Slice tempeh into thin slices and deep-fry till brown and crunchy. Cut firm bean curd into small cubes and deep-fry till crunchy. Mine was a bit too big, so he cut them into smaller cubes right before serving.
Some prawn crackers.
Combine a bit of cucumbers, crackers, bean curd, tempeh, spring onions and bean sprouts in a plate. Pour some peanut sauce on top of it and mix well.
Serve with warm steamed rice.
Javanese Lengko Rice, Nasi Lengko
For lengko rice
1 cucumber, chopped finely
250 g bean curds, cut into 1cm cubes and deep-fry
150 g tempeh, or soy bean cake, sliced thinly and deep-fry
150 g bean sprouts, blanched
2 spring onions, green parts only and chopped finely
100 g shrimp crackers
200 g peanut sauce paste, diluted with 75 ml warm water
For peanut sauce
25 g red chilies
10 g Thai bird's eye chili
5 kaffir lime leaves
20 g kencur (or lesser galangal)
10 g tamarind pulp
1 g shrimp paste
120 g gula merah (palm sugar or gula melaka)
300 g peanuts, deep-fried
1 tsp salt
Oil for deep-frying
For lengko rice
For individual serving, combine all condiments (except rice) in a mixing bowl, about 1/2 cup each.
Pour 1/2 cup diluted peanut sauce into the bowl.
Arrange on top of a plate of steamed rice.
Sprinkle with kecap manis, more chopped spring onions and fried shallots.
For peanut sauce
Heat oil in a wok. Deep-fry peanuts till golden. Grind till coarse. Set aside.
Deep-fry chilies, shallots and garlic till wilted, about 2 min
Combine kaffir lime leaves, salt, kencur, chilies, shallots and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Grind to coarse paste.
Add tamarind pulp, palm sugar and shrimp paste in the mortar and pound till fine.
Add the peanuts. Mix well.
Remove the paste and keep in airtight container till serving.