Lemang time is here

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IPOH: With Ramadan coming to an end and Syawal approaching, lemang business is a boon with people queuing up at their favourite lemang stalls for the traditional delicacy and a popular dish served on Hari Raya.

A lemang entrepreneur,  Zainal Abidin Bakar, 55, who has been in the business for 15 years, is making giant-size lemang this year.

Not wanting to stick to the traditional lemang size, he cooks the lemang, which is glutinous rice mixed with coconut milk, in bamboo of between 130 cm to 170 cm long.

He named the giant-size lemang, “lemang meriam”, or “cannon lemang”. “This lemang is called lemang meriam because of the length of the bamboo used. Sometimes the bamboo  is 170cm long and it looks like a cannon,” he said when met by Bernama at his lemang stall in Kampung Pasir Putih. 

Zainal Abidin said he could only roast between 30 to 50 sticks of the giant-size lemang everyday because it took longer to cook.

“The response from customers has been good and for this coming Hari Raya alone, I have received orders for 200 sticks,” he added.

He obtained his supply of the long bamboo, of about 500 sticks a week, from the Orang Asli village in Pos Raya, Simpang Pulai.

Zainal Abidin said his lemang is sold at the Ramadan bazaars at Medan Gopeng, Batu Gajah and the Perak Stadium.

“The giant-size lemang requires a kilogramme of rice stuffed into it and to ensure it is well-cooked, the rice-filled bamboo will be roasted next to a an open-fire for an hour to an hour and a half.

“Since the bamboo is long, it is heavy and to turn it is a task. The bamboo has to be turned often to ensure the rice is well-cooked and evenly. It also requires a bigger fire, which need careful monitoring,” he added.

He said most of his customers would buy the lemang with the rendang tok, which is also available at his stall.

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