Lontong is a dish made of compressed rice cake in the form of a cylinder wrapped inside a banana leaf, commonly found in Indonesia; also in Malaysia and Singapore. The rice rolled inside banana leaf and boiled, then cut into small cakes as staple food replacement of steamed rice. It is commonly called nasi himpit (“pressed rice”) in Malaysia. Arem-arem is the smaller size of lontong filled with vegetables (carrot, common bean and potato) sometimes also filled with meat, are eaten as snack.
The texture is similar to those of ketupat, with the difference that ketupat container was made from weaved janur (young coconut leaf), while lontong uses banana leaf instead. The dish is usually served cold or at room temperature with peanut sauce-based dishes such as gado-gado, karedok, ketoprak, other traditional salads, and satay. It can be eaten as an accompaniment to coconut milk-based soups, such as soto, gulai and curries.
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It is also used as an alternative to vermicelli noodles. Just like rice, the taste of lontong is bland and neutral, it is depends to other ingredients to gave taste through spices and sauces. Commonly, lontong serves as the compact alternative of steamed rice. It can be served with almost any traditional dish recipes as staple food, but mostly have peanut sauce or coconut milk-based soup.