From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lemang cooking.jpg
Lemang being cooked in hollow bamboo pieces
Alternative namesLamang
TypeRice dish
Place of originIndonesia and Malaysia
Region or stateMalay archipelago; especially Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, Borneo and Sulawesi
Main ingredientsGlutinous rice, coconut milk
Similar dishesSticky rice in bamboo, Daetong-bap

Lemang (Minangkabau: lamang) is a Minangkabau and Malay traditional food that made from glutinous rice, coconut milk and salt, it is cooked in a hollowed bamboo tube coated with banana leaves in order to prevent the rice from sticking to the bamboo. It is commonly found in Maritime Southeast Asian countries, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore. The food is also eaten throughout Mainland Southeast Asia (see sticky rice in bamboo).

Lemang is commonly eaten to mark the end of daily fasting during the annual Muslim holidays of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.[1]

Cooking method[edit]

Burning the lemang bamboo tubes.

The bamboo contains glutinous rice, salt and coconut milk that is placed onto a slanted position besides a small fire with the opening facing upwards. It should be turned regularly in order to ensure the rice inside the bamboo is cooked evenly. The cooking process takes about 4–5 hours. Lemang is often served with rendang or serundeng.

Distribution and traditions[edit]

In Indonesia, lemang is associated with Minangkabau tradition of West Sumatra.[2][3] Nevertheless, rice cooking method using bamboo tubes is widespread in the region, including Brunei,[4] Minahasa, Dayak and Orang Asli tribes.[citation needed] The Minahasan version of this dish is known as Nasi Jaha, which is cooked in the same method.[5]

In Minangkabau tradition, lemang making is called Malamang. Lemang is incomplete if it is not eaten together with tapai, so they are likened to a man and a woman by Minang people. Lemang itself describes the togetherness of Minang people because its making process is always done together. There are several taboos that must be obeyed in making lemang and tapai. Lemang are also used as gifts when visiting other people’s homes, for example, when visiting in-laws or manjapuik marapulai ceremony.[2] However, there is no symbolic meaning behind the obligatory existence of lemang at traditional ceremonies. On the other hand, lemang and tapai are famous for their unique taste produced by the chemical components in their ingredients. In this article, the origin of lemang and tapai, the philosophy and presentation of lemang in the traditions of the Minangkabau people, and the flavor features of lemang and tapai from a scientific perspective are discussed.[2]

Iban people usually prepare lemang for celebrations such as the harvest festival of Hari Gawai, lemang is usually eaten with meat dishes such as chicken curry. The cooking process used in making lemang for many different meats, also known as "pansoh/pansuh" by indigenous Dayak communities.[6]


Lemang or Lamang in Minangkabau spelling, is a traditional food which consists of lemang and glutinous rice or tapai that are used in various traditional ceremonies of Minangkabau, mainly in West Sumatra, Indonesia. However, lemang are also known as traditional foods of other tribes in Southeast Asian region, and their cooking method is still very ancient and depends on the natural materials and ingredients, including bamboo tubes. According to Minangkabau tradition, the cooking technique of lemang was first introduced by Sheikh Burhanuddin.[2]

In early Indonesian literature, lemang was mentioned in Marah Rusli's Siti Nurbaya novel (1922), that Nurbaya unwittingly eating a poisonous lemang due to Meringgih's evil scheme.[7]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cecil Lee (September 22, 2009), "Travel Snapshot – Celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri With Lemang", Travel Feeder
  2. ^ a b c d Eda Erwina (2014-05-08). "Lemang, Cerita Tradisi Malamang Dari Sumatera Barat". Merdeka.com (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  3. ^ "Lemang". Tribunnewswiki.com (in Indonesian). 2019-07-18. Retrieved 2020-05-26.
  4. ^ Bahrum Ali; Bandar Seri Begwan (September 8, 2009), "'Lemang' stalls are found everywhere", The Brunei Times, archived from the original on December 10, 2015
  5. ^ "Jika Sumbar Punya Lamang, Minahasa Punya Nasi Jaha". Republika Online (in Indonesian). 2016-11-19. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
  6. ^ "'Ayam pansuh' — A Sarawak exotic delicacy loved by many", Malay Mail Online, June 28, 2015, retrieved July 14, 2016
  7. ^ Kaya, Indonesia. "Warisan Sastra Indonesia Dalam Lantunan Lagu Dan Tarian Di Drama Musikal 'Siti Nurbaya (Kasih Tak Sampai)' | Liputan Budaya - Situs Budaya Indonesia". IndonesiaKaya (in Indonesia). Retrieved 2020-09-20.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Lemang at Wikimedia Commons