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Coconut Shrimp Rolled in Glutinous Rice "Pulut Udang"

"Pulut udang" has spicy coconut shrimp filling rolled inside steamed glutinous rice, wrapped in banana leaves and barbecued. It is a traditional Malay recipe. It is also known as "pulut panggang".

Other variations include "pulut lepa" which could have fish instead of shrimp or also "pulut bakar" which is sweet glutinous rice wrapped in a similar fashion but has no filling inside.

Spicy coconut shrimp pulut udang
Spicy coconut shrimp in glutinous rice - Pulut Udang

This special Malay food is very filling and usually served at teatime. Nowadays a piece of pulut udang would sell for at least 50 sen each by hawkers at the roadside or pasar malam (night market). I could easily down SIX of those in one sitting :P

It is good eaten hot, fresh from the charcoal fire. A typical housewife would not be bothered to make it herself for her own family because it is time consuming and also tedious to make. As usual, the same goes with all the good things.

Barbecue pulut udang
Barbecue Pulut Udang

Besides using the charcoal, this special coconut shrimp rolled in glutinous rice (pulut udang) can also be barbecued in an ordinary oven or grilled below or above gas fire. Have a look at the recipe below and see if you can make them yourself.

Coconut shrimp rolled in glutinous rice (Pulut Udang) recipe

For the glutinous rice:

  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk (coconut cream)
  • 2 cups glutinous rice soaked overnight or at least four hours
  • Salt

For the filling:

  • 1 small onions - chopped
  • 1 slice of dried tamarind apple
  • 1/4 cup finely grated fresh coconut
  • 3 stalks of lemon grass (sliced thinly up to the purple rings - around 1 inch from the base)
  • 2 fresh red chilies - deseeded and choppped finely
  • 1/2 cup fresh shrimps (remove shells and chopped coarsely) or 1/4 cup dried shrimp. If you use dried shrimps, please soak them in hot water before pounding them finely.
  • Cooking oil for saute
  • Salt
  • Sugar


  • Banana leaves (cut into 20 cm by 15 cm rectangles and smoked to make them soft for folding)
  • Lidi (the back bone of coconut leaves), cut into 5 cm long, sharpened at both ends for easy insertion through the leaves. If you cannot get lidi, you can use normal stapler pins to secure the ends.


  • Strain the soaked rice. Wash once and strain again.
  • Put in a round container and steam for about 15 minutes over high fire.
  • Remove the container and sprinkle coconut cream and a little salt over the rice.
  • Mix well
  • Steam again for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove to cool.

To make the filling:

  • Pound chilies, onion and lemon grass finely
  • Heat 2 tablespoon of cooking oil in a pan or wok
  • Saute the pounded ingredients till fragrant.
  • Throw in grated coconut, tamarind apple and shrimps.
  • Cook for another 3-5 minutes over medium fire.
  • If it becomes too dry, add a little water.
  • Add salt and sugar to taste.

To wrap pulut udang:

  • Take a piece of banana leaf
  • Wipe with a piece of clean cloth
  • Make sure the rice is placed on the "outside" of the leaf, otherwise you will not be able to fold it. Please look here to see the proper way to prepare the banana leaf
  • Place 2 table spoon of rice, flatten it to receive the filling
  • Get a teaspoon of the filling and put on top of the rice
  • Roll the banana leaf
  • Flatten both ends of the leaf and secure them with lidi or staple them
  • Trim excess leaves with scissors leaving only 2 cm after the lidi or staple.
  • Grill over charcoal fire until the leaves wilt. Brush with oil. Flip to the other side.
  • Grill again. If you use an oven instead, use medium heat and bake or grill for not more than 10 minutes for each side.

Brush pulut udang with oil
Brush pulut udang with oil

Now your coconut shrimp rolled in glutinous rice is ready and good for eating.Tuck in!

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