Sticky Rice in Banana Leaves with Roasted Banana and Pawpaw

, from Issue #14. September, 2015
Photography by Becky Nunes.
Sticky Rice in Banana Leaves with Roasted Banana and Pawpaw

Serves: 6


2 cups glutinous (sticky) white rice
1½ cups coconut cream
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 pandan leaf - optional

To finish
6 pieces of banana leaf, lightly oiled
extra coconut cream
½ cup long thread coconut, toasted
¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
6 small finger bananas or 3 regular bananas
1 pawpaw, peeled, seeded and diced


Rinse the rice under cold running water until the water runs clear. Soak in a bowl of cold water overnight.

Put the coconut cream, sugar, salt and the pandan leaf in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Sticky Rice: Drain the rice. Line a steamer basket with a large piece of muslin or other fine weave cloth and tip in the rice. Steam for 40 minutes or until tender. As soon as the rice is cooked tip it into
a large bowl. Remove the pandan leaf from the coconut cream and gently stir it through the hot rice. Set aside to cool.

Divide the rice between the banana leaves and fold over to make a parcel. Secure with a toothpick. 

Place on a preheated barbecue and cook for about 10 minutes or until heated through.

Put the bananas, in their skins, on the barbecue at the same time and cook for 2-3 minutes each side.

To serve: Pull the parcels open and top each with roasted banana, diced pawpaw, coconut cream, toasted coconut and sesame seeds. 

Banana and pandan leaves are in the freezer section at Asian food stores. If not available, wrap the rice in oiled tin foil.

Pantry Note: Pandan or pandanus leaves are very fragrant and a deep green colour. Widely used in Southeast Asian, Indian and Pacific Island cooking, lightly bruised, they infuse flavour into rice and sweet dishes. They are also used for wrapping ingredients such as fish, chicken and spareribs for steaming and grilling.