Kue Jongkong is an old-fashioned pandan coconut rice pudding dessert wrapped in banana leaves to make little pouches of deliciousness.
Kue Jongkong is light, creamy, and rich pandan coconut rice pudding with a soft and wobbly texture. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan pudding you can easily make over a stovetop. It is easy to whip up. If you are intimidated by wrapping it with banana leaves, you can pour the components into individual cups instead.
What is Kue Jongkong?
Kue Jongkong is a traditional Indonesian dessert from North Sumatera. It is basically a pandan coconut rice pudding dessert made from a mixture of rice flour and tapioca flour and drizzled with palm sugar syrup.
“Kue” literally means cake, while “jongkong” means boat. This cake is named so because it is wrapped in a little pouch made from banana leaves, which resembles the shape of a boat.
There are actually many versions of Kue Jongkong, but the dessert usually consists of three components:
- Pandan dough. The green dough is mainly made from a mixture of rice flour, tapioca starch, coconut milk, and pandan juice. The mixture is then cooked on low heat until it thickens. It does not have much taste, but it has a subtle sweet and earthy flavor and aroma from the pandan.
- Coconut milk dough. The white dough is made from a mixture of rice flour, tapioca starch, and coconut milk. Just like the pandan dough, it is cooked on low heat until it thickens. It tastes rich, salty, and savory.
- Palm sugar syrup. Sweet caramel-like syrup with smoky and butterscotch notes. This is where the flavor mainly comes from and it will bind all the components together.
The components are not meant to be eaten individually, but they should be eaten altogether.
- Young coconut meat
- Mature coconut meat
- Diced jackfruits
- Sago pearls
How to Make Kue Jongkong
- In a pan, cook palm sugar, water, and pandan leaf until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture boils. Set aside.
- Make pandan dough. In a medium pan, combine rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar, salt, pandan juice, and coconut milk. Cook with low heat until the mixture thickens. Set aside.
- Make coconut milk dough. In a medium pan, combine rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar, salt, coconut milk, and knotted pandan leaves. Cook with low heat until the mixture thickens. Set aside.
- Put 2 banana leaves on the working space with the pale sides touching each other. Spread 2 tablespoons of pandan dough and coconut milk dough. Sprinkle with the topping of your choice on top. In this case, I used thinly sliced coconut.
- Fold one side of the leaves. Pour a small ladle of palm sugar syrup.
- Fold the other side of the leaves and wrap it into a parcel. Secure the top with a toothpick.
- Steam for 10 minutes to infuse the aroma of banana leaves. Let it cool completely and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. The longer it sits, the better the texture and flavors. I recommend making this a day ahead.
- Open and serve. The components should be eaten altogether.
How to Wrap Kue Jongkong with Banana Leaves
- On the working space, put 2 banana leaf squares (10-inch/25 cm each) with the pale sides touching each other.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of pandan dough and coconut milk dough. Sprinkle the toppings on top.
- Fold one side in with your index finger.
- Rotate and put the fold side on your palm. Pour the palm sugar syrup.
- Fold the other side in.
- Pull in the long end from one side.
- Pull in the long end from the other side.
- Secure the top with a toothpick.