Wajik is a traditional Indonesian snack/cake made with steamed glutinous (sticky) rice and further cooked in palm sugar, coconut milk, and pandan leaves.
The cooked rice is then spread and flatted in a baking tray. Once it cools to room temperature, we cut this into small pieces in the shape of a diamond (er, okay, a rhombus or a parallelogram to be geometrically precise).
Incidentally, in a card game, the diamond is translated as a wajik. So, you are not supposed to cut your wajik into squares. ♥
What you need to prepare wajik (Indonesian sticky rice in palm sugar and pandan leaves).
As far as Indonesian snack/dessert/cake recipe goes, wajik is one of the simplest one to prepare. You need only 4 ingredients:
All four ingredients are critical and should not be substituted with anything else. Well, if you must, you can use black sticky rice (black glutinous rice) instead of white sticky rice, but you absolutely need the other three ingredients and these three should not be substituted at all.
A steamer and how to properly steam sticky rice
To make wajik, you will need a steamer to steam the white sticky rice. You can use a bamboo steamer, a stainless steel steamer, or even the steamer basket that comes with your rice cooker if it is large enough to hold the rice. Regardless of choice, here are my tips for successfully steaming sticky rice:
- Make sure there is enough water in the bottom pot for around one hour of steaming. I would suggest about 2″ of water in the bottom pot.
- Make sure that the water is already boiling and there are plenty of steam visible before steaming the sticky rice.
- Just to be safe, line your steamer basket with either a clean kitchen towel, or a parchment paper riddled with tiny holes (smaller than the size of sticky rice) before you add the sticky rice. You don’t want the sticky rice to all end up falling down into the bottom pot instead of staying in the steamer basket.
- Make sure to steam the sticky rice until al dente (soft and tender to bite). I cannot stress this point enough. Since I cannot be sure that we all have the same temperature on our stoves and depending on the size of your steamer (and hence the depth of the rice), steaming time will vary. To test for doneness, grab a tiny spoon of steamed rice and eat it. If you like the texture, then that’s when you should stop steaming. Just for reference, on my 8″ stainless steel steamer pot, I need 1 hour of steaming over medium high heat.
How to serve wajik
Like I mention earlier, wajik means diamond, as in the diamond suit in a pack of cards. The cake gets its name from this particular shape, so be sure to cut them into diamonds instead of squares or rectangles.
Wajik is always served at room temperature, so although you can refrigerate any leftovers, be sure to take them out from the fridge and only serve them once they have return to room temperature.
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