I grew up eating home-cooked meals most of the time. My mother has been a full-time homemaker all her life, so my family gets to enjoy delicious home-cooked meals everydat. My mother loves to cook & she’s a fantastic cook too! Thanks to the great cooking knowledge & skills passed down by my late grandmother & the daily practice my mum had, cooking for the family & my late grandfather’s employees (he ran a medium-scale leather factory in the backyard). Growing up in the 70s & 80s, I remember that my mother made sure that I did my share in the kitchen. I really treasure the memories of cooking everything from scratch…
One of the things I remember my mum prepared was nasi impit or compressed rice. Every time she planned to cook soto ayam, lontong, gado-gado or sate, she would start to cook the nasi impit early in the morning so that it would be ready by lunch time. Last week, I cooked soto ayam, my family's favourite. Instead of taking the easy way out by just buying the ready-made lontong or cooking the ketupat in plastic packs, I decided to make the nasi impit myself. Why go through all the trouble, you may ask… Well, recently, Victoria of Victoria Bakes asked me if I could share the soto ayam recipe. Her husband loves eating soto ayam but since they are now residing in Beijing, the only way to have it is to cook it at home. So since I’ve never prepared nasi impit myself at home, I thought I should try out & share the recipe here. I like the way it turned out... the firmness is just nice, not too firm & not too soft either. I hope this sharing will benefit those of you who want to enjoy homemade nasi impit & especially those living in areas where it's not possible to get hold of the ready-made or instant ones.
- I used Thai rice to cook the nasi impit. If broken rice is available in your area, you could use it, after all, the cooked rice needs to be mashed... My mum used to use ‘beras Cina’ or Chinese rice, I suppose it’s from Chinese. This rice is great for nasi impit or ketupat as it produces better texture for the rice cakes. Apparently, Chinese rice is not exported overseas any more because of limited supply but some managed to be smuggled into Singapore… so you may want to ask around.
- The amount of water you need will depend on the type of rice you’re using. Use the recipe below as a guide but you may need to make some adjustments.
- My mum always used banana leaves to line the container for the nasi impit, so it’s more fragrant.
1 cup rice (I used Thai long grain rice.) – clean, wash & drain
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp water (You may need to adjust the quantity.)
½ tsp salt
1. Combine above ingredients in a saucepan & bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium low stirring every 5 minutes, mixing & mashing the rice with a wooden spoon to give the rice a smooth texture. Cook over low heat till the rice has completely absorbed the water & become a smooth paste.
2. Line a heat-proof container (I used an aluminium army mess tin.) with plastic or silicone paper (I used silicone baking paper.). Pour the cooked rice into the container & smoothen the top.
3. Then cover the top with another piece of plastic or silicone paper & place another tray on top.
4. Place a heavy weight on it (I used stone mortar & pestle.) for 2-3 hours to compress the rice into a solid cake & until it has completely cooled down.
5. Remove from container, cut into small pieces & serve.