Malaysian Food · April 30, 2022

lemang peruik kera feature

Lemang Periuk Kera: A Delicacy that Could Cause the Extinction of Pitcher Plants in Malaysia

Lemang Periuk Kera: A Delicacy that Could Cause the Extinction of Pitcher Plants in Malaysia

Lemang Periuk Kera has taken the Malaysian food scene by storm, emerging as a delectable trend in recent years. This culinary masterpiece is a twist on the traditional Lemang, a beloved delicacy crafted from glutinous rice, coconut milk, and salt, lovingly encased in banana leaves and snugly tucked into hollow bamboo sticks. Traditionally, these bamboo wonders are propped against a fence, positioned just right to be roasted by the open flames. As the aromatic Lemang cooks, it absorbs the smoky essence of the fire. Once perfectly done, it is skillfully sliced into delightful round pieces, ready to be savored with the likes of Rendang or Serunding on the joyous morning of Hari Raya.

Now, let’s dive into the captivating world of Lemang Periuk Kera. As the name suggests, this tantalizing treat takes Lemang to new heights by embracing the exotic Carnivorous pitcher plants (known as Periuk Kera in Bahasa Malaysia) as its cooking vessel. This extraordinary creation can be traced back to a Malaysian visionary named Atan. Intrigued by the Borneo indigenous people’s age-old practice of using wild pitcher plants to cook rice, Atan saw an opportunity to embark on a culinary adventure. Thus, he got into a new Lemang venture, bidding farewell to the traditional bamboo and embracing the wild pitcher plants, resulting in Lemang housed within these unique botanical containers.

Atan’s journey led him to the bustling region of Selangor, where he unveiled his magnificent Lemang Periuk Kera. The people of Klang Valley embraced this innovative twist with open arms and eager taste buds. The response was overwhelming, as Atan received a staggering 200,000 orders during a single Hari Raya celebration. His triumph sparked a wave of inspiration among fellow vendors, who began scouring forests all over Malaysia, hunting for these precious pitcher plants to create their own versions of Lemang Periuk Kera. Some even dared to infuse their creations with the aromatic essence of pandanus leaves, the irresistible crunch of roasted peanuts, or the bold complexity of belacan, fermented shrimp paste, to tantalize local palates.

While the popularity of Lemang Periuk Kera continues to soar, it has also raised concerns about the impact on the endangered pitcher plant species. The rampant harvesting of these magnificent plants for culinary purposes poses a threat to their existence, potentially disrupting the delicate harmony of the jungle ecosystem. As of now, no studies or initiatives have been undertaken to commercialize pitcher plants in the country, urging us to tread cautiously. Perhaps, it is wise to stay rooted in the traditions of bamboo Lemang, which offers an equally delightful experience, without sacrificing our precious and unique flora.