Arem-arem, Indonesian stuffed coconut rice-roll

When I decided to write this recipe, I spent some time trying to look for the right translation for arem-arem.
Yes, arem-arem.

It started two weeks ago, in one of the meetings at my office, when we had those traditional Indonesian snacks. Pisang goreng and arem-arem.

Then my mind took me to my younger days, back to Lampung, my beloved hometown.
We used to go to one of the islands along Lampung Bay and spent the entire day playing around on those white sandy beaches and crystal-clear water.
Obviously, we had to bring enough food and drink for our excursions because there was nothing, let alone the restaurants or mini markets, on those islands.
And guess of the most favorite snacks we had is arem-arem.
Made from scratch by my late grandma or my mom, and we all devoured it while it was still nicely warm. My heart aches with memories as I write this :).

Dan arem-arem pun berhasil membuat saya jadi sendu.
Bukan seneng duit lho #walaupunsebenernyaiyajugasih.
Inget jaman masih kecil dulu, setiap mau menyebrang ke salah satu pulau di Teluk Lampung,selalu berbekal nasi uduk dan teman-temannya plus arem-arem, lemper dan/atau pisang goreng.
Jadi inget dengan almarhum Nenek Ewet, panggilan kesayangan kami untuk nenek dari pihak mama, yang paling hobi buat arem-arem untuk cucu-cucunya yang kadang sudah menghabiskan arem-aremnya di mobil, jauh sebelum sampai di kapal dan menyebrang.
Dan kali ini, saya mau berbagi resep cemilan (berat) kesayangan penuh nostalgia ini.

It's rather nostalgic for me to write and share the recipe of arem-arem. 
But hey, that's the beauty of it, right.
Every food has its wonderful story.

Arem-arem is basically a stuffed rice roll, wrapped in banana leaves.
It can be stuffed with veggies, mince beef or chicken. Or simply anything you like that goes well with the rice. To make the rice even tastier, we add coconut milk, lemon grass, bay leaves and salt to the rice, before stuff it with the filling and steam it.  

So, there are three steps to prepare arem-arem. Firstly, we prepare the fillings, then precook the rice, and finally stuff the rolls and steam them.

Now let's start with the ingredients

For the filling:

It's absolutely up to you but I love a combination of veggies and mince beef.

Minced beef - 2 lbs
Carrots - 2 pieces, cut into small cubes
Potatoes - 2 pieces, peeled and cut into small cubes
Green onion - 2 pieces, finely sliced
Shallots - 2 pieces, finely sliced
Garlics - 3 pieces, finely sliced or smashed
Salt, sugar and pepper - as desired
Nutmeg powder - as desired
Vegetable oil - 2 spoonful

For the precooked rice:

Rice, preferably the jasmine rice - 3 lbs
Coconut milk - 2 cans
Lemon grass - 3 pieces
Bay leaves - 8 - 10 pieces
Salt and sugar - as desired

You well need banana leaves for wrappings . If it's a bit complicated to have one, aluminum foil will do the trick.

How to cook:

First, we prepare the fillings. It's basically veggie and minced beef sauté, so prepare the pan, put the oil and cook the shallots, onion and garlic. Once it smells great and cooked, put the minced beef and potatoes then cook it for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and a bit of sugar as desired. Add carrots and continue to cook it. Finally, add the green onion and set it aside.

Let's now get the rice ready. Prepare the cleaned rice and add water, coconut milk, lemon grass, bay leaves all together. Cook it in pot in low fire and don't forget to stir it occasionally to avoid overcooking. Once all the liquid is all absorbed by the rice, it will be precooked and damp.

Then the next step will be stuffing the rice and roll it. Cut the banana leaves, cleaned before, into rectangle and spread one scope of rice, spread it with spoon, then add a half spoon of fillings. Add another scope of rice and roll it into a long rectangle shape. You can insert one fresh chili if you like. Once it's cooked, it won't be that hot. But I prefer to eat the chili fresh on the side.

Once all the wrapped rice rolls are ready, steam them for about 15-20 minutes.

steam it for 15-20 minutes
Once it's ready, the rice and its stuffing will be deliciously blended and you can enjoy it with fresh chili or sambal, as desired.  Eat it while it's hot or warm and enjooooy.

pair it with fresh chili

I'll be back with more Indonesian food recipes and till then, bon appetit!


  1. Arem-arem sama dengan lemper kan ya?
    Suka makan ini, apalagi pas masih baru mateng..enaak..bau daunnya apalagi..

  2. arem-areeem, sukaaak makan ini juga saya Mbaak, :)

  3. Bagiku, arem2 ituh sushinya wong Jowo Mbak Indah hehehe

  4. Arem-arem ini jajanan pas aku masih kecil dulu mbak, sekarang deket rumah susah dapetin yang kayak gini, penjualnya gak ada soalnya huhuhuhu.. coba bikin sendiri ahh

  5. I would really love this with all those veggies! Hubby would definitely go for the minced beef version. Looks so good, Indah!

  6. Oh emjiiii mbak Indah, kebayang enaknya anget anget dengan aroma daun pisang dibakar ya

  7. wow... menu santapannya mantep, itu lontong apa sushi ya mbak? comen back mbak

  8. bagi-bagi dong mbak makanannya, enak banget tuh keknya, jadi ngiler nih

  9. arem2 nya enak tuh, sapa yang buatin mbak indah?

  10. Boa tarde, a receita certamente que é saborosa, não conhecia, agora que fiquei a conhecer, mais tarde é possível que vá saborear.

  11. Kalau orang Jepang punya sushi, kita harus bangga punya Arem-arem dan lemper ya Mbak. Keliatannya arem-aremnya empuk, trus isiannya tasty deh *laper

  12. You always make me hungry. :) This looks good!

    We just saw an actual coconut in the store. Isaak wondered what in the heck it was. I use shredded coconut and coconut oil, but haven't ever bought a coconut. I should have bought one just for him. Then he could see what it looked like.

  13. Kami di sunda biasa menyebutnya dengan "LEUPEUT". Salah satu makanan favorit istriku ini

  14. Waaah jadi kangen makan arem arem.
    Emang arem arem aslinya dari lampung kah mbak ?

  15. Waaaaah enak tuh kayaknya Kak... :)

  16. These rolls look amazing! I cannot resist anything made with coconut milk! Hugs- Christine at Light and Savvy

  17. You always have the best recipes and photos of your food, indah:). #OMHGWW

  18. apa itu arem arem? sama ajep ajep enajakan mana ak? :p

  19. Bener banget, Mbak Indah. Makanan bisa jadi pembawa kenangan. Aku pulang ke Medan salah satu tujuanku adalah untuk icip-icip kulinernya. Tapi lebih daripada itu, aku sebenarnya ingin mengulang kembali kenangan masa kecil dulu.


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