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Authentic Recipe of Arem-arem. Appetizing Indonesian Traditional Banana Leaf Wrapped Rice Cake with Spicy Meat Filling from Java.

This recipe of Arem-arem is authentic and traditional, as native housewives and cooks from Java locally curate it.

Things to know about Arem-Arem Recipe

Arem-arem (local name) is one of the many Indonesian dishes that is wrapped in banana leaves. It is often confused with lontong and lemper, which were similar dishes. The difference is that lontong does not have any fillings, whereas lemper uses glutinous rice instead of regular rice.

Arem-arem has been long consumed by the Javanese people as a breakfast replacement due to how compact, fulfilling, and easy to eat it is. Think of it as the Indonesian burrito.

This dish uses rice as its main ingredient, and the filling possibility is virtually limitless. You can cook egg balado, sambal tempe, or even gudeg and use it as a filling for arem-arem.

The versatility is what caused arem-arem to be so popular among Javanese people, especially in Central Java Cities like Yogyakarta, Solo, and Kebumen. You would not want to miss out on this!

Appetizing Indonesian Traditional Banana Leaf Wrapped Rice Cake with Spicy Meat Filling from Java. Authentic Recipe of Arem-arem.

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: Arem-arem
User submitted Recipe
5 from 1 vote

— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours


Servings 20 Wraps
Calories / Serving 287 kcal



  • 500 grams (1.1 lb) White Rice
  • 1 pc Bay Leaf
  • 1 stick Lemongrass – Cymbopogon – Barbed Wire Grass – Cochin Grass – Malabar Grass
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 L (33.81 floz) Coconut Milk
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  • 300 grams (10.58 oz) Ground (Minced) Beef
  • 1 stick Lemongrass – Cymbopogon – Barbed Wire Grass – Cochin Grass – Malabar Grass
  • 1 thumb Greater Galangal – Alpinia Galanga – Lengkuas – Laos
  • 1 pc Bay Leaf
  • 500 mL (16.91 floz) Coconut Milk
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

Blended Spice

  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • 5 pcs Shallot Onion
  • 7 pcs Red Large Chili Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp White Sugar – Regular Sugar – Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Ground White Pepper Powder


  • 3 pcs Egg
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground White Pepper Powder
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 10 pcs Banana Leaf


Egg Wrap

  • Crack eggs into a bowl. Add salt, pepper, and water. Whisk until smooth.
  • In a hot non-stick pan, pour about 2-3 tablespoons of the egg batter to create a crepe. Repeat until all the batter is cooked. Set aside.


  • Wash the rice 2 times with water.
  • In a rice cooker, add the coconut milk, a bruised lemongrass, salt, and bay leaf.
  • Cook the rice until it is half way done, soft, and all of the coconut milk is absorbed, turn off the rice cooker and set aside.

Filling and Blended Spice

  • Into a food processor, add all the ingredients for the blended spices. Blend into a smooth consistency. Set aside.
  • In a large wok, add vegetable oil and fry the blended spices along with a bruised lemongrass, galangal, and bay leaf. Cook until fragrant.
  • Add the ground beef into the wok, and cook until it starts to change color.
  • Pour in the coconut milk (see quantity at filling ingredients). Continue cooking until all of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat.


  • To assemble the arem-arem, take two sheets of moderately sized banana leaf and stack them on top of each other.
  • Lay the egg wrap on top, add about 2 tablespoons of the rice and flatten it out.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of filling and cover again with rice until it is packed and fully covered.
  • Roll the banana leaf and wrap as you would wrap sushi, and pinch both ends of the excess banana leaf.
  • Seal with a toothpick. Repeat for the rest of the ingredients.
  • In a steamer, let the Arem-arem cook for about an hour. Let it cool and the dish is ready to be served.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:


Calories: 287kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 6gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 312mgPotassium: 244mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 10IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Arem-arem Recipe, Indonesian Traditional Banana Leaf Wrapped Rice Cake with Spicy Meat Filling
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Cooking tip for making Arem-Arem

You can adjust the heat of the filling by adding more chilis or reducing them.

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Variations of Arem-Arem

You can use any type of meat (or even vegetable). Just be sure to adjust the cooking time base on the type of meat or vegetable used.

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