Tag Archives: hainanese food

My Encounter With The ‘Lap’ – Home Made, Singapore


I was given a couple of Laps (Pronounced as ‘Larb’) recently to sample and to be honest, this is my first time trying this. So what is Lap? Lap is the name for a traditional Hainanese pillow-shaped rice dumpling. It’s something like the Chinese rice dumplings (bak chang) but it is wrapped in strips of banana leaves weaved like a Malay ketupat (Malay rice dumpling). This traditional Lap is usually made during special occasions to serve to family and guests. So how come must go through so much trouble weaving the pillow shape and then finished gobbling down within one minute? It is said to train one’s patience and also the perseverance is to bring good fortune to the ones eating these dumplings! So interesting right? In my decades of living in this world, I didn’t know about this. ;P

So this is the Lap, after boiling in water for 45 minutes:


Also done in triangular shapes like these (before cooking colour):

So I was told, if this is my first time eating this, I need to strip away the leaves one by one instead of the usual way of how we cut through the ketupat, for good luck! So my ordeal began…

Found the ending of the Lap and began working my way to get all the leaves out…

Getting there…. trying not to break the shape of the dumpling as I was removing the leaves…

Ah ha! There you go… the end product. Took me about 5 minutes to remove… Looks yummy!

Filled with belly pork, Chinese mushrooms, and dried prawns. Didn’t taste any use of five spiced powder so I believe it’s the normal soy sauce braised meat. But the dumpling is so yummy! Not salty at all as compared to some bak changs.

Thanks to my friend’s aunty and her efforts that I got to try this. Now I’m challenged to make these myself during their next session… *GULP*