Rudy bought another batch of delicious jagung susu, and we still had a few left when Kak’mbang suggested that we make pais jagung, a sweet steamed corn-based kuih wrapped in cornhusks. What an idea!
Looked at a few recipes and finally landed on this one on Rasa.my, with a few adjustments of my own. Depending on the type of corn you’re using you may need more or less sugar, so do adjust accordingly.
The wrapping took me a few tries to finally land on a style I find to be easiest. The result was a wonderful, delicious dessert in bite-sized morsels, so easy to eat and almost impossible to stop at just one. According to my friend Indira, apparently these pais jagung is somewhat similar to tamales de elote. Corn-based steamed cakes wrapped in cornhusks originating from literally different ends of the planet… how cool is that? I can’t wait to try those out next time!
Pais Jagung Sabah
- 4 ears fresh sweet corn in husks, preferably Cameron jagung susu
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar, to taste
- 400 ml coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 screwpine leaves (daun pandan), tied into a knot
Prepare the wrappers. Working with one ear of corn at a time, cut off the bottom end of the corn.
Using a sharp knife, cut through the husk crosswise, at about a third of the corn from the top end.
Gently peel off the sheets of husk, and set aside. Repeat with the remaining corn.
Shred 3 cobs of corn using a box grater.
Slice the kernels off the remaining cob of corn.
In a large pot or pan, add the shredded corn and corn kernels, rice flour, cornstarch, plain flour, sugar, coconut cream and salt. Stir to combine.
Add the screwpine leaves. Place the pot over the stove and turn on the heat to medium low. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
Assemble the lepat. Working with one sheet of husk at a time, add one to two tablespoons of the mixture at the center of the wrapper. Use less or more filling depending on the size of your wrapper.
Fold the bottom third of the wrapper upwards and over the filling.
Fold the top third of the wrapper downwards.
Fold both ends of the wrapper and tuck them under. The midsection might open up a bit to expose the filling; this is fine.
Arrange the lepat seamside down in your steamer basket. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and mixture. The lepat can be arranged in layers if necessary.
Steam over high heat for 20 minutes.
Serve warm. One will definitely not be enough.