Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Making Hainan Larp

Larp : savoury Hainanese rice dumplings

On International Women's Day, Singapore Hainan Hwee Kuan held a class to teach the public on the art of making the Hainan "Larp" (Hainanese traditional pillow-shaped rice dumpling). I attended the class with several Hainanese friends.

Although I have been married to a Hainanese for more than 2 decades, I am still not familiar with their cuisine. :P This was a great opportunity to learn from the seniors.

The Hainan Larp is a savoury leaf-wrapped rice similar to the Malay ketupat. Larps are served during auspicious occasions.

Three ladies from the Singapore Hainan Hwee Kuan women's committee were on hand to teach us. Several men came to learn the skill too.


Learning to weave the case for the rice dumpling was quite confusing initially but it was pretty easy once you got the hang of it. We were fortunate to have some good guys and ladies who were ever ready to help those struggling with their art pieces. :)

Video demonstration on how to weave a rectangular larp case ( in Mandarin)
視頻 - 一步一步教你如何编织枕头形状海南笠 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb4n0KKprVE



Ingredients for making the rice dumplings were prepared by the women's committee. Cooking the rice dumplings took 45 minutes.

While learning to make the larp, we were also treated to Hainanese Opera play. Needless to say, it was loads of fun and laughter that day.


Glad to see these young men showing an interest in the Hainanese culture. They spent an afternoon learning how to weave the larp case.


Bua Ta Art 蒸压粑

After the class, we had a very enjoyable time savouring the rice dumplings and another Hainanese snack called the "Bua Ta Art ". What a delectable treat for tea!


  1. Err... isn't that ketupat? Bua Ta Art looks something like the peanut muah chee

  2. Ketupat is squarish and requires only 2 leaves to make while our Lap needs 4 leaves to form the rectangular shape. Bua Ta Art uses coconut, not peanut. :P

  3. Replies
    1. Looks like ketupat but there is pork filling ..... Those who don't consume pork, please ask before you eat :P

  4. It looks beautiful, but what a work ! I would rather eat it with pleasure, but certainly not prepare it, lol !

    1. Lots of hard work to cook these rice dumplings. I too prefer to eat and leave the preparations to others. LOL

  5. What could be more perfect than learning something new and getting to eat the delicious results! Yum.

    1. This is a tradition that has been passed down from my husband's hometown for many years. Glad that I can still learn it.

  6. i have never had this....

    Look ike ketupat but shape not same,

    hard to weave or not?

    What about the rice dumpling itself? Is it solely rice or is there any ingredient?

    1. It is rectangular and it is more difficult to weave because of the 4 corners and also I have to be cautious that there is no gaps that would allow the rice to ooze out. There is a savoury pork filling.

  7. Love to try new things. Some people I know weave basket using pine needles.
    Coffee is on

    1. Pine needle baskets. Interesting. Would love to see one.

  8. This is cool.


  9. Oh it does look like ketupat! So what do u eat this with? Rendang too or something else?

  10. interesting, very similar to Malay's ketupat.