Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hainan Larp Recipe 海南笠做法


A custom passed down through the 23 generations in my husband's Hainanese family, the making of Hainan larp is a grand family affair in the village where the women folks gathered to help.

The Hainan larp is made when there is a joyous occasion like the return of loved ones, a new housing construction, birthday celebration, building a new family stove or village temple etc.

Also when someone is ill or going through a bad time or has met with an accident, we deliver our homemade larp to offer our consolation.

Whenever a lunar Chinese month is repeated or there is chaos in the community or unusual natural disasters, we have to make larp to ward off the possible bad luck.

We are not allowed to cut the larp with a knife, we have to unravel the woven strips one by one.


This unique Hainanese rice dumpling is wrapped in a woven palm leaf pouch, usually made into a pillow shape but some prefer the pyramid shape. These traditional dumplings contain large chunks of fatty pork belly marinated with five-spice powder.

Traditionally, in my father-in-law's village, rice is the main ingredient, the Hainan larp does not contain any stuffing.

In present day Singapore, glutinous rice has been added to make the larp more palatable. If my larp has no stuffing, the younger generations do not want to eat it. So I have to improvise by adding stuffing of meat, mushrooms and sometimes dried shrimps.


The rare occasions when I make Hainan larp, there will be numerous requests from friends who are Hainanese and many who aren't. Who doesn't need blessings!? LOL ♥♥♥♥♥ 

Hainan Larp
Ingredients :

700g glutinous rice
300g white rice
3 tbsp garlic oil, can add sliced shallots (optional) to fry together
50g dried shrimps, washed and minced
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp 5-spice powder

Combine the two rice together and mix in minced dried shrimps, garlic oil, salt, sugar and 5-spice powder. Leave it aside and prepare the pillow-shaped cases.


Marinade  :
500 g fatty pork belly, cut into chunks
5 tbsp garlic oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp 5-spice powder
1 tsp pepper

Marinate the fatty pork belly with the seasonings overnight.

The Hainan larp pouch looks similar to the Malay ketupat, except that we use 4 strips of palm leaves to weave instead of two.

Using 4 strips of palm leaves, weave them into pillow-shaped or pyramid-shaped larp cases.


Leave an opening in each case to fill in the marinated rice mixture and meat stuffing. Wash them before using.

After filling in the contents, seal the larp case by tucking the ends of the 4 palm leaves tightly into the lattice pouch.


Boil some hot water in a large pot and put in the larp. Boil for 45 minutes until cooked.


Recipes of Hainanese larp are usually kept within families. Every family has their own style of making this traditional delicacy. I am publishing a basic recipe to preserve and showcase this rare dialect cuisine.

A community event : Making Hainan Larp


海南笠是我们家乡, 琼海民间带有吉祥含义的传统名小吃。因其外围有椰叶壳,吃时得将椰叶慢慢解开,便有“解结解忧”之说。

我们琼海农村家家会包苙, 一般阿婆都会制作,但年轻人中许多都不会包了。凡亲戚砌灶、或是我们回乡等, 乡亲都会送自己包的苙来。

海南笠各家有各家的做法,但不会有太多的不同。几十年来,苙的寓意没有变化,但是做法有所不同。过去的海南笠是不放馅的,香味纯朴,仅是米饭和椰叶的芳香,但年轻人都不爱吃。后来为了更美味,才加进了各种肉馅等。

海南笠做法

用洗净的椰叶编织成苙外壳, 形状一般为枕头状,也有编织成三角形或菱形。

苙按7成糯米,3成米的比例来制作的。将糯米和米洗净,加入蒜油、虾米、葱茸、调味料搅拌均匀。

五花肉切大块, 调味腌隔夜。

把调味后的米填入编好的小枕头状苙壳里面,放一大块腌好的五花肉, 将“笠壳”收口,放入锅里用清水煮熟。

琼海人爱做苙送苙吃苙,逢喜事吃“笠”格外香。

苙在以下三种情况下作为礼品送给亲朋家:

1.  海外亲人归来;

2.  亲朋家办大事情,比如建房、起灶、祝寿、建坟、祈平安、建村公庙、挖井和造棺的时候, 表示祝福;

3.   在亲戚朋友生病、受惊或发生意外伤害,精神压力很大的时候送去,表示安慰。   

另外,在以下情况下自家要做苙来吃,  在闰年、社会出现动荡或发现有异常天兆时。目的是祈望消灾除祸、社会稳定、安居乐业、平安幸福。

按琼海人的习俗,在吃苙前,必须将椰子叶一条一条地抽剥解开,就像给捆绑的苙松绑一样,而不是用刀来切开,这是约定俗成的吃法。

琼海人把剥除苙壳称为“解宽”,  含有祝福的意思,不仅解脱经济的困境,还可解脱生活、命运和身体健康的困顿,保佑平安。

如果遇见到生病或不顺利时,此时接受苙的人吃苙的时候,意为解脱、使人“宽松顺畅”。

送苙的人希望以此化解亲友碰到或有可能碰到的麻烦和灾祸,把心里的创伤、焦虑、忧愁和身体上的伤病等紧张状态通通“解松”,换来宽松愉快的心情和平安健康的身体。  

无论顺境逆境都可送苙吃苙,顺境时吃苙,是把好事圈住; 逆境时吃苙,是把恶运解开。

好时送苙,是送来祝福,祈望美好;  不好时,送苙则送来宽慰,送来战胜困难的信心。


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