How To Make Lempeng Pisang (Malay-Style Banana Pancake) by Chef Ismail Ahmad

Lempeng Pisang, a Malay pancake traditionally cooked in banana leaves, is an iconic snack that’s widely available in Negeri Sembilan, according to celebrated Malaysian chef, owner of Rebung Restaurant and Tourism Malaysia Culinary Ambassador Chef Dato’ Ismail Ahmad.

Like yours truly, Chef Ismail is originally from Negeri Sembilan, though I have to admit I’d never eaten lempeng pisang (lempeng of any sort, for that matter) until I founded Masters of Malaysian Cuisine (MOMC) and learned about Malay pancakes from our Malay chefs. While Chef Ismail’s recipe uses an egg, from what I can see elsewhere it’s somewhat optional – in fact most recipes omit it, which would be good news to vegans everywhere (I would suggest brushing the banana leaves with a bit of oil if you choose to leave it out).

If you have trouble getting your hands on banana leaves, you can cook the pancakes directly in a greased pan, though the banana leaves do impart a beautiful aroma.

Catch Chef Dato’ Ismail Ahmad’s Lempeng Pisang in this episode of Street Food Journeys: Malaysia (Negeri Sembilan); his cooking segment starts at the 18:52 mark >> 

Lempeng Pisang (Traditional Malay-style Banana Pancake)

by Chef Dato’ Ismail Ahmad


2 cups plain flour
1 egg (optional)
6 ripe bananas (mashed)
5 TBSP sugar
A pinch salt
1⁄2 cup grated coconut
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
1⁄4 cup melted butter or oil
Banana leaves (optional)


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except the banana leaves. Stir until the batter is smooth.
  2. Heat a pan on medium heat and lightly grease with some oil.
  3. Place a piece of banana leaf into the pan then ladle some of the batter over half the leaf, spreading it evenly.
  4. Fold the leaf over to cover the battered half and fry for 2-3 minutes, then flip the parcel over and continue to fry until the banana leaf blisters and crispens, and the batter is cooked through. Serve hot.

Also in this episode of Street Food Journeys: Malaysia (Negeri Sembilan) –

  • Ngau Lam Fun (Seremban Beef Noodles), including how to make the noodles used in the dish  by Sydney’s high priestess of Malaysian cuisine (ie. me – hey, I didn’t coin the phrase, the Australian media did)
  • The JetLag warriors try famous Negeri Sembilan dishes including Daging Salai (Malay smoked meat) and Masak Lemak Cili Api (spicy & rich coconut-based curry)
  • David Teh joins us for the first time with highlights from his Seremban food hunt where he checks out a Siew Pao (Siew Pow) bakery and tries Seremban’s famous ais cendol and Indian rojak

The recipes for the entire series, produced in partnership with Tourism Malaysia Australia, can be found in the special edition MOMC eMagazine which you can download here >> Click to View or Download

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