Making string hoppers / putu mayam

This is a blog post on making string hoppers / putu mayam from scratch at home. It is basically steamed rice noodles. It’s origins from Sri Lanka over the years with people migration now it’s sold as street food in South Asia notably in Malaysia and Singapore. In Malaysia, it’s called Putu mayam.

It is normally served with some curry dish/ dishes or as a sweet snack with some sugared desiccated coconut.

making string hoppers / putu mayam

I have not made it with shop bought rice rather made it from scratch by using rice flour. As rice flour has got any gluten it behaves differently compared to making ordinary pasta.

Therefore it does not matter to kneading dough and running it thru a machine. Rather it’s more of getting the texture right and press it thru on a special wooden presser or an icing bag.

The mixture is not a firm mixture, therefore, will need a surface to lay on after piping out. Something like a banana leaf which gives a nice smell and flavour or if you can’t find banana leaf just use a greaseproof paper.

You will also need a steamer to cook the string hoppers/ putu mayam in. Any steamer will do metal or bamboo.

This string hoppers is great to serve with my lamb shank curry or a lentil curry for vegan option.

Making string hoppers / putu mayam recipe

The key to success in this recipe is getting the water and flour mixture just right. Different made/ brands of flour behaves slightly differently therefore the amount water require will vary.


200 grams rice flour

200 mls warm water but not boiling hot

Banana leaves or grease proof paper

Wooden string hopper mould (can be found on eBay) or disposable icing bag.

Steamer bamboo or metal


Mix the water into the rice flour gradually. You will exactly how much water you will need once you start pressing out the mixture onto the presser or the piping bag. Cut the grease proof paper or banana leave into about 20 cm squares, depending how big you want the string hopper to be.

making string hoppers / putu mayam

If it’s the first run, test out small amounts. I use a disposable icing bag and I start by making a small hole and gradually increase. When the mixture pipes out smoothly then it’s the perfect mixture. Like the picture below.

Pipe the rice mixture onto the cut out banana leave or grease proof paper.

If you have only one steamer tray it is possible to cook and make as you go along.

It doesn’t take long to cook. Maximum time 15 minutes in a steamer on low heat.

Good luck and thank you for dropping by.

making string hopper

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  1. Pingback: Egg curry Kerala style home cook recipe - Maker gardener

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