Lamb Martabak

This martabak is one of Lara Lee's favorite snacks from her Indonesian cookbook Coconut & Sambal. The traditional version is made with a thin, translucent sheet of oiled homemade dough that is pan-fried in a cast-iron pan, but for easy entertaining, Lee recommends using spring roll wrappers. Lamb martabak is a fantastic canapé or appetizer to kick-start a dinner party. It's best eaten immediately and served with sambal on the side for dipping.

Lamb Martabak
Photo: Louise Hagger
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
8 to 10


For the Lamb Filling

  • 1 pound ground lamb

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

  • 2 small shallots, peeled and finely chopped

  • 3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped

  • 1/2 bunch of chives, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Martabak

  • 30 wheat spring roll wrappers, 6 inches square

  • 1 banana or 1 beaten egg, for sealing

  • Coconut oil or sunflower oil, for pan-frying

  • Caramelized Shallot Sambal Bawang, for serving


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and mix well. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, add all the ingredients for the lamb filling and cook, stirring, until it is cooked through. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Place one spring roll wrapper on a cutting board, storing any unused wrappers under a clean tea towel so they do not dry out. Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the filling over one half of the wrapper, leaving a quarter-inch border. Cut a thick slice of the banana with the skin on and rub the banana flesh over the edges of the wrapper to help seal the skin together (if you prefer, you can brush the edge with beaten egg). Fold the other half of the wrapper over the filling and press all the edges down. Place on a sheet pan. Repeat until all the filling has been used up.

  3. Fill a deep saucepan one-third full with oil and heat to 320°F. (If you do not have a kitchen thermometer, check the oil is at temperature by adding a cube of bread; it should turn golden in 25 to 30 seconds.) Fry the martabak in batches for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

  4. Cut the martabak in half so the filling can be seen, then serve with caramelized shallot sambal bawang.


Reprinted from Coconut & Sambal by arrangement with Bloomsbury Publishing. Copyright © 2020, Lara Lee.

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