Lopes is one of my favourite dessert. If you're not in the tropics, it is quite an effort to make this sweet thing.
As long as you have glutinuous rice, steam it and spread over it with brown sugar syrup, it still taste good but to get the real taste of lopes in Japan is actual happiness for someone simple like me.
Above is my lopes. I used bamboo leaves instead of banana leaves. We have lots of banana plants in Okinawa but I just don't feel like going out to cut banana leaves on a cold 14c day.
Then, the glutinous rice is not so glutinous, even when I soaked in pandan water for 2 hours.
I have to steam the coconut to make it softer. After steaming, it's a wee bit softer but I can't get it as near to the original state.
For the brown syrup, I used sugar cane brown sugar. We have lots of sugar cane brown sugar in Okinawa. I boiled a packet of 300gm of it with pandan leaves. It tasted almost as good as the brown sugar from real coconut for the untrained tongue.
All in all, I'm quite happy with the result. We just have to improvise but inadequacies like these are part of the adaptation process of living in places out of Malaysia/Singapore.