Happy Duan Wu Festival to all my readers!
In line with tradition, every year my mother-in-law prepares her Bak Chang (rice dumpling). This time around, I decided to put up a post in my food blog on this savory rice dumpling which is literally a meal on itself as it is stuffed with various types of ingredients.
Rice Dumpling – Bak Chang (Hokkien), Zong Zi (Mandarin) & Ham Yoke Chung (Cantonese)
There are different variations in ingredients but the basic ones would be the braised meat with marinated with five spice powder, dried black mushrooms, mung beans, Chinese chestnut and pre-fried glutinous rice. For our homemade version, we ‘kei liao’ by adding in salted egg yolk, scallops and dried prawns. Most of the ingredients are pre-cooked.
All the ingredients with the straw and bamboo leaves
The wrapping process requires a lot of work, stuffing all the ingredients into the cone shaped bamboo leaves which are boiled earlier for easy wrapping.
I like my Bak Chang stuff with salted egg yolk as its saltiness and grainy texture combines well with the rest of the ingredients.
All the ingredients are finally topped with glutinous rice and some mung beans.
The next part is giving the dumpling a firm and tight grip as you fold in the bamboo leaves. This is to prevent any spilling of the ingredients during the boiling process.
Securing it with the straw
The dumplings are placed into a pot of hot boiling water and left to simmer in the hot water for 3 hours under moderate heat. That’s a need to stand by to kor hui (jaga api) as hot water needs to be replenish on and off. I enjoyed seeing the whole process and I am wondering if I will be able to keep the tradition going in years to come.
Hope everyone get to indulge in your favorite rice dumpling this year. I am having this freshly made Bak Chang for my lunch today. Now..where did I put my ‘Char Wong’ tea leaves?
Tips…Do you know that you can freeze up the dumplings for months and warm them up when you feel hungry? You just need to defrost it and steam over boiling water for several minutes. Avoid heating it up in the microwave oven.