Friday, June 18, 2010

Bak Chang (Rice Dumplings)

Mum's delicious dumplings when my family came here for vacation in 2007
Ingredients for bak chang
makes about 25 to 30 medium-sized bak chang
1 packet of dried bamboo leaves
3- 4 batches of reed tied in 10s each
7 cups of glutinous rice (rice cups)
1.5 lb pork belly 
1 cup peanuts (rice cup)
1 cup mung beans
12  pcs large dried shitake mushrooms
50-60 pcs dried chestnuts
1/2 cup dried prawns or dried oyster (if using oyster...just add a small piece)
10 cloves garlic
10 shallots
salt and pepper to taste
cooking oil

Marinade for pork
3  tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp white pepper

Marinade for rice
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

dried bamboo leaves and reed
boiling the leaves
boiling the reed
washing under slow running tap water
washed and trimmed leaves
some of the ingredients - peanuts, mushrooms and chestnuts
cooked pork belly
cooked mushrooms and chestnuts
setup for dumpling wrapping
my ugly dumplings ready to be eaten....

 my 2nd attempt in 2012 was better
i use the pressure cooker this time...for the small was faster than the traditional method


  1. Boil a large pot of water.  Put the leaves in the pot and blanch for a while  Put in the reed to blanch.

  2. Remove from pot and wash the leaves under slow running water with a cloth.

  3. When the leaves are cleaned, trim off a bit of the stem at the base to prevent leaves from breaking when wrapping.

  4. Wash the mung bean and drain excess water.  Add a little salt and sugar and mix well.  Set aside.

  5. Soak the peanuts overnight.  Put the soaked peanuts and water into a boiling pot and boil for 45 mins or until soft. Remove from pot and set aside.

  6. Soak the dried prawns in rice wine for 10 mins.  Drain off excess liquid.

  7. Wash and soak the glutinous rice for 2 hours. Drain and set aside.

  8. Boil a pot of water and add chestnuts. Remove from heat and soaked for a few minutes.  Drain excess water and remove any red skin on the chestnut.

  9. Soak the mushrooms in a bowl of water until soft.  Cut it into quarters.

  10. Parboil the pork belly for 5 minutes with some green onions, ginger slices and rice wine.  Remove and cut them into pieces.

  11. Heat up oil in a wok and stir fry the dried prawns until fragrant.  Remove from wok.

  12. With the remaining oil, stir fry the pork for about 5 mins until it is half cooked.  Add the minced garlic and quick fry for a while.  Add the dark soy sauce, rice wine, pepper and 5-spice powder.  Continue to stir fry until fragrant.  Add some water and mix well. Tranfer the cooked pork to a bowl.

  13. With the remaining oil in the wok, stir fry the mushrooms and chestnuts until fragrant.  Remove from wok.

  14. Add some oil in the wok.  Stir fry the minced shallots until fragrant.  Add in the soaked rice and continue to stir fry.  Add the dark soy sauce, salt, chicken powder and 5-spice powder and stir fry until fragrant.  Transfer to a bowl.

  15. When all the ingredients are ready, do the setup for the wrapping.

  16. Place two pieces of leaves together and fold it into a cone shape. 

  17. Add 1 tbsp of rice.  Top it up with the other ingredients.  Add some more rice to cover the ingredients until it almost reaches the top of the cone.  Fold and wrap it up with the reed.

  18. When all the dumplings are wrapped.  Boil them in batches into boiling water.  Reduce the heat to medium high and boil for 2 hours or until the dumplings are cooked.

  19. If the dumplings are too bland, add a lot of salt into the boiling water and cook for a while more.

  20. Remove the cooked dumplings and hang to dry.

  21. Dumplings are ready to be eaten!

    Using Pressure Cooker
    Depending on the size of the cooker, place about 10 dumplings and add enough water to cover them.  Pressure cook for about 30 minutes and release the stream.
it is ugly on the outside, but tasty on the inside!