19 July 2018

Hokkien Bak Chang 2018 / Zongzi (Glutinous Rice Dumpling)

A few more days, winter school holidays is going to finish. Today I have arranged a play-date for my son, while the boys playing football game on Xbox and I'm at the relaxing mood to allow myself coming back to this blog space to update my backlog posts, it's lots of them I don't think I can do it all at one go. ^^ 

The Dragon Boat Festival was long over. I have been keeping the traditional of making this Chinese dish for the past few years. My family especially my son loves all traditional dishes I made even though his growing up years was not in South East Asia. This year I had the chance to bless some of the families with my homemade Hokkien Bak Chang which they can't buy it in Sydney. The one selling in Sydney usually is made by mainland China sellers, the ingredients used and the taste might not be the same as what we get in Malaysia or Singapore. 

A simple glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves can have so much nostalgia. For me it is thinking of home and always my late grandma. This year I have added a special ingredient in my Hokkien Bak Chang, Lee Kum Kee Chinese Braising Sauce 李锦记秘制红烧汁 enhanced the Bak Chang a lot.

This year I only wrapped 40 pieces, for the remaining ingredients I placed them in a steaming plate and served. 

(wrapped 40 pieces, the ingredients is able to yield 55 pieces)
2 kg pork belly, cut into small length bite size of about 1.5 cm strips)

100 pieces dried chestnuts (size uneven, soak and boil for 15 mins, remove membrane bits in slits)
20 pieces salted duck egg yolks (I cut one into half)
300g dried shitake mushrooms (soak in water to soften and trim the stem, sliced into thin slices)
3 bulbs of garlic (finely chopped)
300g dried shrimp (soak in water for 10 mins, roughly chopped)
2.5 kg glutinous rice (soak in water overnight, drain rice)
300ml cooking oil (for rice)

5-6 tbsp light soy sauce (for rice)
5-6 tbsp dark soy sauce (for rice)
200 ml Lee Kum Kee Chinese Braising Sauce 李锦记秘制红烧汁 (for rice)
Marinated pork belly and sliced mushrooms:

3 tbsp sugar (to taste)
5 tbsp dark soy sauce
5 tbsp light soy sauce
5 tbsp five spice powder (can add another tbsp if you want it to taste stronger)
a few dashes of black pepper (to taste)
1 tsp salt (to taste)

250ml water
3 tbsp cooking oil

1. Marinated pork belly and sliced mushrooms: Add sugar, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, five spice powder, a few dashes of black pepper and salt. Mix well and marinate overnight in fridge.

1. To prepare filling: heat 3 tbsp oil in wok, stir fry marinated pork and mushrooms for 5 mins,  and add dried chestnuts. Add 250ml water and let it simmer for another 15 mins. or until the pork is cooked. Add salt and sugar if requires (the taste has to be strong in flavour as the taste will be diluted when boiling in water), Set aside.

2. To prepare glutinous rice: add 300ml oil into the wok used in (1). Add garlic and dried shrimp, stir-fry until fragrant. Add glutinous rice, mix well. Sufficient oil added will ensure the rice wouldn't stick on the bamboo leave later. Add Lee Kum Kee Chinese Braising Sauce, add 5-6 tbsp light soy sauce and 5-6 tbsp dark soy sauce. (Depends on how dark and salty you want the glutinous rice dumplings to be), stir fried for 5 mins, Set aside.

3. To assemble: Overlap two pieces of bamboo leaves, make a cone shape and press in a spoonful of rice, top with filling and cover with rice again, spoon some gravy from the filling onto the rice, wrap up the rice dumplings and tie with kitchen twine.

4. To Boil: Prepare a big pot of water, mine is around 15 litre soup pot, add 1 tbsp of salt, when water boiled, lower down the glutinous rice dumplings (20 pieces each time for my pot), boil for at least 1 hour. The water level has to be always above the rice dumplings. Take out the glutinous rice dumplings while it is done, dip dry the rice dumplings by hanging. When serving time, steam the glutinous rice dumplings for 10 mins will allow you to serve the rice dumpling warm, go with sweet chilli. You can keep the extra rice dumplings in freezer, re-steam the rice dumpling before serving. 

Nyonya Chang 娘惹粽子 (Nyonya Glutinous Rice Dumpling)

This Nyonya Chang was wrapped in 2017. Time flies and I didn't post it for more than a year, uploading the photos just to record on my cooking. This is a different version of chang, besides the minced pork belly and mushroom and other ingredients, the Nyonya Chang is with winter melon sugar which make the taste distinctive with its sweetness. I'll come back to write the recipe if I have time.