Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Zong Zi / Bak Chang

I’ve been craving to eat bak chang (Chinese Rice Dumplings) for quite some time and being in foreign land, it’s hard to get those rice dumplings like what I’m used to. Even though, different Asian cultures also have their version of rice dumplings, the fillings (sweet and savory) and taste are sometimes different. Having tried a few kinds of Asian rice dumplings in the past, I still prefer the savory Malaysian (Penang) Rice Dumplings. I have therefore attempt to make these delicious rice dumplings from scratch; my second time making them.BakChang7Here’s a little history behind this rice dumpling (information extracted from Wikipedia) :

“Zongzi (also known as rice dumpling) is traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival (Mandarin: Duanwu; Cantonese: Tuen Ng) which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar (approximately early to mid-June), commemorating the death of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet from the kingdom of Chu who lived during the Warring States period. Known for his patriotism, Qu Yuan tried unsuccessfully to warn his king and countrymen against the expansionism of their Qin neighbors. When the Qin Dynasty generalBai Qi took Yingdu, the Chu capital, in 278 BC, Qu Yuan's grief was so intense that he drowned himself in the Miluo river after penning the Lament for Ying. According to legend, packets of rice were thrown into the river to prevent fish from eating the poet's body.[1] Another version states that zongzi were given to placate a dragon that lived in the river”

My rice dumplings were based on how my mom and grandma made them (and I called her to reconfirm some stuff as well) plus my extra touch. Haha! I made the savory kind which both hubby and I craved to eat. Seasoned sweet glutinous rice with seasoned pork, seasoned mushroom, chinese sausage, peanuts, fried radish, salted duck egg yolk and roasted chestnut all wrapped up with two bamboo leaves in a what should be a prism shape. My dumpling wrapping and tying skill are honestly non existence.


The last time I made these rice dumplings which was 6 years ago, I ended up with uncooked rice, and multiple shaped dumplings. This time around, rice and all were 100% cooked, although the peanuts could use a longer boil. I’m also proud to boast that my wrapping skills (even though still bad) has improved. =) I ended up with 31 good dumplings and 4 failures in the end; 2 dumplings with strings untied and 2 with rice leakage.


Overall, I’m a happy cook. Not bad for my second attempt. Hubby approved the taste of it, and that’s even more important! =) We both had 2 each for dinner today and we’re definitely not gonna finish the entire supply of bak chang. They are going into the freezer for us to savor them over time. YUMS!!!!!


Oh yea…….  besides the not so perfect shape of the bak changs…… mine are also a little tiny…not as humongous as the ones my mom makes or the ones being sold in Malaysia… I blame it on the tiny bamboo leaves….=p…Haha!


Charlene n Kevin said...

Wowww so yummy looking. Good job! You should send some over to NJ for a 'taste test'! :P Hahaha!

Simply June said...

some back changs being fedex-ed over now =p

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