Bak Chang DIY for Dummies


Other than introducing eating place, I plan to add another section in my blog – my own cooking. Today, 6/16 (五月初五) is Dumpling Festival (端午节). The easiest way to get a dumpling (肉棕) is to go out and buy. Of course, you can also DIY. This is my first time wrapping dumplings, which consists of streaky pork, salty egg, chestnut, mushroom, and scallops. There are some lengthy process so let’s get started!

五花肉 Streaky Pork


The first thing you need to deal with is to preserve the streaky pork. I got it for RM10.80 per 600g :poor: Here’s the ingredient (based on 500g of pork):

Streaky Pork 五花肉/三层肉 – 500g
Five Spice Powder 五香粉 – 10g
Soy Sauce 酱油 – 30g
Rice Wine 米酒 – 15g
Sugar 糖 – 15g
Salt 盐 – 1g

  1. Wash the pork if it is dirty but make sure to dry it up e.g. using kitchen towel.
  2. Pour rice wine into a bowl.
  3. Put the pork into the bowl and keep on flipping.
  4. Pour “five spice powder” into the bowl and flip again. Make sure all sides are covered with powder.
  5. Pour soy sauce, sugar, and salt into the bowl. Mix/Flip until  you happy.
  6. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and put into refrigerator for 24 hours.
  7. For best result, take it out after 12 hours and flip the streaky pork to another side so that the sauce will penetrate both sides.

Bamboo Leaves 棕叶

Put the bamboo leaves and the strings into water for 12 hours to ensure that they are soft/flexi enough to wrap.

Glutinous Rice 糯米


Glutinous Rice (preferbly Thai version) – 250g (enough for 10 Bak Chang)
Dried Shrimps 虾米 – 25g
Peanut 花生仁 – 50g
Salt 盐 – 1 teaspoon
White Pepper Powder 胡椒粉 – 1/2 teaspoon
Five Spice Powder 五香粉 – 1/2 teaspoon
Soy Sauce 酱油 – 1/2 soup spoon
Dark Soy Sauce 黑酱油 – 1/2 soup spoon
Vegetable Oil 植物油 – A little

  1. Wash the glutinous rice and soak it in water for at least 3 hours.
  2. Take out the water and leave it to dry.
  3. Cook the peanuts until fragrance.
  4. Heat up a pan using small fire.
  5. Put a thin layer of vegetable oil on the pan.
  6. Fried the dried shrimps for 1 minute (beware of sizzling pan).
  7. Put glutinous rice and mix.
  8. Put peanuts and the rest of seasoning to the pan and mix.
  9. Turn off the fire and put the glutinous rice on a plate ready for wrapping.

Other Ingredients


For each dumpling, you need but not limited to the following:

Dried Mushroom 小蘑菇 x 1  – Rinse and soak in water. Empty the water before wrapping. Cut the legs.
Dried Scallops 干贝 x 1 – Rinse and soak in water. Empty the water before wrapping.
Dried Chestnuts 栗子 x 1 – Cook until fragrance. Usually take < 10 minutes.
Salted Egg York 咸鸭蛋黄 x 1/2 piece
Sliced Streaky Pork 切块三层肉 x 1 – I prefer to slice them after preserving them for 24 hours. You may also slice them before preserving.

Wrapping Dumpling

:turntable: This is the most difficult part. You may get frustrated so make sure the balcony is closed if you living on high floor.

  1. Take out two of the bamboo leaves (of similar size) from basin and rinse with clean water.
  2. Cut out the extra heads.
  3. There are two ways of wrapping the dumpling – from the middle or edge. My case is using edge since I still not used to forming a cone in the middle.
  4. From inner leaves (the wider size), form a cone shape. The smoother side should be inside.
  5. Put this in order: Glutinous rice > Pork > Mushroom > Scallop > Chestnut > Egg York > Glutinous rice. Usually before all these, I will “stuck” a peanut into the edge so that the rice won’t come out when cooking.
  6. Using a spoon, press the glutinous rice on top to make it flat.
  7. Using your thumb, push the left side in.
  8. Cover the top by pulling the leave from top to right. A little force may be required. Make sure no leakage on left side.
  9. While still holding film, pull the leave from right to left.
  10. Cut the thin edge and slot in extra leaves.
  11. See the sharp corner at upper right? This is where we going to tie the string. Use a long string (do not cut it), use a thumb to push a string edge firmly at the sharp corner.
  12. Make another “dead knot”.
  13. Hang them somewhere else .

Cooking Dumplings

  1. Prepare a cooking vessels (I use Dutch oven) large enough and high enough to cover the whole dumplings.
  2. Put in water and heat it up.
  3. Once the water starts boiling, slowly put all dumpling into the vessels. Put extra strings outside of the vessels (so that you can easily take them out later).
  4. Close the lit. Use smaller fire. Cook for 1-2 hours.
  5. Take them out (beware of hot dropping water) and hang them to dry them out (I use a fan to speed up).

That’s all. You should be able to enjoy it after drying for 1 hour.