Chang, Zong, Zongzi… they all mean 1 thing; glutinous rice with yummylicious fillings wrapped in bamboo/lotus/banana leaves. Chang is eaten on the 5th day of the 5th Lunar Month which is today in fact, 16th June 2010. :)
First I need to clarify something. My grandma is not a Nyonya but she learned how to make Nyonya Chang from her friend who is a Melaka (Malacca) Nyonya. Aunty Poh Poh, that was what we used to called her. May God rest her soul.
And now my sister is learning how to make Nyonya Chang based on my grandma’s memory recollection. This is her 3rd attempt in 3 years and I must say her Nyonya rice dumplings are getting better. According to my sister making chang is actually quite simple. The hardest part is the preparation of ingredients.
Preparation of rice dumplings begin a day before.
Soak glutinous rice overnight.
Note: If you want to have the indigo blue coloring on the rice, add 2 tablespoon of the coloring (extracted from the butterfly pea flower) into 150g of rice (from the 500g of glutinous rice). Soak overnight.
Soak bamboo leaves & bamboo or reed strings (not in picture) in cold water overnight. Rinse leaves and strings before using.
Also soak 6-8 pieces of Chinese mushroom overnight.
On the day of Nyonya Chang making:
Rinse the soaked glutinous rice before cooking.
Bring water to a boil in a wok/steamer. Steam glutinous rice until cook.
Nyonya Chang Filling:
Clockwise L-R: chopped candied winter melon, pepper, chopped garlic, chopped shallots & pork belly
Middle: chopped Chinese mushroom
Combine aniseed and coriander powder into a bowl and add some water to make into a paste.
Let’s cook the Nyonya filling:
Add cooking oil in the wok.
Stir-fry shallots & garlic until fragrant.
Add aniseed & coriander paste to the wok and saute until fragrant.
Next add pork belly, winter melon and Chinese Mushroom.
Stir well until cooked.
Meantime add pepper, sugar and salt to taste.
Do you know why we add sugar and winter melon into Nyonya Chang?
Nyonya Chang in Hokkien is called Puah Kiam Ti Chang which translate into sweet & salty rice dumplings.
Here’s the cooked Nyonya filling…
The book in the background is for reference. Haha
Grandma’s recipe on the right and Flavors magazine on the left.
Ok now we’re ready to wrap chang.
I’m going to show you how to wrap chang with step by step pictures:
Soaked, cleaned and wiped dry bamboo leaves.
Soaked & rinsed bamboo and reed strings.
Take a handful of strings and tie it into a knot passing through a long rod like the picture above.
Have all your ingredients ready.
There’s the bamboo leaves and strings, a bowl of water (in case the rice become too sticky), Nyonya filling, cooked glutinous rice and pandan leaves (cut into 3cm length).
First thing first, overlap 2 bamboo leaves and fold into a cone.
Then follow the picture guides below. Click for larger view.
Tie the wrapped chang with bamboo string twice. That’s it!
Here are the finished product.
We actually make another bak chang flavor (soy sauce version). That’s why we have many bundles. Haha
Steam dumplings over boiling water in a wok/steamer for 30 minutes.
Nyonya chang on the left and Soy sauce chang on the right.
Chang is best eaten hot. Remember to finish your meal with a cup of hot Chinese tea ya. BURPP!!!
Grandma’s Nyonya Chang Rice Dumplings Recipe
Yields about 15 dumplings.
500g glutinous rice, soaked overnight
30 dried bamboo leaves, soaked overnight, wiped dry
15 bamboo/reed strings, soaked overnight
1 bowl (Chinese soup bowl) of shallot, finely sliced
1 quarter bowl of garlic, finely sliced
30-50g candied winter melon
5-6 piece Chinese mushroom, soaked overnight, sliced
500g pork trotter (tui bak)/belly pork
5-6 heap tablespoons coriander powder
1 heap tablespoon aniseed powder
Add both together with water to become paste
Pepper, sugar and salt to taste
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2-3 pandan leaves, cut into 3cm length
Refer step by step pictures above for the method.
Happy Dumpling making!