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Friday, June 19, 2015

Hokkien Bak Chang (rice dumplings) 福建肉粽

I have been delaying to post this classic Hokkien Bak Chang since last year. I keep delaying due to this post is too lengthy which has too many pictures and long recipe. As I don't want to just put up a simple recipe but to share a detail step-by-step recipe with photos which later can benefit to my younger family members and also for you who wish to learn the skill of how to wrap the dumpling  ^_^.
Hokkien Bak Chang is difference from other dialect's rice dumpling, where Hokkien Bak Chang requires 3 main criteria, Colour  -  the glutinous rice got to be looked dark. Aroma  - big amount of shallots, Hae Bi (dried shrimps) and Chinese five spices powder are added as to give the distinct aroma . Taste  - every ingredients must be pre-cooked and well seasonings, to bring out the great flavour of the dumpling.

Ok, lets start making the Hokkien Bak Chang. This recipe can make around 82 medium size of Bak Chang. Usually I started to prepare 3 days in advance to prepare all ingredients except to cook glutinous rice on the same day. When you make ingredients in advance, so you will not feel too tedious to make Bak Chang ^_^

To prepare Bamboo leaves
*2 days in advance

170pcs Bamboo leaves (medium size), use 2pcs to wrap a dumpling, soak extra in case found any torn leaf


  1. Soak the bamboo leaves in water for 2 days, clean with water  and change water after soaking 1 day. Put heavy object on top to let bamboo leaves totally submerge in water.
  2. Use a dry cloth, wipe off water , then is ready to use

To prepare mushrooms (cook together with pork belly)

85 portions ( depend on the mushroom sizes, you can cut 2-3 pieces for big size mushroom and etc)


  1. Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in water for half a day. Change water for 2 times.
  2. Add mushroom when cooking five spices pork belly as to give flavours to mushroom.

To prepare Chestnuts
*1-2 days in advance

250g dried chestnut (~85pcs )


  1. Soak dried chestnut in water for 2 hour.
  2. Use a toothpick, remove membrane bits in slits.
  3. Boil and cook chestnut with water for 1hour or till soft to be eaten.

To prepare Black eyed beans
*1-2 days in advance

400g black eyed beans, wash and soak for 2 hours
1/2tbsp light soy sauce
2tsp sugar
1tsp salt
White pepper


  1. Boil soaked black eyed beans in water for 30mins till soften but the shape still intact.
  2. Drain and discard the boiled water, transfer cooked beans to another clean pot, add in all seasonings, cook for few minutes till dry. Set aside to cool.

To prepare Five Spices Pork
*1 day in advance or the same day
** Marinate the pork belly with seasoning according to your taste but it needs to be more salty than the normal braised pork belly as the boiling water will dilute the taste of the dumpling while cooking for a long time.
** The pork belly could be prepared and cooked in advance and  then stored in the fridge. It will taste better and the meat will be more tender after long hour of simmering. The fat can be removed easier once you take out from the fridge. You will enjoyed the tenderness of the pork belly and the fat will melt into the dumpling which will enhance the taste of the glutinous rice.

2kg ~2.2kg pork belly (with skin), cut into 85pcs
65g garlic

4tbsp light soy sauce
4tbsp dark soy sauce
4tbsp sugar
3 and 1/2tsp salt
2tbsp Chinese five spices powder
1tsp white pepper powder
1 and 1/2tbsp dark caramel soy sauce , to get darker colour, optional
3 – 3 ½ cups water
5tbsp cooking oil


  1. Heat oil in a wok or pot, sauté garlic till aroma and slightly golden brown.
  2. Add in pork belly, stir fry for a while. Also add in mushrooms, mix well.
  3. Add in water to cover pork belly, and add in all seasonings except dark caramel soy sauce.
  4. Braised over low heat for 1hrs, stir from time to time. If you have dark caramel soy sauce, add in once pork almost cooked (if add in too early, it will taste bitter).
  5. Once done, set aside to cool.

To prepare salted eggs

30 salted eggs (store bought or homemade , if you want to homemade then you have to make it 14 days in advance)

  1. Separate yolks from whites, use a sharp knife to cut egg yolk into 2-3 pieces. See my homemade egg yolks are so nice and round ^_^

To prepare savoury glutinous rice

2.5kg glutinous rice
450g shallots, sliced
220g dried shrimps, soak with 1 cup water for 5mins

10tbsp cooking oil
4tbsp light soy sauce
2tbsp dark soy sauce
3tbsp dark caramel soy sauce
1tbsp sugar (new addition, updated on 27 Mar 2016)
3tbsp salt
2tsp white pepper
1tbsp Chinese five spices powder

  1. Wash rice then soak in water for 2hrs. Drain rice and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok, sauté shallot till aroma and caramelized.
  3. Add in dried shrimps, fry till aroma.
  4. Add in rice, and all seasonings, mix it evenly, fry rice until slightly sticky. Cool down before use it to wrap.

To wrap Hokkien Bak Chang

  1. Place two bamboo leaves together, the shinning part face towards us. Then fold bamboo leaves to a cone.
  2. Put in 1tbsp glutinous rice, lightly press with spoon.
  3. Put one piece each of five spices pork belly, chestnut, mushroom, salted egg and 1tsp cooked black eyed peas.
  4. Put 1tbsp-2tbsp glutinous rice, use spoon to lightly press it firm. Fold in the bamboo leaves, tie with soaked grass strand.
  5. Repeat the rest till finished. Before finished wrap the dumpling, add water in a deep and large pot, bring water to boil.
  6. Once all dumplings are done, add 1tbsp salt into the boiling water, then lower down the dumplings to cook for 2hrs, water must fully cover the dumplings. Time to time check water level, top up with hot water when necessary.
  7. Once dumplings are done, immediately remove from water, and hang it up to air dry for at least an hour.
** You can see the video on how to wrap dumpling at here

Use 2pcs of medium bamboo leaves to wrap a dumpling, so it will be more secure and avoid leaking. The shining part of bamboo leaf should facing towards you. And both the head of bamboo leaf should face towards the end

The outside layer of bamboo leaf should be longer than inside one.

Bak Chang are ready to enjoy!

Best to enjoy Bak Chang with Chinese tea ..

Happy Rice Dumplings Day 端午节 2015 !!


Jasline @ Foodie Baker said...

Your ba zang has a lot of hor liao, confirm yummy! I love making ba zang, it's a tradition I believe we should learn and pass it down!

Unknown said...

looks yummy to mee.. as im a muslim, i would like to change pork with chicken.. tq for the method n pictures..

Kimmy said...

Hi Sonia, I haven't tried adding black eyed beans to my bak chang which I believe it must be tasty. I'll trying it next time when making bak chang for my own consumption. Yours definitely good with so many 'ho liao' in it. Happy Duan Wu Jie.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your detailed recipe. Your bak chang looks so much like the ones we used to get from my relatives in Taiping. My aunties would make a big batch every year and give us some but they stopped doing it a few years ago because, well, they were getting old and there were not enough younger family members around to help them. None of the store-bought ones in KL have ever matched the taste of the home-made ones from Taiping!

-Li Lian

PH said...

This is a very good guide for anyone who want to make bak chang. A lot of work leh!

The Experimental Cook said...

A very good tutorial. Thank for for the great post.

Swee San said...

I've always wanted to learn how to make bak chang but usually this time, the office is so busy during these times my mom don't even make bak chang at home anymore.. next time i shall try out..

Caroline Poh said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have grown up eating this sort of bak chang. I have been wanting to make bak chang for some time now. Unfortunately, I live in an apartment with no balcony or backyard, so I have no idea where I can hang my bak changs. Do you have any ideas where I can hang my bak changs?

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

Wow that's a lot of chang! Did you make them all by yourself? Looks really good and lots of liao! I didn't put egg yolk in mine though, but I will do that next time! :)

Bali Tour said...

nice food
thank you for the recipe

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
naomi said...

I have tried to follow your recipes on the bak chang and homemade salted egg but somehow my salted egg became overcooked and yellowish in colour instead of the nice orange colour. Did I missed a step that causes my salted egg to be that way?

pearly said...

Thank you for sharing. I normally wrap nonya chang . This year will try to do hokkien one.

pearly said...

Thank you for sharing. I normally wrap nonya chang . This year will try to do hokkien one.

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