The dumpling festival aka 'chung chit' is around the corner. Since my brother was going back to Singapore after his visit, my mom decided to make a few (...actually, much more than a few) chung for his to take back home and to my auntie’s family.
FYI, 'chung', in Cantonese is Chinese Rice Dumplings. The Hokiens call it 'chang', or 'bak chang' for meat dumplings. There are many variations of chung that can be found. The 'pillow chung' is rectangle and flat like a pillow, the 'nyonya chung' which may or may not contain any content. The rice of the nyonya chung is some part bluish because of a type of flower used with the rice. If the nyonya chung is with filling, it is usually filled with something a little spicy like spicy 'heh bee' (small dried shrimps) or spicy groundnut mixture. There's also the mini chung which is yellow in colour called the 'kan sui chung'. Kan Sui chung is made using alkaline water and the glutinous rice. Taste really nice if eaten with sweet dips like kaya, jam, syrup or honey. Last but not least, there's the typical triangle chung. Depending on the maker of the chung, you can find many different ingredients in it from all meat to all vegetarian beans.
Some people pay up to RM15 for one chung (make by *ahem* well known restaurants) but seriously, if it's good, it's worth the money because making them takes a long time and a lot of hassle.
Ingredients and preparations:
- 'lap cheong' Chinese pork sausages, sliced
- salted duck egg yokes, cut into quarters/halves
Whole salted duck egg. It usually come covered with a later of mud and charcoal powder.
Salted egg yoke
This is how the yoke looks like then the process of salting the egg is not complete. Still can be eaten.
Preparation 1: Chang leafs
1. Boil leafs for 2 to 3 hours and let it soak for another 30 to 40 minutes or until water cools down.
2. Remove and wipe leafs individually with a wet cloth (under running water) to remove the dirt.
3. Dry leafs with a damp cloth when ready to be use.
Chung leafs and dried grass when it is still dry.
Chang leafs boiling.
Preparation 2: Marinate pork
- 1kg pork, cut to cubes
- 2 tbsp foo yui (red bean curt)
- 2 tbsp rice wine
- 2 tbsp five spice powder
- 2 tsp pepper
1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let to marinate for 3 to 4 hours.
*Note: Add more rice wine if marinate is too dry, but not over use the rice wine. There is no need for salt as 'foo yui' is already very salty.
2. When ready, fry pork until cook and fragrant.
Pork cut into cubes. Remember to sharpen your knife first. I had a "wonderful" time chopping mine up with a "really sharp" knife.
Pork ready to be marinated.
Preparation 3: Glutinous rice
- 3 kg pulut rice (glutinous rice), pre wash and soaked for 5 hours
- 'hak yau' black sauce, according to taste
- 1 handful 'hou see' dried oyster, chopped
- 3 tbsp garlic
- 3 tbsp shallots
- 5 tbsp five spice powder, stirred in water
- rice wine
1. In a wok, heat oil and stir fry garlic, shallots and hou see until fragrant.
2. Add rice and continue to fry for 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Add black sauce and five spice powder and continue to fry for 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Add rice wine and continue to fry until fragrant. Add black sauce, 5 spice powder or rice wine to taste. Continue to fry until rice is dry, oily and fragrant.
Preparation 4: Fry Heh Bee
- 1 handful heh bee, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1. Stir fry shallot and garlic until fragrant.
2. Mix heh bee and continue to stir fry until fragrant and golden brown.
Scallops and heh bee.
Preparation 5: Green beans
- 2 tbsp chicken stock
- 1kg de-skin green beans
1. Fry green beans with oil until fragrant.
2. Add chicken stock and continue to stir fry until fragrant and equally mixed.
De-skinned green beans.
Preparation 6: To stir fry:
- fong lut, pre washed and soaked for 3 hours
- Chinese mushroom, pre washed, stem removed and soaked until soft
- Bailing mushroom, sliced
- 'hou see' dried oyster, sliced or whole
1. Add oil to wok and stir fry with garlic until fragrant.
*You can do this together, or stir fry the ingredients separately
Bailing mushroom in a can.
Dried hou see, washed and ready to be sliced.
Dried mushrooms, soaking.
Okay, when you have all that prepared, it's time for you to fill the leafs with rice and the fried ingredients. How? For that, I have recorded a video starring non other that my mom. The file is big, so be patient. =)
1. Take 2 chang leafs and shape a cone out of it.
2. Fill the bottom and sides with rice and hollow the center.
3. Fill up the hole with all the ingredients and with a little more rice, cover the top.
4. Press and compact the con and wrap and fold the remaining of the leafs.
5. Secure with string.
6. Boil the chung for 2 to 2 and a half hours according to the size of the chung.
At the end of the day... I mean after 30 minutes and 4 + 1 chang, my mom shooo'ed me off because I was disturbing her more than helping out with the wrapping of the chang. LOL! But I think I did not bad for a first timer.
The chung that I have made. Out of shape but at least they didn't burst open while it was boiling in the water.
Mom's finished bak chang.
I had 2 of these for breakfast. *burb*
Leave me a comment if you have any questions...... or if you need a lesson from my mom, I think she can be hired HAHAHA. Have fun!
Edit [21 May 2006]: My mom made some other types of chung today and I though it would be nice to put up some more pictures.
With the mushroom stem, she pounded and marinated it. She shaped it into smalll flat round pieces and fried it. She used that to replace the pork for a vegetarian style chung. She also added fried groundnuts, kidney beans, de-skinned green beans and a few types of mushrooms with the vegetarian chung.
She also made my great grand mother's Hakka mix Hokkien chung recipe with contain fried groundnuts bits with herbs and spices. This is something like the Nyonya chung except this one is not spicy and much more fragrant. The rice for this chung is also cooked different, there is no need to fry the rice before it is wrap, and the colour of the chung will be white, not darks as no black sauce is used.
I managed to find the Kan Sui Chung (alkaline chung) too, my mom didn't make them. They usually come in small sizes. As you can see in the pictures, it's about a quater of a normal chung.
I'm still looking for the pillow chung, I got to know it is called the Shang Hai Chung. I think I shall head to the night market today to see if any are sold.
Edit [17 June 2007]: Added a new chung post here.
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