Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bak chang (glutinous rice dumpling) workshop at Lai Ching Yuen, Grand Millennium KL

"Luck is like having a rice dumpling fly into your mouth"..



The Duanwu Festival, also known as the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month in the lunar calendar - in 2012, it falls on June 23. During this celebration, the Chinese would eat "zongzi" or "bak chang" (粽子), also known as glutinous rice dumpling, drinking realgar wine xionghuangjiu (雄黃酒) and racing dragon boats.

Duanwu Festival is believed to have originated from ancient China. The best known story is that the festival commemorates the death of poet Qu Yuan of the ancient state of Chu. Qu was a descendant of the Chu royal house, serving in high offices, however when the king decided to ally with the state of Qin, Qu was accused of treason and banished. Twenty eight years later, Qin conquered the capital of Chy and Qu Yuan commited suicide by drowning himself on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. The local people who admired him (Qu wrote a great deal of poetry) dropped sticky rice triangles wrapped in bamboo leaves into the river to the feed Qu in the afterlife. The rice was wrapped so that the fish would not eat it. This is said to be the origin of zongzi. The local people are also said to paddle on dragon boats to scare the fish or retrieve the body- this is said to be the origin of the dragon boat racing.

I have always been fascinated about how a zongzi is made. My parents love eating them during the festival, so when the opportunity arose to attend a dumpling workshop at Lai Ching Yuen at Grand Millennium KL, I grabbed it. 

Chef Kong of Lai Ching Yuen was our "sifu" (master/teacher) of the day. We knew that we would be in for a treat, just by looking at the sumptuous ingredients that would be used in making the dumpling. There was pork belly, duck, salted egg yolk, and dry scallop amongst them. At first, Chef Kong demonstrated to us how to put the ingredients together, before showing us how to wrap the dumplings. He makes it look simple, but trust me, it needs quite a bit of practice before getting right! I know because after he demonstrated it to us twice, each of us got to make our own dumpling which we got to take home with us. Mine actually turned out looking quite nice :) Btw, recipe will be shared in the bottom of this post, courtesy of GMKL. There are also videos which I recorded during the workshop. 


All the ingredients for the dumpling workshop



The glutinous rice has been marinated in five spice powder


Lotus and bamboo leaves for wrapping the dumplings


Putting the ingredients together



Wrapping


Using the string, you have to repeat the tying process three times until you have formed a square in the centre

Part 1 - Putting the ingredients together

Part 2, Wrapping the dumpling


Ready!


The dumplings that Chef Kong made


The other participant's dumplings - not bad for first timers :)


Mine!

The dumpling that we learnt during the workshop was the glutinous rice dumpling with dried scallops and roasted duck meat. Other than that, we also got to sample the glutinous rice dumplings with abalone and Chinese mushroom, glutinous rice dumpling with roasted pork and sweet glutinous rice dumpling with white lotus paste. Lai Ching Yuen rice dumplings are available from 9 June to 23 June 2012 and are priced from RM28++ to RM68++.

A dumpling feast

Glutinous rice dumpling with dried scallops and roasted duck meat


Sweet glutinous rice dumpling with white lotus paste


Glutinous rice dumpling with roasted pork



Glutinous rice dumplings with abalone and Chinese mushroom

Recipe for glutinous rice dumpling with dry scallops and roasted duck meat
Makes 1

Ingredients:
50g of streaky pork (pork belly)
50g of Pork Fat
1 pc of Salted Egg Yolk
200g of Glutinous Rice
100g of green bean
100g of Dry Lotus Leaves, soaked and dried
30g of Dry Chestnuts
20g of Bamboo Leaves, soaked and dried
15g of Strong Salt Ham
10g of Dry Scallop, soaked and drained
80g of Roasted Duck Meat
5g of Salt
10g of Chicken granules powder
10g of Five Spice Powder
20g of Vegetable Oil
1/2 bulb Garlic, finely diced
3 pcs of Shallots, finely diced

Method:

Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in wok and fry the garlic and shallots till lightly browned. Add glutinous rice,  1 tablespoon of ketumbar (coriander), salt and 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper powder. Stir well. Remove and leave to cool.

Marinate the streaky pork, pork fat, roasted duck meat and strong salt ham with five spice powder and chicken granules powder for at least 2 hours.

Place the lotus leaf followed by the bamboo leaf. Apply some vegetable oil on the bamboo leaf. First, place the mushroom, top side down, followed by half the glutinous rice and green bean. Top with streaky pork, strong salt ham, duck, pork fat, chestnuts, scallops and salted egg yolk. Cover with the remaining glutinous rice and green bean.

Wrap the Bak Changs. (Please watch the video, Part 2 for instructions on how to tie the bak chang).

Bring to boil a large pot of water and throw in the pandan leaves. Boil Bak Chang for 4 1/2 hours completely submerged and covered and leave to stand for 30 mins. For best results, use a charcoal stove. For quick cooking, use a pressure cooker and boil for approximately 45 minutes on pressure and leave to stand for 15 minutes.


This is bak chang that I made during the workshop and brought home. One word.. YUM!

Lai Ching Yuen rice dumplings are available from 9 June to 23 June 2012 and are priced from RM28++ to RM68++.

Full set of photos can be viewed here. 

Non-halal.

Opening times: Lunch; Monday to Friday 12.00pm - 2.30pm, Sat & Sun 11.00am - 2.30pm. Dinner; 6.30pm - 10.30pm daily.

Location: Lai Ching Yuen, Grand Millennium Hotel, 160 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2117 4180

GPS Coordinates: 3.147694, 101.712338

38 comments:

  1. I want I want! I want all!! More salted egg yolk please!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehehe you love salted egg yolk too. Some of the other participants put 2 salted egg yolk in their dumpling :)

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    2. Haha, so greedy!
      I saw Canton-I is selling dumpling with abalone slices. Maybe you can give it a try! :)

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    3. Hahah I wont purposely go try bak chang one. Will only eat it if someone offers to me.

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  2. I wish I was there with you. You did a nice job on the ba Chang. Clap hands.

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    Replies
    1. Hehe thanks Veron. I had a fun time during the workshop and certainly good to learn how to make it. Next year, I may try making it for my family.

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  3. Glutinous rice dumpling with roasted pork...anytime for meeeeeeeee =)

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    Replies
    1. Hehe... you like the flavourful one!

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    2. Yea...one look at tat dumpling and u can just imagine the flavours when u nom it...haha =)

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  4. I loveee ba chang. You gotta keep this tradition going... remember to teach your daughter how to make when she grows up ya! =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, definitely. Will teach her when she's a little older, it's one of those skills/knowledge well worth having.

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  5. Replies
    1. Next time I make for you again. Put more pork belly, since I know you like it. :P

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  6. This is the Cantonese-style pillow chang, not the usual conical ones. Of course, lah... With all those yummy ingredients, how can it not be delicious? If we go and buy the commercially produced ones, they will scrimp on the filling and can be quite disappointing...

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    Replies
    1. Yeah I usually dont like zhong, but cos the ingredients were well marinated and in abundance it was really tasty.

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  7. It was a nice workshop together you all... hehehe. now I can at least wrap a proper chang! My chang is still inthe freezer.. waiting for my ordered pressure cooker coming this Sat! ;)

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    Replies
    1. Hhehehehe faster cook and eat! Very yums. You got two... lucky you :)

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  8. Wow...so many ingredients for the bak chang. This huge chang, they usually call it as 'pillow chang' rite?

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    Replies
    1. The chef called it "gor ching zhong" ... hehe sorry dunno how to write the chinese character.

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    2. Ohh..got it! Just like those ppl in HK would name it..

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  9. i'm not sure i'd feel very lucky if a rice dumpling suddenly flew into my mouth!!! but it's really comfort food, especially with juicy slices of pork and flavorful egg inside :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heheh I googled it and it's a Japanese proverb. Thought it sounded quite cute.

      Do you like eating it?

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    2. I didn't like rice dumplings when I was younger, cos (believe it or not), I hated pork while I was growing up. It's only later in life that I managed to start getting good pork (and good rice dumplings) :D

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    3. I never liked it when I was younger edi, I'm hoping my tastebuds will change over the years and I slowly cultivate a liking for it (since the rest of my family loves it). I have to say I was quite impressed with the ones from LCY, ended up eating a fair bit.

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  10. omgosh, it looks reallyreally good! Can't wait to eat ba changs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe if you're lazy to make, lots of places are selling it already!

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  11. Feast of dumpling? Cloying after so much of them or not? lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nola... it was okay since there were quite many of us and each of us got a small portion. Just nice.

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  12. omg, i'm coming home on the day of the dumpling festival!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ask your mum to keep some for you.

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  13. I love eating "zongzi" & my fav version is very simple, lots of mung beans, a chestnut, some fatty pork belly & a salty egg yolk! I have to control myself not to eat too much as glutinous rice can cause joint pain. I have a back history of joint pain!

    These zongzi look huge! It looks like 2-3 people to finish 1 zongzi?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like salted egg too! Actually I like salted egg in ANYTHING :P

      Yeah definitely enough to feed more than 2 pax. And kept us full for quite a while.

      Delete
  14. I love the zongzi with pork belly, chestnut, mushroom and salted egg yolk inside! My mum used to make that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe next year I make for my kids. See if they like it.

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  15. That was so fun and super yummsss. Seriously I was kinda impatient to boil it when I reached home. Am glad of the pressure cooker gift that I received for Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, I dont have a pressure cooker so just use the boiling method. But it wasn't too troublesome la.. just left it to simmer away.

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  16. Didn't realised duan wu jie is just around the corner.. my grandma & mama makes killer bakchang, over the years I cant wrap them nicely.. malunya :P time to put their recipe to practice!

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    Replies
    1. The wrapping part is the most difficult part which does take quite a lot of practice. Am grateful for this workshop as it is much easier to learn from an experienced chef that from a video on YouTube!

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