Monday, June 10, 2024

Recipe: No-Wrap Hokkien Bak Chang 肉粽 (Glutinous Rice Dumpling)

Dragon Boat Festival is finally here, and during this festival, glutinous rice dumplings, also known as zongzi 粽子 or bak chang 肉粽 is a must-have. If wrapping these rice dumplings is not your forte, you would love this No-Wrap Hokkien Bak Chang recipe I am about to share. Not to mention how much quicker and time-saving this recipe is compared to the traditional wrapping method. 

In this No-Wrap Hokkien Bak Chang, you will still find all the usual suspects; the flavourful, sticky glutinous rice, gelatinous pork belly, creamy chestnuts, peanuts, Chinese mushrooms, salted egg yolk and Chinese sausage (lap cheong). A cake pan with a removable base is lined with bamboo leaves, then all the ingredients are layered in the pan and then steamed for 2 hours (3 - 4 hours if you prefer a softer consistency like your regular zongzi).

Wishing everyone a Happy Duanwu Jie!

You can buy all the dried ingredients here:
Italian dried chestnuts:
Bamboo leaves:
Dried shrimp:
Pearl glutinous rice:
White flower mushroom:
Chinese sausage:
Shandong peanuts:

Step-by-step instructions on how to make this easy No-Wrap Hokkien Bak Chang

𝐍𝐨-𝐖𝐫𝐚𝐩 𝐇𝐨𝐤𝐤𝐢𝐞𝐧 𝐁𝐚𝐤 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠
Recipe by Baby Sumo 
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 3-4 hours
Recipe makes  2 No-wrap Bak chang (each one serves 6 pax) OR 1 no-wrap bak chang + 10 traditional wrapped ones

1kg pearl glutinous rice
24 bamboo leaves (150g)
12-14 Chinese mushrooms
60g peanuts
18-20 dried chestnuts
50g dried shrimp
50g shallots
2 Chinese sausage
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 tbsp cooking oil
4 salted egg yolks, cut into quarters

Pork belly:
400g pork belly, marinate with:
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1tbsp  oyster sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp five spice powder
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Rice seasoning:
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp five spice powder
1/2 tsp white pepper

1 cup dried shrimp soaking water
2-3 cups mushroom soaking water

Day 1 (evening)
1. Soak bamboo leaves in cold water for at least 12 hrs. Rinse and clean each leaf before use.

2. Soak glutinous rice with 1 tsp salt and water overnight. Rinse 3-4 times, then drain.

3. Soak mushrooms overnight in 2-3 cups water. Remove stalks. Cut in half if too large. Reserve soaking water.

Day 2
1.Soak peanut, dried chestnut and dried shrimp for at least 4 hours.

2. Cut pork belly into 1.5cm pieces. Marinate with seasoning for at least 4 hours.

3. Heat 1tbsp oil in pan. Brown pork belly. Once browned, add 1/2 cup water and simmer for 20 mins. Add mushroom and another 1/2 cup water and simmer for further 20 mins. Add dark soy sauce. Stir well, remove and set aside.

4. Remove casing from Chinese sausage (lap cheong).Cut at an angle into 1/2 cm thick slices. Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan. Saute Chinese sausage for 3-4 mins until fragrant. Remove and set aside. 

5. Boil peanuts for 1 hour. Boil chestnuts for 20 mins.

6. Heat 3T oil in wok. Saute shallots until golden brown. Saute roughly chopped dried shrimp for 4-5 mins. Add rice, seasoning and 1 cup dried shrimp soaking water and 2 cup mushroom soaking water. Mix well and cook until liquid has been fully absorbed.

Assembling the No-Wrap Bak Chang:
1. Line a 20-cm cake pan with removable base with 5-6 bamboo leaves. Fill half the pan with rice and compact using the back of a spoon. Add filling (peanuts, chestnuts, Chinese sausage, pork belly, mushroom, salted egg yolk). Repeat and top with more rice, and filling.

2. Fold down the excess leaves, using it to cover the rice, then hold down using a small plate.

3. Steam over high heat for a minimum of 2 hours. If you want your rice to be softer like the traditional zongzi, then do not need to cover the top of the rice when steaming, and you can also steam for longer (3-4 hours).

4. Cool for 15 mins. Place cake pan on top of a tall glass, then slide down to remove the bak chang. Slice into 6-8 portions and enjoy! Any unfinished bak chang can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat the leftover bak chang, steam for 10 mins over high heat. 

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