Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Little Nyonya Dumplings

On the fifth day, fifth month of the chinese calendar, the chinese worship to a patriotic poet and stateman, Qu Yuan, (278 BC) whom ended his life by drowning himself in a river as an act to show his loyalty to the country. The legend says that the commoners were worried that the fish and sea
creatures might eat Qu Yuan's body hence made dumplings and threw them into the river to feed the fish. Boats were also sent out to retrieve Qu Yuan's body and scare away the fish.

Hence on this day, we have dumplings to enjoy and dragonboat races to watch. This festival is often called Duan Wu Festival, Dumping Festival or Dragonboat Festival. Actually, I am an ex-dragonboater. The sport is extremely addictive but I had to stop as my back was starting to hurt. I really miss those days.

So why so I make dumplings? Because my paternal grandma used to make extremely delicious Bak Chang which I could still clearly remember how it tasted. But nowadays she does not make them anymore and she turned into a health-conscious maniac. (I know I shouldn't used this word. But you know what I mean). So I went to learn from her how to make dumplings.... Results was ... Healthy...
So I went on to take up a dumpling class from CC. With the "powers" combined, I used the good practices from both worlds and created my own Nyonya Bak Chang.



Recipe (Makes 50 small dumplings)

Filling (Prepare 1 night beforehand)
  • 1/2 cup Dried shrimps, soaked
  • 15 Dried mushrooms, soaked and diced
  • 1 cup Preserved winter melon, diced
  • 15 Dried chestnuts, soaked in hot water and diced
  • 1 kg Belly pork, boiled for 8 minutes. remove and diced
  • 10 shallots, minced
  • 5 garlic, minced
  • 6 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Five spice powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying

Rice
  • 2 kg of Glutinous rice (soaked for 30 mins)
  • 5 shallots, minced
  • 3 garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Five spice powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying
Bamboo leaves (Soaked for 2 hours, washed)
Pandan leaves
Raffia strings
A big pot


Steps (Filling):
  1. To prepare the filling, heat the work with 4 tbsp of cooking oil.
  2. Fry onions and garlic till fragrant and golden brown.
  3. Add in dried shrimps. Fry till fragrant and add in mushrooms. Fry till fragrant.
  4. Add in chestnut and pork. Stir well.
  5. Add in winter melon.
  6. Add the coriander powder and 5 spice powder.
  7. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Remove from heat. Cool and store in refrigerator.

Steps (Rice):
  1. To prepare the filling, heat the work with 3 tbsp of cooking oil.
  2. Fry onions and garlic till fragrant and golden brown.
  3. Add in drained glutinous rice.
  4. Add the coriander powder and 5 spice powder.
  5. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Remove from heat.

Wrapping and cooking procedures:
  1. Prepare a pot of boiling water with pandan leaves.
  2. Add in 1 tbsp of salt.
  3. Using two bamboo leaves to wrap the dumplings and tie securely. (Sorry I do not have a video)
  4. Boil the dumplings in medium-low heat for 1 hour.
  5. Remove and serve.
  6. Steam for 15 mins to reheat.