Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Penang Nyonya Chang ( Rice Dumplings )

Really tiring making these was the wrapping that's killing me, hey and i am only talking 10 dumplings here! I was really struggling wrapping them, this is my 2nd time doing this. The first time was many years ago and that was really gone case, most of the fillings were leaked out during the boiling process. At least this time it is not that terrible...still it was tough for me, i had to use  the string to go round and up and down everywhere round the dumpling so that the fillings couldnt escape..ha! not in perfect shape though..

some dried butterfly flowers to extract the blue colour. 

Ok, before i start doing these dumplings, i was googling and noticed that most of the recipes online use fermented bean paste, do not have cekur ginger root and also grounded peanuts as part of the ingredients which i had followed from this book, Nyonya Flavours, a complete guide to Penang Straits Chinese Cuisine. Maybe that's the Malaccan version..i'm not sure. Also here in the book, coconut milk is added to the rice but i decided not to put that in. Just like many mentioned, this is a sweet and savoury type of rice dumplings and at the same time, i also find it quite peppery and unique as there's a kind of aroma coming from the corainder powder and cekur root. Well if you like it, then you will find it aromatic.,otherwise you may find it a little strong for your liking, this is very unusual compared to the normal bak chang ( rice dumplings ). Have you tasted one before?

A blogger friend of mine , Adeline of Lite Home Bake also posted a slightly different version of Nyonya Chang yesterday, drop by to have a look too!
cekur root
Ingredients for grinding..
...and becomes this..
the filling..meat, candied winter melon and peanuts

Today is the 5th day of the 5th month of the Lunar Chinese Calendar, it is the Duan Wu Festival and one of the activity that we do today is to eat rice dumplings, not a public holiday here but would like to wish all my chinese friends and readers, Happy Duan Wu Jie!

Recipe ( from the book,  Nyonya Flavours, A Complete Guide to Penang Straits Chinese Cuisine )
500gm glutinous rice, divided into 350gm and 150gm

Wash glutinous rice until water runs clear. Boil around 30 butterpea flowers to 2 cups of water for about 5 minutes, let cool and add that to the 150gm rice. Soak the remaining 350gm rice in water and soak both rice overnight, drain before use next day.

Spice paste ( ground/grind)
1tbsp peppercorns
4tsp coriander powder
8 cloves garlic
20gm cekur root

3tbsp cooking oil
300gm belly pork, cut into small cubes
2tsp salt, or to taste
2-3 tbsp sugar, or to taste
a little dark soya sauce ( i added )
150gm candied winter melon, chopped
100gm roasted peanuts, pounded

250ml thick coconut milk, mixed with 1tsp salt ( i did not put )

dried bamboo leaves, soaked until soft and wiped dry
hemp strings, soaked
2 pandan leaves, cut into 3cm lengths

1. Heat oil in a wok to saute the spice paste, until fragrant. Add the pork belly and stir until cooked. Season to taste with salt and sugar. Add candied melon, fry for a few seconds before removing from the heat. Leave filling to cool and mix in the pounded peanut.
2. Bring water to a boil in a wok and steam the glutinous rice for 1 hour or until cooked. Stir in the coconut milk and steam for another 10 minutes. After wrapping, steam dumplings over rapidly boiling water for 20-30 minutes. ( I did not follow this step, i boiled the glutinous rice for 2 hours from raw and did not put in the coconut milk. )

To wrap the dumplings, i referred here and several youtubes video. Fill the cone with some  blue glutinous rice, then the filling and lastly some white glutinous rice. Top with a piece of pandan leaf and boil in a pot of water for 2 hours.

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest, Penang Month hosted by Alan of Travelling Foodies

Also linking this to Cook Your Books #1 hosted by Kitchen Flavours


  1. Good morning Lena,
    Wondering what to have for my breakfast and here it is! Looks really good, you wrap like a pro! Though I might need to do some "extra work" with the strings before I get to enjoy the chang! Hahaha! You are so funny!
    I guess Penang Nyonya and Malacca Nyonya Chang are a little different! Malacca's version do not use any peanuts and coconut milk. Also the way the filling is cooked is a little different from my mom's. I have not made any Nyonya Chang for years now, but have made "hamyok chung" three weeks ago, am making again soon.
    You did well! I really wish I have one right now!

  2. ivy sew http://simplybeautifulhealthyliving.blogspot.comJune 12, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Hi Lena, looking at this Chang, gua lau nuao liao! Fantastic !

  3. These dumplings look so good! I have never made dumplings before and hope to learn to do some time.

  4. Hi Lena, you are good in wrapping the changs. I had this recipe too. May I ask whether it is a must to add the pork belly?

    1. hi kimmy, you mean you want to do meatless one? i see other versions can use minced pork or minced chicken. If you are submitting to MFF, i think it's okay to omit the pork belly due to own liking but follow the rest of the recipe.

  5. Happy Duan Wu Jie and Row Row Your Boat fast enough with 10 more nyonya chang. Most older folks are not physically fit to wrap them any more and young ones not picking up the skills. So no more home made chang but buy from outside shop. Not bad eh well done on your second time. Oh missing these chang with nuts you know my address right can pleaze pos-laju it? haha.

  6. Thumbs up, Lena! I've been wanting to learn how to wrap these dumplings but have always given up the idea when I think of all the work involved. Your Nyonya chang look soooooooooo delicious!

  7. Wah... well done. I want to eat this penang nonya dumpling leh ....

  8. Hi Lena, thanks for the mention :) Indeed the recipe is slightly different namely there's cekur, groundnut and coconut milk in this penang version but the recipe i followed uses shallots, fermented bean paste and mushrooms. Yours look equally good, how i wish we were staying nearby, then can exchange hor? That part on tie up down and everywhere was funny though, i add extra strings to those that I think could give way too :) Happy Duanwu!

  9. Lena, the nyonya dumpling looks lovely, personally I have not try any Penang nyonya chang before!

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  11. Whoaaaa rajinnya Lena .Membalut kuih Chang sungguh mencabar dan tricky.Silap balut rupanya akan jadi ketupat dan ada kalanya bocor masa merebus.1st time buat rasa mau menangis lorrr tp sekarang dah ok sikit
    Jika Lena nk baca pengalaman Cikmanggis buat kuih Chang pls visit Nst online.Lena baca Streets bahagian .South or Northen .

  12. the filling in the middle is so beautiful. Ir looks rich and delicious and hearty. What a wonderful presentation and pictures. I love it all

  13. Lena , good thing that I'm not really keen on making this kind of dumpling or else I'll be swearing nonstop lol They look great lah ! I bet it taste good as it looks ;D Love that blue tint , so pretty !

  14. Happy Dragon Boat Festival Lena...

    Wah, looks like a lot of work right? to make nyonya dumpling.

    *Thumbs up* Lena.

  15. Happy Dumpling Festival. haha... i never eat this type of dumpling yet. have to try this is i have the chance.

  16. Oh! I love this glutinous rice...yours look so good Lena...and perfectly wrapped.
    Happy Dragon Boat Festival!

  17. Terima kasih Lena sebab sudi baca cerita Cm :)..pasti nak cuba juga chang yang versi berempah ini.Sungguh unik dan istimewa sekali sebab ada cekur.Selalunya masakan melayu ada cekur.

  18. Lena, well done lah! At least got the nice conical shape. You should have seen the bak chang I help my auntie a few years ago. Look like a crooked bola hah! hah!

  19. This looks so awesome, I would love to try all you local foods that you make. I love how you got the blue rice. I wish I could smell it too. I don't think I could come close to making this...I guess it takes practice to wrap them right!

  20. Hi Lena, you've got an interesting recipe, which I'm gamed to try out come next Dragon Boat Festival. They looked perfectly wrapped to me with nice conical shapes. All my previous attempts to make conical shaped dumplings were total disaster! That's why all my dumplings are pillow shaped which are so much easier to wrap.

  21. You did very well, Lena. The dumplings look mouthwatering.

  22. Inviting dumplings... Can you air-mail one for me, no make it two...!! Making dumplings is alot of hardwork but yours looked extremely delish... I love Nonya Dumplings too:)

  23. Hi Lena! Making dumplings is definitely very tiring! My grandparents used to make like a lot of dumplings and the whole family would be there helping to wrap them, it was super fun! Your dumplings look delicious!

  24. Can I ex-change my chicken curry chang with your Nyonya chang, your version of Penang nyonya chang sound so sedap, I like nyonya chang too.

  25. Hi Lena,
    You have very nice Nyonya Chang, good work. It is so mouthwatering.

  26. I have never tasted a rice dumpling such as yours Lena. I sure wouldn't mind though. It sounds refreshing and tasty!

    You did a great job of wrapping them. You should stop by my blog and see really bad wrapping! (I attempted to bake chimichangas:)

    Thanks for sharing...

  27. Oh wow....your dumpling looks so beautiful, even got blue colour! See how kampong I am....haha. And that's a lot of filling. I wish I can have one now even though I had a full stomach. I didn't taste any dumpling this year. So poor thing huh......haha. Didn't even know it was the festival until someone asked me on the very day itself. How embarrassing! But lucky for me, my friend also didn't get to taste any. Makes me feel better, nothing to be jealous of :D Thought your wrapping looks perfect. That's the way my mom wrapped the dumplings. Now you make me miss home! All your fault....hehe. Take care and hope you have a great weekend.

  28. Estos paquetes se ven sabrosos estupendo relleno me encanta,hugs.

  29. Hi Lena, Your nyony chang rice looks very delicious! I've not made or buy any chang this year. Do you have anymore to share with me :D

  30. DIdnt have time to do the zhangs this year, it was very tiring for me last year wrapping nearly 30 zhangs alone. My grandma can do 100 a day, she really is a strong woman! I have never tried Nyonya version and it sounds so different in flavours.

  31. Wow, i didn't know you made dumplings! they are good. how many did you make?

  32. I grow some cekur but I have no idea what to do with it hehehe....

  33. I love glutinous rice a lot and can eat them for breakfast, lunch & even dinner. lol. Wish I canhave some of your dumplings. Looks so delicious. Have yet tried cooking with cekur root. Not sure if I can find it here.