Bak Chang

The wonderful thing about Singapore is the availability of a diverse range of foods.  The country is very modern but traditional foods and customs from its  Chinese, Malay, Indian and Peranakan heritage abound.  No time is this more apparent than at festival time … and because there are four official religions, it is always festival time.

It is Duanwu now and Chinese rice dumplings are everywhere.  Sometimes made at home,  oftentimes made for sale by specialty shops, the dumplings are handmade, shared and eaten as snacks and ‘light’ meals.

I can’t do justice to describing the range of dumplings.  For that I  share  this excellent article in Soshiok.com’s Bak Chang 101

For my recent experience in making Bak Chang,  here’s  my re-blogged post.

The Sandy Chronicles

20160603_170146 Bak Chang rice dumplings

If we were having coffee … I’d invite you to have the last of my stash of bak chang. I have three types: Nonya, Hokkien and Kee.  My favorite is the Kee which is also called  crystal chang. It’s  delicious with gula melaka and heady with the scent of pandan and bamboo leaves.

What is bak chang?

Bak chang is the Hokkien word for sticky rice dumpling.   It is also called zongzi in Mandarin and joong in Cantonese.  In the US it’s sometimes called Chinese tamale but that’s just wrong – let’s not refer to it as that.  These pyramid shaped, leaf wrapped dumplings show up in Chinese shops and eating houses every year  around June.   It  is a celebration food for the Duanwu festival and Dragon Boat races.

Chinese legend goes that when the beloved scholar Qu Yuan committed suicide by throwing…

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