Nyonya Bak Chang

By Margarita Lee

60 – 70 Bamboo leaves and string
10 Pandan leaves
600g glutinous rice
400g glutinous rice blue colour
10g dried blue pea flowers
500ml water
2 pieces tamarind pieces (asam keping)
10 shallots finely chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped

Prepare the bamboo leaves:

  1. Boil the bamboo leaves and strings for about 30 mins.
  2. Remove the strings and soak the leaves overnight.
  3. Rinse the strings and leaves before using.

Shallot Oil
500g shallots sliced thinly and uniformly
400ml vegetable oil
1 tsp salt

Method :

  1. Heat oil to medium. Add the sliced shallots into a wok. Keep stirring at medium heat until the shallots have turned light golden brown, turn off the stove immediately. The shallots will continue cooking in the hot oil until they become fully brown.
  2. When the shallots are cooked, remove the shallots from the oil using a slotted ladle. Blot out excess oil by draining the shallots on kitchen paper towels or tempura paper. Keep the crispy onion for later use.


(Suggest to prepare one day ahead)
1 kg pork belly (steam and cut into small dice)

Halal option: I kg deboned chicken thigh
10 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water
100ml cooking oil
500g shallots peeled, finely sliced
1 bulb of garlic peeled, finely chopped
3 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp pepper corn
2 tsp kencur root powder ( sa keong 沙姜粉or 2 tsp fresh kencur paste
250g candied winter melon


1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp soya bean paste
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
Sugar and salt to taste

Method for the filling:

  1. Dry roast the coriander seeds and peppercorn for 3-5 minutes. Grind into powder, keep aside for later use.
  2. Soak mushrooms in hot water until they are soft and plump. Cut into small dice.
  3. Cut the candied winter melon into small dice.
  4. Steam the pork belly for 15 minutes, leave it to cool, and keep the liquid for later use.
  5. Cut the chicken thighs OR pork belly into small dice.
  6. Preheat a large skillet or wok. Add 3 tbsp of the prepared shallot oil. Add kencur root powder, roasted coriander powder and peppercorn powder stir fry until aromatic.
  7. Add the steamed meat, mushrooms and seasonings. Stir well to mix and add the liquid from steaming. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add some water if needed. Add in the candied winter melon and crispy fried shallots, stir well.
  8. Add salt and sugar to taste. Remove from heat and transfer filling into a bowl. Set aside to cool.

Rice preparation

600g glutinous rice

For white glutinous rice (A)
1 Tbsp white pepper
1 tsp salt
80 ml concentrated chicken stock /water
3 Tbsp prepared shallot oil

For blue glutinous rice (B)
½ Tbsp white pepper
½ tsp salt
50 ml  chicken stock/ water
2 Tbsp prepared shallot oil

  1. Soak 600g glutinous rice for minimum 4 hours
  2. Wash and boil the dried blue pea flowers with 2 pieces of dried tamarind( assam keping) until the water turns dark blue. Cool completely.
  3. Soak 400g glutinous rice with the blue pea flower water.
  4. Add water to cover the rice completely and leave for minimum 4 hours.
  5. Drain both white and blue rice with a sieve and set aside.
  6. Steam the white and blue rice separately over a large pot of water with two pieces of knotted pandan for 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
  7. Add (A) ingredients to white steamed rice and mix well.
  8. Add (B) ingredients to blue steam rice and mix well


  1. Take 2 bamboo leaves and wipe dry with a cloth.
  2. Fold into a cone shape and fill the rice, filling and pandan leaf.
  3. Compress it tightly into the bamboo leaves and fold into a pyramid shape.
  4. Tie the bundle with the bamboo string very tightly.
  5. Place the dumplings in a large pot of boiling water and boil at medium heat for 1 hour till cooked. Alternatively cook in a pressure cooker for about 30 minutes. Take out one dumpling to test for doneness.
  6. Remove from the pot and hang to dry or place on a wire rack to dry.

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