Foodie

Monday, May 22, 2006

Nyonya Chang

The 5th day of the 5th moon should be around the corner and i am sure everyone will be scrambling for recipes. Every dialect or family have their own version of these dumplings. My mil's of just ground pork is so delicious and memorable and i have not been able to come close. She is Indonesian Chinese and if any readers know of such recipe, kindly share.

This recipe is from The Best of Singapore Cooking by Mrs Leong Yee Soo - Kueh Chang Babi. She used screw pine leaves aka pandan leaves but i made using bamboo leaves instead, limiting a tiny piece of pandan leave wrapped with the rice. I too have added cooked chestnuts to the filling as they give a better feel to it.


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Ingredients:

4.5 lbs glutinous rice
3 tbsp salt
18 fl oz water
3 level tsp pepper
15 oz lard
30 - 35 pieces of pandan leaves - 2 inches in length
30 - 35 bamboo leaves
blue coloring

FILLING

2.5 lb lean pork
4 oz pork fat
2 oz dried chinese mushrooms
8 oz preserved sugared winter melon(tong toong kuah)
1 cup or more cooked chestnuts
7 fl oz lard or oil
2 oz garlic, pounded finely
8 oz shallots, pounded finely
1 heaped tsp salt
14 oz sugar
2 tbsp pepper
4 tbsp dark soya sauce
6 tbsp roasted ground coriander seeds.



Method:

To prepare rice:

1. Soak glutinous rice overnight. Drain and divide into three parts. Steam each part over rapidly boiling water for 30 minutes. Make steam holes before steaming.

2. Remove glutinous rice to a saucepan. Dissolve 1 tbsp salt in 6 f l oz water, Add 1 tsp pepper and pour around the steamed glutinous rice. Mix well. Cover for 10 minutes and mix lard evenly with rice. Keep warm in saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Repeat with remaining glutinous rice.Add a drop of blue coloring to one batch of glutinous rice.

To prepare filling:

3. Place the pork and pork fat in a saucepan. Pour in 30 fl oz water and bring to the boil. Boil over moderately high heat for 20 minutes then remove pork and fat. Cool, dice and set aside pork and fat, Continue boiling stock till it is reduced to half.

4. Soak chinese mushrooms and cut into tiny cubes. Dice sugared melon.

5. Heat oil in wok and fry the pounded garlic and shallots, adding pork, salt, sugar, pepper and dark soya sauce. Stir till pork changes color. Add stock, mushrooms, sugared melon and fat. Continue cooking over medium heat for 1/2 hour.

6. Now add the coriander powder and stir well. Reduce heat and simmer till filling is almost dry. Remove to a large bowl to cool. Keep overnight before filling.

To wrap dumplings:

7. Soak bamboo leaves in cold water. Cook bamboo leaves in hot boiling water for 10 minutes. Cool, then wipe dry. Take 1 broad or two leaves and fold from the centre to form a cone. Take a fistful of plain glutinous rice and a dollop of blue rice, line the sides.

8. Put 2 - 3 tbsp of pork filling over rice and cover neatly with more glutinous rice. Top with a piece of pandan leave before folding leaf over. Tie tightly with string or raffia.

9. Tie dumplings in groups of ten and boil in rapidly boiling water for 3 - 3 1/2 hour. Alternatively use the pressure cooker and cook for 1 hr. Add 2 tbsp salt to the water. (unwrap one dumpling to check if glutinous rice is cooked and smooth. Otherwise, continue boiling for another 30 - 45 minutes.)

10. Hang dumplings for 1 - 2 hours after cooking to drip dry, thus preventing sogginess.

Serves

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
l enjoy your blog very much. Just to let you know, don't use raffia to tie the changs, as they ozzes out chemicals and are health hazzard. Use strings, like white postage strings will be better. Hemp strings are difficult to come around.

lilyng said...

anonymous

thanks for the advise. I am lucky i managed to get bamboo leaves and hemp as a set otherwise it is just impossible to get hemp. I have even used natural raffia bought from the craft store.

mumsgather said...

Hello Lily,
I was searching for Steamed Yam Cake and chanced upon your blog. What great recipes you have! I'm going to bookmark it if you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily

I found your blog because I was looking desperately for a nonya chung recipe. I only know how to make it my mum's way, but my husband is nostalgic for his granny's version - wish I thought to ask to watch her 15 years ago! I was wondering about the boiling of the pork before wrapping - is this what makes it tender? I wonder how successful the recipe would be if I skipped this step? I also feel slightly alarmed about the chemicals in raffia. I will try postage string, but it won't look right. The only natural raffia I can get is dyed (worse)!
Thanks for a great blog. Keep it up.
Thanks

lilyng said...

anonymous

cooking the pork first and then dicing it gives the meat a better texture as chopped up raw pork will make the filling taste like meatloaf,

Ai Wei said...

Hi Lily, I absolutely love nyonya chang! Unfortunately some of my family members don't like pork at all no matter how much I tried to convince them so I'm longing for some nyonya chang made of beef or chicken. Do you know if that's possible? Thanks!

lilyng said...

ai wei

yes, you could use chicken but use more oil when frying the spices. beef, perhaps, you could try and give me feedback.

Jo said...

I have tried this recipe using (a) no sugar or drastically reduced to say 4oz (b) no lard or oil in the rice or meat except for frying (c) subs stock with chicken stock (d) steaming price for 40mins (e)marinating the meat with the salt,pepper, dark sauce etc and pre frying with the shallots and garlic to seal in the flavour rather than boiling the meant and (f) Given that the rice and meat filling are all pre=cooked, to preserve nutrients and aroma, NO boiling, just steaming for 30mins. Wonderful healthier and much tastier!

lilyng said...

jo

thanks for the tips.

張如意 said...

Dear Auntie Lily

I have been readling your recipes and I like to thank you for your posts. I cannot believe a 老阿姨 is so technically skill with information technology, cooking and baking to share your secrets with us. In Chaoshan culture [Teochew], it is very polite to address you as 老阿姨 and it is a form of showing respect.

However, I am going to try to make nek zang [this is how it is called in Teochew] and I am going to use the comments from your views and your ideas to creat this zang. I want to create this zang without a recipe! ^_~ http://www.gaginang.org/forum/showpost.php?p=122016&postcount=8

謝謝

如意

張如意 said...

Thanks to Auntie Lily's blog I can make jang. Please have a look!
http://www.gaginang.org/forum/showpost.php?p=127496&postcount=383

Do have a laugh but I am only learning!

張如意 said...

Auntie Lily Can you help please? I have made this jang for the second time yesterday. I boiled the leaves for 3 hours and then clean them. I then wrapped the jang and inspected each jang and they were perfect. However after steaming for 45 mins, I noticed the leaves actually tore for some jangs only.

http://xf3.xanga.com/30cc17e063730157588100/m118223348.jpg

I left the jangs to hang for about 1.5 hours before steaming. Did this cause the leaves to dry and then crack? If this is so then all the jangs' leaves should break.

Did I fill the jang too full and when the rice expand in the steaming process, the leaves get broken?

I do not know. Please give some advice.

lilyng said...

juyee

i hope i address you correctly cos i don'r read chinese.

regarding your question about the jang splitting, you have tied some of the jang too tightly so the rice have no space to expand but to split the leaves

sunchen said...

lily..
recently, my sister mil brought us some chang from malaka. it is filled with mince meat only, and the glutinious rice has purple flower. i had never tasted chang that smell so good. i tried to make it with seasoning of lemon grass and powdered coriander seed, but got no where close. do you by any chance have the recipe... many thanks

lilyng said...

sunchen

the chang from melaka could be the same as nyonya chang. give this recipe a chance and if you have kecur/kencur/sar keong, use alittle

the blue coloring is from the flower - bunga telang

sunchen said...

Lily, thanks for the tips. I will try to get the ingredient and give it a go... cheers

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
Could you please let me know whether you have a recipe for "Gan Sui Zhang" (i.e. the sweet zhang where you use lye water)? Have been looking for the recipe for a long time. Would appreciate it if you could post one on your blog.
THanks

lilyng said...

anonymous

i do but i could not find my pic for the gan sui zhang which i made so i will have to make them again before i can post.

if you google for it, i am sure you will get a good recipe

Angela said...

Hi Lily

I would love to make Chang but the problem is I´m living in Germany and its impposible to get bamboo leaf. Is it ok to substitute with desert porcelain cup...maybe cover it with tin foil? So instead of boiling the Chang, I steam it. Is it ok??

looking forward for your reply.

Thank you
Angela

lilyng said...

angela

traditionally these dumplings are wrapped with bamboo leaves but you could use banana leaves but it has to be tied into a square or cylinder and tie tightly so that the rice will be compressed as it expands when boiling.

you could use a casserole or dessert cups but the rice has to pressed in tight. Steam them to marry the flavors and perhaps you might have to reduce the saltiness in the filling.

Angela said...

Dear Lily

Thank you for your prompt reply. However I got one more question. Do I´ve to cook the rice first before I put it into dessert cup? I´m thinking of frying the rice to add frangrance then put into dessert cup..will that be ok?

Thank you.
Angela

lilyng said...

angela

for nyonya chang, i cook the rice as it is easier to handle.

if you do not cook the rice, water has to be added into the cup like loh mai kai, so that the rice can be cooked.

madimomi said...

Hi Lily,
How much water do you add into the rice if I use a pan (loh mai kai version)instead of wrapping them in leaves? Thanks for helping.

lilyng said...

madimomi

the rice is already cooked from the first steaming.

you could put a layer of rice at the bottom of the bowl, put in some filling and top with more rice. Pack the rice down and then steam for about 10 minutes just to heat through and let the flavors marry

tazyspin said...

Hi Lily,

So happy that I found this recipe in your blog. Among so many dumplings, this is my favourite. Altho, I know the wrapping part is my greatest challenge, but I still want to give it a try.

Below are some of my qs.
1) Can I steam the rice using normal rice cooker or using the microwave?
2) Can I take out the lard?
3) What exactly is meant as not to tie the dumpling too tightly?

Cheers!

Jackie
2)

lilyng said...

jackie

yes, you can steam the rice any way you like.

lard can be replaced.

for these savory chang, they have to be tied very tightly so that it will not be untied when boiling

tazyspin said...

Hi Lily,

Juz wanna check when you said steam the rice, do you mean the rice will be totally cooked or partially cooked? I am confused becoz if the rice is already cooked, why do we still need to cook the dumpling in boiling water for 3-31/2hrs.

The 2tbsp of salt during the boiling process is meant for using pressure cooker right?

Cheers!
Jackie

tazyspin said...

Hi Lily,

Am not sure if you have received my earlier query. Anyway, here it is... again...

Is the rice suppose to be completely cooked or partially cooked? Becoz I noticed your recipes call for 3-31/2hr of boiling. I don't quite get it why we still need to boiling the rice if it's already cooked.

Cheers!
Jackie

lilyng said...

jackie

this recipe is from the cookbook - the best of singapore and this is a very old cookbook, so methods used are for food not to be kept in the refrigerator, so boiling the chang for longer period helps to marry the flavors and prepare them for keeping food for a longer time without refrigeration.

tazyspin said...

Hi Lily,

Sorry to hear abt your mom. hope you are feeling alright. Take care yah!

Thank you for your clarification. Juz wanna check ur opinion. It wld still be better to keep them in the fridge right for the leftovers?

Cheers!
Jackie

lilyng said...

jackie

yes, it is better to keep leftovers in the fridge

tazyspin said...

Hi Lily,

Thank you so much. Wish me success.

Cheers!
Jackie

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