Sunday, June 01, 2008

Spicy Chang/Nasi Kunyit/Sambal Hae Bee

The 5th day of the 5th Moon this year will be June 8th and of course, the 'Chang' festival. Yes, i just found it to be so and it is too late to make any 'chang' for my friends - sorry. In desperation, have to scratch this old brain as to what should done to keep up with tradition. Viola, found a bag of frozen 'nasi kunyit' and 'sambal hae bee' and this is the product of the find.

Posted are the recipes for 'Nasi kunyit' and 'Sambal Hae Bee/dried prawns'


Nasi Kunyit:

500g glutinous rice
1 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
2 pieces dried tamarind skin (asam keping) or 1 tbsp lime juice
1 can 400 ml coconut cream
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white peppercorns
2 pandan leaves, knotted


Wash and soak glutinous rice in water. Add turmeric powder and dried tamarind skin or lime juice for several hours or preferably overnight.

Remove the cream from the can of coconut milk.

Put rice in a steaming tray and add thin coconut milk. Make steam holes in the rice , add peppercorns and pandan leaves.

Steam rice over high heat until nearly cooked for 20 minutes.

Combine salt with thick coconut milk.

Remove rice from steamer. Stir in thick coconut milk and continue to steam for another 8 to 10 minutes.

Sambal Hae Bee/Dried Prawns

250g dried prawns, soaked and pounded finely
2 tbsp tamarind pulp combined with 100ml water (squeeze, then strain the tamarind juice)

Oil for frying

Spice ingredients – to be blended

3 stalks lemongrass(grate the white parts with a microplane)
4 candlenuts (buah keras)
1 inch piece fresh turmeric (ground/powdered turmeric can be used)
1 inch square piece belacan /shrimp paste 8 fresh red chillies
10 dried chillies, soaked and seeded
10 pips garlic
1 cup shallots


Sugar and salt to taste


Heat a little oil in a large microwaveable bowl for 1 minute, add blended spice ingredients and microwave on high until fragrant(3 minutes at the time, stir)

When the spices are fragrant, add dried prawns and continue to microwave for another 2 minutes.
Mix in tamarind juice and microwave until dried prawns are almost dry. (Keep stirring to distribute the heat as the microwave will cook the outer ring of bowl more).

Adjust seasoning to taste.

Leave to cool completely.

To wrap dumplings:

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 nasi kunyit and line the sides.
Put 2 - 3 tbsp of sambal hae bee over rice and cover neatly with more nasi kunyit.
Fold bamboo leaf over.
Tie tightly with string .
Tie dumplings in groups of ten and steam for 1/2 hour.



CRIZ LAI said...

Wow...this is a great recipe. I should try this out when I have the time.

By the way,you have a cool site too :)

Beachlover said...

Aunty Lily,
Your wrapping skill is good!!.When I was back in KL,I watch my mom wrapped her chang but still can't get it right for me.Is there any easy technique to wrap the chang without leaking or burst out when boiling.Thank you for your advise:)

Unknown said...


i am not very good in shaping a big nice chang but i try.

i would suggest that you make small size ones and use 2 leaves.

Prepare the strings by plaiting 6 strings from the center. Hang the plaited loop to a chair to fasilitate tying as savory chang has to be tied tightly so that the filling and rice bind. For the 'kee' or 'kan sui' chang, it has to be tied loosely so that the result will be flexible and good eats.

visit 'youtube' on chang making, there are a number of pretty good videos showing how to wrap.

FooDcrazEE said...

thank god my mum made some and I managed to eat some . . .wish I have time to practise the wrapping of the dumplings

Little Corner of Mine said...

I had some when I was back because I know I won't be able to make any chang this year.

Anonymous said...


Where can I find the leaves for the dumplings in Denver, CO? I wanted to try making dumplings last week but gave up after I couldn't find the leaves. I tried the Pacific Supermarket and H-Mart. No luck!



Unknown said...


i bought mine from H-mart, i found the leaves on the shelf with all the chinese dried stuffs, opposite the nori and wakamie shelf. H-mart is noted to move stuffs around. you should find the leaves in Viet Hoa, the vietnamese store in the same square as pacific ocean.

Anonymous said...

Regular bak chang is usually boiled. Will steaming them result in the same compact rice dumpling just like bak chang? Please advise.

This is very unusual chang and they look beautiful too. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...


regular bak chang is usually boiled as the ingredients are all raw.

this spicy chang only needed to be steamed to heat through as all the ingredients are already cooked.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lily,

wat is candlenuts and where can i find them?


uno said...

hmmm its very nice..looks great..thanks you

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