'Kuih Chang', as known to the Nyonya or Peranakan community is a special meat dumpling eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival. The term chang means 'zongzi', which refers to Chinese dumplings made of glutinous rice with stuffing wrapped in bamboo leaves.
What to use to wrap glutinous rice dumplings?
Dried bamboo leaves which are softened are used to wrap these glutinous rice dumplings and secured with hemp strings. Both the items can be found at the Asian grocer. Hemp strings comes together with the bamboo leaves. Other strings such as coir/coconut fiber can also be used to secure the dumplings.
How to wrap the dumplings?
Wrapping these dumplings takes a lot of effort and patience as it can be rather tricky. Ensure they are not wrapped too tightly because the glutinous rice expands as it cooks. However, if it is loosely wrapped, the glutinous rice and filling may spill during the cooking process. Do not be discouraged, though. Practice makes perfect. I had my fair share of frustrations initially when working on the wrapping procedure.
What to do a day before making dumplings?
Wrapping a whole bunch of dumplings can be very time consuming. Therefore, it is advisable to divide the workload into two days whereby the first day is dedicated to preparation. Boil the dried bamboo leaves in hot water to soften them and remove any impurities. Wipe them dry with a clean towel. It is advisable to have these leaves and the filling prepared one day earlier.
How to store nyonya dumplings?
These meat dumplings can be left at room temperature for 2 days, 5 days if refrigerated or up to 6 months if kept frozen. Simply steam them (without thawing) for at least 20 minutes before consuming.
Have fun experimenting with this recipe. You will be extremely proud of yourself once you see the result of your effort.