Nyonya Chang

4.49 stars

Nyonya meat dumplings are eaten during the celebration of the Dragon Boat Festival. These meat dumplings have a unique flavour due to the coriander powder and fermented soybean used.

Preparation 30 mins
Cooking 150 mins


Nyonya Chang, Nonya Chang, 娘惹粽

Singaporean, Indonesian


bamboo leave(s)
hemp strings
200 g chicken meat
1,000 ml water
1 tbsp oil
1 garlic clove(s)
6 shiitake mushroom(s)
1 tbsp fermented soybean paste (taucu)
black pepper powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp water
60 g winter melon (dried)
400 g glutinous rice
30 butterfly pea flowers (dried)
2 pandan leaves

Nutrition per Serving

733 kcal
131 g
5 g
45 g

Journal Snaps

My first time made Nyonya chang from ur recipe that I found at YouTube and the taste is really delicious. Thank you for the recipes


'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.

Steps to Prepare

Nyonya Chang Step 1

Step 1 of 7

    • bamboo leave(s)
    • hemp strings

Boil dried bamboo leaves and hemp strings. Wipe the leaves to remove impurities.

Nyonya Chang Step 2

Step 2 of 7

    • 200 g chicken meat
    • 300 ml water

Bring water to a rolling boil in a pot. Blanch chicken meat for about 40 seconds. Remove and mince the meat.

Nyonya Chang Step 3

Step 3 of 7

    • 1⁄2 tbsp oil
    • 1⁄2 garlic clove(s)
    • 6 shiitake mushroom(s)

Heat oil over medium heat. Fry minced garlic until fragrant. Add minced mushrooms and cook for about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Nyonya Chang Step 4

Step 4 of 7

    • 1⁄2 tbsp oil
    • 1⁄2 garlic clove(s)
    • 1 tbsp fermented soybean paste (taucu)
    • black pepper powder
    • 1 tbsp coriander powder
    • 1 tbsp water
    • 60 g winter melon (dried)
    • salt

Add more oil to the pan. Stir-fry garlic, fermented soybean paste and black pepper. Mix coriander powder with a bit of water. Add it into the pan along with the cooked mushrooms. Evenly mix all ingredients. Add the chopped dried winter melon strips and minced meat. Mix well. If the mixture is too dry, add some water. Add salt to taste. Sauté ingredients until excess water dries up. Then, set aside.

Nyonya Chang Step 5

Step 5 of 7

    • 400 g glutinous rice
    • 30 butterfly pea flowers (dried)
    • 700 ml water

Soak butterfly pea flower in 250 ml of warm water for 30 minutes. Remove flowers and soak 1/3 of the glutinous rice in the coloured water. Soak the rest of the glutinous rice in plain water with some salt. Leave overnight.

Nyonya Chang Step 6

Step 6 of 7

To wrap dumpling, make a cone with 2 pieces of bamboo leaves. Place a small piece (ca. 4cm) of pandan leaf and a small amount of blue coloured glutinous rice into the cone. Add meat filling. Cover filling with white glutinous rice.

Nyonya Chang Step 7

Step 7 of 7

Fold into a triangular shape. Secure wrapping with hemp string. In a pot of boiling water, add wrapped dumplings. Ensure water covers the dumplings. Once water begins to boil again, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for at least 2.5 hours. Add more hot water from time to time. Once ready, allow excess water to drip from the dumplings before serving.

Published: July 4, 2014

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