Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ba Chang (rice dumplings ) - Featured in Group Recipes

I dedicate this post to my Mum’s best friend, whom I call her “Ah Sum” (aunty). She is 85 years old, very healthy and alert and still cooks and sews fabulously!  One of her specialty is Ba Chang which she makes every year on Ba Chang festival which falls on 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. According my Mum, this festival is to commemorate the death of a famous Chinese poet called Qu Yuan who lived during the warring states period in China. He drowned himself because he failed to warn his king of the expansionism of their Qin neighbor who eventually took over their capital city.  According to legend, people throw packets of rice into the river where he was drowned to prevent fish from eating his body.

It is not difficult to prepare the rice but the difficult part is the wrapping of the rice.  “Ah Sum” is the expert.  She make it look so easy but when I do it, everything falls apart.. haha. 

Here is the link to a video to show you the ba chang chronicles.

Serving : 10 ba chang


300 g Belly Pork
200 g mei dou, (black eye pea)
10 Preserved egg yolks
600 g Glutinous rice
10 pieces dried shitake mushrooms
2 tsps Five-spice powder
100 gm dried shrimps
10 roasted chestnuts
black sauce, according to taste
3 tbsp garlic
3 tbsp shallots
rice wine according taste


2 tbs Spicy salt
1 Chicken cube
¼ ts Pepper
1 tbs Sugar
2 tb Oil
¼ ts Salt
1 tbs Oil
1 tsp Sugar

Wrapping Materials:

10 Dried lotus leaves
20 Straws
30 Bamboo leaves

In a wok, heat oil and stir fry garlic and shallots until fragrant. Add rice and continue to fry for 5 to 7 minutes. Add black sauce and five spice powder and continue to fry for 5 to 7 minutes and set aside. Cut the belly pork into 10 large chunks and marinate for 2 days with 2 ts five-spice powder and 1 ts salt. Wash and drain the glutinous rice. Mix well with ½ tbsp sugar, chicken cube, oil and pepper. Soak the mei dou (black eye pea) in water to for 3 hours. Drain and set aside. Soak the dried shitake mushrooms in warm water for 1 hours. Squeeze dry and cut slices and set aside. Steam for 10 minutes. Wash and boil the lotus and bamboo leaves until soft. Drain and towel-dry. Place 3 bamboo leaves on a lotus leaf. Put a layer of glutinous rice on the bamboo leaves and add a layer of mei dou. Top with a preserved egg yolk, a piece each of belly pork, 2 slices of cooked shitake mushroom and 1 piece of roasted chestnut. Cover with a layer of mei dou and another layer of glutinous rice. Fold in the leaves to form a triangle dumpling, then tie firmly with straw. Prepare a deep saucepan and line with several bamboo leaves. Put in the rice dumplings, then fill with enough water to cover them. Use high heat to bring the water to a boil, then reduce to moderate heat and continue to boil for 6 hours. R emove and drain. Serve hot.


  1. I love your ba chang! I have great respect for people who actually make these. It is really hard work (or at least for lazy me) but it is a great tradition and should really be upheld!

    Great post!

  2. Jun, I agree with you, if we do not uphold the traditional, it will be lost forever. That's why I am working hard to document all my Mum's and my hubby's recipe. Also, please know I love hearing from you so drop by whenever you can.

  3. MMmmm! I love these. My husbands grandma makes them often - they're perfect for breakfast!

  4. Hi Christine, thanks for dropping by. I can eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  5. Oh I have not had Ba Chang for a long long long long time. Congrats on the feature.


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