Kitchen Battle: Foodsze vs. Rice Dumpling (Nyonya Chang)

Nyonya Chang: glutinous rice dumpling with a peppery, sweet & savoury filling of pork, pork fat, ground coriander seeds, sweet winter melon, white pepper, chopped chestnuts &  shitake mushrooms.

How shall I begin to describe the last two days? Wait, wait for it…let me crank up the volume of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, a bombastic masterpiece that befits my battle with the dumpling and the warzone scene  of my kitchen. Click on play button if you wish to experience the full onslaught…hehehee 😆
Carl Orff – Carmina Burana.mp3

The Opening Scene: Bearing the scars of defeat with the Ghiam Bak Zhang from three years prior, Foodsze rose once more to the occassion and vows to conquer Rice Dumpling… yet again,this time in the guise of the Nyonya Bak Chang. (Foodsze holds up a wooden spoon and roar CHARGEeeeeeeeeeeeee. …!!!!!!)

The Brewing Plot: An infantry of chestnuts, mushrooms, pork, coriander seeds and glutinous rice were gathered, some forged by heat and soya sauce, their shield of bamboo leaves, plunged into water overnight to recharge, a batch of cooked rice were tinted blue (like half of William Wallace’s face in Braveheart), metal weaponry were assembled and the battlefield resounded with the beating and clanking of humongous stock pots and pans. WE ARE READY (or are  we?) 

The Hour of Battle is Nigh: Foodsze dons her armour of el cheapo ol’ faithful apron, her blue gauntlets (plastic disposable gloves) and a respectable helmet (a brand new showercap) and attacked the dumpling task with fervour. The strategy was to take two bamboo leaves, form a cone, 1 teaspoon blue rice, a tablespoonful of meat, cover with white glutinous rice, fold the pointy flaps in to form a pyramid shaped dumpling and tie them securely in bunches. The battle took a hideous turn;  leaves came apart, strings broke, holes appeared, some dumplings were small, some were large etc. Foodsze’s on a losing streak. 

The Defeat: The final onslaught saw Foodsze drowning the dumplings into the 15 litre couldrons but the holes in the wrapping proved to be Foodsze’s Achilles Heel as the rapidly boiling water forced its way into the bamboo leaf shields and Foodsze watched in horror as the inner guts of the dumplings spilled forth and disintegrated with the violent bubbling of water. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

The Survival: Foodsze rescued 20 out of 30 dumplings and decided to steam them instead. They survived. It was a tumultuous 18 hours and Foodsze wonders is she can ever summon up enough courage to battle it out again. Says Foodsze to the rice dumpling “I’ll be back!”

(ok I feel so silly now)


Clearly we didn’t know how to wrap and tie the dumplings properly; either that or we’ve just given up partway through

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6 comments to Kitchen Battle: Foodsze vs. Rice Dumpling (Nyonya Chang)

  • […] writing this post while drooling over pictures of nyonya zhang that my aunt made over here. […]

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  • Alison


    I feel your battle!! (reading while playing the song) LOL!
    Stumble upon your blog while searching for receipes.. Helped my MIL once when she made dumpling, she wraped 10, I sucessfully wrapped ONE.. -__-“

  • Mei Sze

    Hi Alison,

    Hehehehehe…I was feeling melodramatic when I wrote about the Zhang Battle. I was just wondering this morning whether I should attempt it again this year. 😛
    Am hopeless in the wrapping…

    Mei Sze

  • Elsie

    A very good attempt. Get yr Mum-in-law to help. The older generation is expert in this area. I noticed you used cotton strings to tie. Can’t you get the straw-type strings? They tie better and goes with the flavour when you boil the changs.

  • Elsie

    Just found the website on how to tie the bak-chang. (at 1:14 frame) Good luck!