My home-made Nyonya Chung

This year the Bakchang Festival falls on 6 June. Usually a few weeks before the festival, the Chinese will be making and enjoying the bamboo leaves-wrapped dumplings. My favourite has always been the Cantonese-style “ham yook chung” which I make almost every year (see my post on that here).

A couple of weeks back I had the chance of trying Debbie Teoh’s Nyonya Chung and after that, I was so inspired to give this a try. So, I sent out an SOS for some “bunga telang” and my kind kahcheh went and took some considerable risks to obtain those blue flowers for me. I shall not divulge how those precious petals came about… but suffice to say I was so delighted with her haul that I had no reason to delay making the nyonya dumplings!

nyonya chang

For the uninitiated, “bunga telang” aka blue clitoria flowers is a natural source for edible blue coloring. Of course one can use those food dyes that come in bottles but using bunga telang is the natural authentic organic way. It’s commonly used in Nyonya kuehs and rice. I merely poured hot water over the flowers and let them seep for about an hour and the water turned a lovely blue hue. I used the blue water to soak the glutinuous rice overnight.

blue rice

Making Nyonya Chung is considerably faster and easier than making the Cantonese-style ones. For the latter, one has to pick and arrange a whole array of filling ingredients into the dumpling whereas for the Nyonya version, there is only one type of pre-cooked filling. I cooked minced pork together with chopped shallots, garlic, chinese mushrooms, candied melons with pounded coriander seeds (or take the easier way out by using coriander powder), some taucheo (soyabean paste) and flavoured with the requisite salt, sugar and pepper. Add in some pounded chillies if you want a spicier version.

filling

When wrapping the dumplings with bamboo leaves, insert a piece of pandan leaf (about 2″ long) for some added aroma.

rice & leaves collage

If you have a pressure cooker, it will cut down the boiling time considerably. I boiled them for only 30 minutes, resulting in a rice texture which is neither too chewy nor too soft. For conventional boiling, you may need to boil them for about 2 hours.

chang

Note to self: Must use more bunga telang the next time for a darker blue! This first batch of Nyonya dumplings has a light tinge of blue – I think they’d look better with a darker hue, don’t you think so?

chang1

Educational Resource:

Guide to Career Education offers a directory of culinary arts programs where students can create attractive and delicious food.

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22 Responses to “My home-made Nyonya Chung”

  1. May 23, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    i’m not sure i’ve ever seen such beautiful chang in the 25 years that i’ve lived on this earth (ermm, give or take a decade, but i mean it!) :D

    • Pureglutton
      May 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

      Aaaww… Sean, thank u so much for your compliment :D

  2. gfad
    May 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    I wan to order 1 dozen pls!!! Collection in July can ar? ^_^

    • Pureglutton
      May 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      Can… provided I can get bunga telang then!

  3. May 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Are you sure Bakchang festival is early June?? I was just OD’ing on chang like a few months ago! That blue hue is absolutely magnificent. So open for orders kah? :-P

    • Pureglutton
      May 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

      Yes, it’s celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th month of the chinese lunar calendar, which is on 6 June! Haiya, bakchang is available all year round here in M’sia lah :P How many do u wanna order? ;)

  4. Marian Eu
    May 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    As my friend Molly (a dumpling-making expert) would say, your peaks are perfect. hahaha! She has always been trying to perfect hers. There was no risk at all plucking the flowers. Now I discover the other side of the fence is full of them.

    • Pureglutton
      May 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

      Oooh…perfect peaks eh? I like that, haha! Thanks for the flowers :D

  5. May 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Nyonya Zhang. My. Favourite. Chung. Ever. :D

    • Pureglutton
      May 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

      Hope you enjoyed them ;)

  6. May 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    Yummy! Yeah I think a deeper blue would look better ;-)

    • Pureglutton
      May 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

      Yep, must put more flowers in the next time!

  7. May 24, 2011 at 1:44 am #

    Yummy stuff Chris. Am sure Debbie will be proud with your “peaks”.

    • Pureglutton
      May 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

      Thanks, Boo! :)

  8. May 24, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    aww they are so lovely!
    i think you can come up with a ‘chang’ lesson alr. now where to sign up.

    • Pureglutton
      May 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

      Hehe… u sure u want to sign up? :P

  9. Xara S
    May 24, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    totally aligned with all the comments abt how pretty your ‘chung’s are!! love the pretty blue rice. too bad i left b4 u started making them…guess u know what i’ll be nagging u for on my next trip :-)

    • Pureglutton
      May 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

      Hehe… ok… we’ll see about that! :P

  10. June 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    am i too late – are you really taking orders? would love to get some for my mother who loves the nyonya version. sms me 012-971-8005 if possible, tx K: )

    • Pureglutton
      June 6, 2011 at 10:13 am #

      Thanks, Miki!

  11. June 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Woww! thx for sharing dis, learning it from my mum but ur version also sounds great, gonna try ur version one day~

  12. Kathleen
    May 20, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    This will be one of my bucket list food. Watsapp me 0123767116 pse

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