We’ve finally reached the third installment in the Bak Chang series and today, I will feature our family Bak Chang recipe. Now, this recipe is definitely not for beginners as a considerable amount of skill and estimation on ingredients are required. You see, with home-cooked food, we don’t measure ingredients using measuring spoons or cups. Rather, it’s a lot to do with estimation or what the locals call “agak-agak” (“estimate”). So, this recipe is a guide for you so that you roughly know what ingredients go into the Bak Chang and how is is prepared and cooked.
This Bak Chang recipe is quite close to the Nyonya Bak Chang especially in the taste department. It is probably world’s apart from Cantonese Bak Chang which tends to be a bit on the saltish side and contains bigger chunks of ingredients. Those who are fond of eating saltish Bak Changs might find this not suited to their palate because our Bak Chang recipe is sweet and saltish with a slight emphasis on the former. Nevertheless, for those who are craving for a slightly sweetish Bak Chang, this might be the recipe you are looking for. In this recipe, we are looking at making approximately 25 Bak Changs depending on how you wrap the Bak Chang.
This is our family recipe for Bak Chang
- 1 kg glutinous rice (washed, pre-soaked for 4 to 6 hours and drained)
- 1 kg pork (lean pork from the fore thigh, cut into small cubes not more than 1cm sides)
- 300 grammes dried winter melon (cut into small cubes not more than 1cm sides)
- 250 grammes dried prawns (rinsed and pounded)
- 15 pieces chinese dried mushroom (pre-soaked till soft and cut into cubes not more than 1 cm sides)
- 8 shallots (sliced thinly)
- 1 bulb garlic (chopped)
- 60 pieces Bak Chang bamboo leaves (washed thoroughly and boiled for 15 minutes to soften)
- 5 tablespoons cooking oil
- 10 pieces pandan leaves (knotted)
- Reed or Banana stem reed to tie
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons dark soya sauce
- 4 tablespoons coriander powder (ketumbar)
- Liberal dashes of white pepper powder
Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in wok and fry 1/2 the garlic and shallots till aromatic. Add glutinous rice, 1 tablespoon of dark soya sauce, 1 tablespoon of ketumbar and 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper powder. Stir well. Remove and leave to cool.
Heat up 3 tablespoons of cooking oil in wok and fry the other half of garlic and shallots till aromatic. Add dried prawns and stir till aromatic. Next, add mushrooms and pork. Stir well followed by adding of winter melon and seasoning to taste. Stir till even and pork is cooked. Set aside to cool.
Wrap the Bak Changs. Bring to boil a large pot of water and throw in the pandan leaves. Boil Bak Chang for 3 hours completely submerged and covered. For best results, use a charcoal stove. For quick cooking, use a pressure cooker and boil for approximately 45 minutes on pressure and 15 minutes standing.
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