Wrapping a Bak Chang is no mean feat. You are dealing with 2 pieces of bamboo leaves or pandan leaves in hand, folding them into a cone-like shape, filling it with glutinous rice and other ingredients, wrapping it up into a pyramid-like shape and finally, tying them up using banana stem strings or reeds. Some use raffia strings (especially traders) but I am wary of possible leaching of chemicals during the cooking process.
The following video shows you how to wrap a Bak Chang. That’s my dad on the right hand side and my mum on the left. To start off, choose two leaves with the smooth side as the inner side and the rougher side of the leave on the outer side. Fold them to make a cone-like shape. Then, add glutinous rice to the bottom and make a simple well. Next, add the bak chang filling followed by more glutinous rice to almost fill up the whole cone. Insert a small piece of pandan leaf on the side. Wrap the Bak Chang just like how mum does it and tie them securely using the strings or reeds.
Watch the video for a step-by-step guide on how a Bak Chang is wrapped. Read the rest of this entry »
Some people have asked me how to clean or prepare pig’s maw / stomach before cooking. It is quite a “messy” process and can be rather offensive in smell and I was quite surprised that I actually took the courage to learn and actually got it done. I don’t know if this is the only method but it has given satisfactory results – the pig’s maw turned out clean and edible.
What you actually need is plain flour and cooking oil (I use palm oil). Sprinkle the flour and drizzle the oil liberally over the raw pig’s stomach and rub it thoroughly. Repeat the process until you have rubbed out all the impurities on the lining. Then, turn the pig’s maw inside out and repeat the process. Rinse with water after you have done.
Next, heat up a wok and sear the pig’s maw on the outer side. Remove the seared pig’s maw, run over cold water, turn it inside out and repeat the searing process. Run it over cold water again.
Finally, clean up the wok and bring some water to boil. Boil the pig’s maw for about 5 minutes. Remove, drain and allow it to cool. You may then keep the pig’s maw for cooking or stewing. It is still a bit on the chewy side to eat it at that point (though it is cooked) but the usual way of cooking it is by stewing or cooking it in soup.
If you have the stomach (pun intended) for it, see the video on how I rubbed the pig’s maw. Warning! Not for the faint hearted. Read the rest of this entry »