My First Taste of Bak Chang (Chinese Dumpling) in the Netherlands

Saturday, June 08, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

Chinese dumpling for Dumpling Festival
Among the Chinese's festive celebrations, my favourite is always the Dragon Boat Festival (also known as the Dumpling Festival 端午节). It is not the dragon boat which I am fascinated about but the Chinese dumplings or bak chang 粽子!! This is the only time of the year I could taste the best home-made dumplings by Auntie Ngo.

Packed with lavish ingredients such as well-marinated braised pork belly pieces, shiitake mushrooms, chest nuts, salted egg yolk and dried shrimps, her bak chang not only tasted great but also looks good too. She is so skillful in wrapping the bak chang where the glutinous rice hold firmly the fillings and form a good looking pyramid shape after streaming. No traces of  spillage of filling is spotted and the bak chang looks exactly like a shining crystal after unwrapping the bamboo leave. To me, Auntie Ngo's bak chang is a piece of art.

Since the Dumpling Festival is just around the corner, I purposely made a stop at the Ru Yi Bakery to grab a bak chang after my grocery shopping at the Chinatown last Sunday. I also got myself the lotus-leaf-rice as the back-up, just in case the bak chang does not turn out good.

Bak Chang (pork dumpling)
bak chang or Chinese Dumpling
The birds eye view of the pork dumpling
Unlike the Hokkien style bak chang, this GuangZhou pork dumpling is pale in look instead of the appealing brownish colour (colour from the dark soy sauce). Mung beans are added to the glutinous rice for better texture. Overall, I find the pork dumpling is on the bland side and severely lack of ingredients - a small piece of miserable pork, half shiitake mushroom and 1/4 salted egg. 70% of the dumpling is glutinous rice and mung bean.
The side view of the pork dumpling
Check out the side view of the pork dumpling. It does have the pyramid shape of what a typical bak chang should be, but unfortunately just lack of taste profile. Perhaps, the heavy palette of me prefer my bak chang with dried shrimps and chest nuts.

Lotus Leaf Rice

Fall under the same category as bak chang  (since the main ingredient is glutinous rice), the lotus-leaf-rice is literally glutinous rice with minced chicken, shiitake mushrooms, Chinese preserved sausage and dried shrimps. The difference between the two mainly on the wrapping and the shape. The pyramid shape bak chang is wrapped in bamboo leave while the lotus-leaf-rice is wrapped in lotus leaf in oblong shape. Unlike bak chang which can only be eaten during the festive, the lotus-leaf-rice is just a normal dim sum item which is available all year round.

I am totally glad that I actually packed this lotus-leaf-rice along with the pork dumpling. The taste profile of this lotus-leaf-rice is somehow a closer match to the bak chang back home. Perhaps it is the dried shrimps that made all the difference.

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