All these years I've only eaten and enjoyed kngee chung (plain glutinous rice dumplings) and tau chung (mung bean and glutinous rice dumplings). I have always steered clear of bak chung because I don't like pork and bak chung is essentially glutinous rice dumplings with pork, salted egg yolk, chestnuts, mushrooms and dried prawns.
Last year I received 2 homemade bak chung from a good friend and for the first time in my life I found that I liked the taste of bak chung. So I bugged her to teach me how to make bak chung the next time the chung festival comes around. Well the Chung festival is only a few days away and so this morning I went to her house for a bak chung lesson.
When I walked into my Sifu's kitchen, I found that she had already pre-soaked, cut and prepared most of the ingredients.
Clockwise from the top: pre-soaked and drained glutinous rice, sliced mushrooms, salted egg yolks, pre-boiled chestnuts, washed dried prawns, pre-soaked red beans that were so big that I mistook them for peanuts, and some leftover glutinous rice from an earlier bak chung making session. In the middle are the marinated pork, minced garlic and sliced shallots.
The chung ingredients have been fried (left) and are now ready to be wrapped with bamboo leaves and tied with hemp strings (right).
From top: Putting the filling into the bamboo leave cone; I managed to successfully wrap my first bak chung; the fruit of my labour - 2 bunches of bak chung, 14 dumplings altogether. My Sifu is camera shy so no photos of her here.
See my beautiful chungs! I expected some of them to unravel but none perished. All of them survived the 2-hour long boiling process.
Thank you my Sifu Priscilla for so generously sharing all your little secrets. Thank you also for the chungs.
Very paiseh la. Not only did you teach me FOC, you also refused to let me pay for the ingredients and served me lunch too! I dunno how to ever repay your kindness to me.
God bless you and your wonderful family.