Make your own rice dumpling or Bak Chang this Dragon Boat Festival.
The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated around the world. According to a popular theory, there was once a patriotic poet named Qu Yuan, whose loyalty and wisdom incurred the jealousy of the other officials in his court in the King of Chu in ancient China. These officials thus plot to remove him and they succeeded. He was exiled and committed suicide by drowning himself in the river of Miluo.
He was loved by the villagers and many rowed out in their long boats out to the river in an attempt to retrieve his body. The attempts were unsuccessful and the villagers were devastated. In an attempt to preserve the corpse of Qu Yuan, these villages make rice dumplings to feed the fishes in the river so that the fishes will leave Qu Yuan body intact. This is how Dragon Boat and Dumpling Festival came about.
Prepare these ingredients a day in advance. Soak 2 cups of glutinous rice in water overnight.
Soak shitake mushroom in water for 1 hour are more they are soft.
Bring out the store bought bamboo leaves and soak them in water to soften them.
Cut the 400 g of pork belly into bite size pieces about 1 inch by 1 inch. Marinate the pork belly, add ½ tsp of light soya sauce, 1 tsp of dark soya sauce, ½ tsp of salt, sugar, white pepper and oyster sauce and 1 tsp of five spice powder. Marinate this for 2 hours in the fridge.
Stir fry the pork belly with the shitake mushroom on low heat till they are brown and release an aromatic five spice flavour. Set aside the cooked pork belly and mushroom.
Prepare a frying pan with 3 tbsp of cooking oil or fried onion oil, drain the glutinous rice, and add 2 tbsp of dark soya sauce to colour. Stir fry till the glutinous rice is a little sticky and set aside to cool.
Time to assemble the rice dumplings. Criss cross the leaf to form a cone and spoon some glutinous rice to and add in the meat salted egg yolk, soften green bean, mushroom, chestnut and cover the top with more glutinous rice. The rice dumpling will expand after cooking, so do not compress the fillings and tie it not overly tight.
Bring the top leave down to form a pyramid shape and secure with a twine or cotton thread.
Lower these into a pot of boiling water and cook on low heat for 45 mins. Hang these dumplings up and drain the water.
These can be eaten immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy your homemade Bak Chang.