Homemade Bak Chang (Pork Dumpling)

Hokkien Pork Dumpling

Made some bak changs this afternoon to take step-by-step photos for My Kitchen and My Resipi. During lunch time, I removed the leaves before serving as I usually do. Tak asked where were the leaves. Dinner time, he asked for bak chang again, I gave him the whole dumpling let him remove the leaves himself. He removed the leaves one by one and looked so excited like a little kid as he unwrapping the dumpling. I realised one thing when he said "This is real bak chang". I have deprived his opportunities of experiencing this ethnic food... I am learning everyday.

I do agree with him, it really does not feel like eating bak chang if the leaves are removed and served on a well presented plate. When I eat dumpling without removing leaves completely it does taste better as I can smell the aroma of the bamboo leaf. That is actually the traditional way of eating dumpling. In the old day... well, my home still practice this, people eat dumpling by removing part of the leaves leaving the bottom part on and holding on to it when eating.

Bak Chang, is the only dish that my mom insisted all of her children to learn. Why? Story behind, she was not know how to make it until I was born, she was 34 or so then. Before that my grandmother always made dumplings (mom did help in making) for my family during the Dragon Boat Festival. That year, I was born 2 days before the festival thus mom was unable to help in making dumplings. As a result, grandma did not make dumplings for my family all my elder sisters and brother were salivated looking at neighbours children eating dumpling. Those days, we can only have dumplings during the festival... it was a big deal to eat dumpling! Since then, my mom was determined to make good dumplings for her children. I am glad that I have learned from her and able to pass the taste of home to next generation.

Please note there are many types of dumplings in the market, this recipe is Bak (meat) Chang (dumpling) which is a Hokkien style dumpling.

Ingredients (20-24pcs):
60 pcs bamboo leaves (prepare more, some maybe broken)
String (24x60cm, hold one ends together and make a knot)
1 kg glutinous rice (soaked for 3-4 jam)
1 kg poultry or pork belly (divided into 48 pieces)
200 g red bean (soaked overnight)
24 pcs dried chestnuts (soaked overnight)
½ cup (60gm) dried shrimp
12 salted egg yolks (each yolk divided into 2)
12 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked and divided into 2)

Ingredients for cooking the filling:
*1 tbsp cooking oil
*2 cloves garlic, chopped
*2 bulbs shallot, chopped
*1 cinnamon stick
*1 tsp sugar
½ tbsp chinese 5-spices powder
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2½ tsp salt (it will be a bit salty as the gravy will be used in cooking rice
½ cup water

Ingredients for cooking the rice:
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bulbs shallot, chopped
1 tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp chinese 5-spices powder

  1. Soak bamboo leaves overnight, boil for ½ hour so that the leaves will be soft enough for bending later. Then, clean each leaf with sponge or used cloth, rinse and trim the ends if necessary. Soak leaves in the water and set aside for later use.
  2. Filling: Heat oil in wok, stir in ingredients marked with * and stir-fry till the colour turns brown. Stir in poultry or pork, mushroom, chestnuts and all other ingredients for cooking filling except water. Stir to sear the meat then add in water and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, strain and collect the gravy in a bowl.
  3. Rice: Heat oil in wok, stir-fry garlic and shallot together with dried shrimp. Cook till the colour turns golden brown. Add in glutinous rice and red bean, stir to mix. Cook for few minutes till glutinous rice turns translucent. Add in gravy from (2), white pepper and 5-spices, stir to mix and until the gravy is absorbed.


  1. Get 2 pcs of leaves, the smooth side facing you (up). If making small dumpling, or the leaves you use are big ones, one leaf is good.
  2. Fold the leaves as shown in the picture (2). Feel the leaves with fingers, the smooth side should be in side. Fill in some rice and make a well in the middle.
  3. Fill in 2 pcs of meat, ½ mushroom, 1 chestnut and ½ salted egg yolk. Then fill in enough rice to cover the fillings.
  4. Bend and cover the rice with bamboo leaves, press gently to make it firm.
  5. While holding it, turn it around to make "horns" as shown in (5).
  6. Hold the side to fold the leaves as shown in (6).
  7. Bend the leaves to form another "horn" as shown in (7).
  8. Tie it up as shown in (8). Do not make it too tight as it will absorb water when cooked.
  9. Finish products as shown in (9).
  10. Boil water in a large pot and simmer dumplings for at 2-3 hours with low heat. The water level must be above all dumplings.
  11. Remove from pot, hang it up to drain. Serve warm or at room temperature (room temp in Malaysia). Cooked dumplings can be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days and 2 months in the freezer (with freezer bag).

Comments :

7 comments to “Homemade Bak Chang (Pork Dumpling)”
Anonymous said...

i want!!!

Mia said...

i dont really like the taste of glutionous rice. if i use regular rice, are all the steps the same?

Lydia said...

The step will be the same if using regular rice. Please note that dumpling made with regular rice would not stick together as well as sticky rice.
Happy cooking!

Liz said...

Oh wow - thanks so much for posting this! I love these, and they're sometimes hard to find where I live in Perth (Western Australia) I've never seen how to fold them before.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome!!! I used to help nanny & mum when i was a kid, and making them seem like a big process. I helped to separate/pick the glutinous rice (ya i always try to hide for doing that:D).

Thanks for sharing, i definitely will give a go later.

Anonymous said...

Do we have to remove the skin on the pork belly?

Lydia said...

No, skin is the best part in bak Chang.

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