Nyonya Dumpling [For glutinous rice lovers]


Dumpling festival is here! Well, not quite here yet. Two more weeks to go, but I guess many people making dumpling this long weekend just like me. I made some nyonya dumplings last Thursday, still have half amount left in the fridge and freezer. Boys were very co-operative then, they had long afternoon nap and just enough time for me to busy with my stuff in the kitchen. John had it for dinner, he refused to call it dumpling but insisted it was CURRY PUFF!

I was lucky enough to get a pack of dried blue pea flower (RM1 per pack) at the stall selling pandan leaves and coconut milk. First experience with this flower, used sparingly in the dumpling and obviously it was not enough to tint the glutinous rice with nice blue-purple-ish colour.


There are few variations of nyonya dumpling on the internet, does anyone know the reason? Some called for chestnut, peanut and coconut milk. I decided to try on the simple recipe for my first attempt. If you need pictorial guide on how to wrap a dumpling, check out my previous post about bak chang.

Ingredients makes (±20 pcs):
1 kg Pork Belly, diced
10 nos Dried Shiitake Mushroom, soaked and diced (reserve the water)
200 g Dried Winter Melon, chopped
100 g Shallot Bulbs, sliced
5-6 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 nos Dried Chilli, soaked and pounded
2 tbsp Coriander Powder (add more if desired)
1 tsp Five-spice Powder
1 tsp Ground White Pepper
1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
¼ cup Cooking Oil**
Salt to taste

1 kg Glutinous Rice, rinsed and soaked overnight or at least 4 hours
1 tbsp Colouring (made with blue pea flowers)
1 tbsp Shallot & Garlic Oil**
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Chicken Powder (I used dashi)
½ cup Water

10 pcs Pandan Leaves
Bamboo Leaves
String for tying


  1. Drain and transfer ¼ amount of glutinous rice into a mixing bowl, add in colouring and mix well. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the filling. Heat oil in a wok, add in shallot and garlic. Fry until they are browned lightly. Transfer one tablespoon of the oil** into a small bowl, set aside.
  3. Add in chilli paste and cook for few seconds. Then add in pork and cook until it turns pale in colour. Add in coriander powder, five-spice powder, pepper and dark soy sauce. Stir well.
  4. Add in mushroom, winter melon, water from soaking mushroom and salt to taste. Cook with low heat until gravy is reduced.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and cool before use.
  6. For rice, heat oil** in a wok. Add in the glutinous rice (without colouring) and stir-fry until its colour has changed.
  7. Dissolve salt and chicken powder in water, drizzle over glutinous rice and stir well. Ready to use.
  8. Assemble: Please refer to bak chang recipe for detailed wrapping method (with photos) . Fold bamboo leaves and fill in some blue glutinous rice, then about 1 tablespoon of white glutinous rice.
  9. Make a well in the middle and fill in 2 tablespoons of filling. Cover filling with a heap tablespoon of white glutinous rice. Tie up to make dumpling.
  10. Boil a large pot of water, add in pandan leaves. Boil and simmer dumplings for 1-2 hours.

Cook's Notes:

  1. The Nyonya dumpling is traditionally wrapped with pandan leaves, it is hard to find large pandan leaves. Thus, I added pandan leaves when cooking them.
  2. I made the colouring with 20 petals without mashing them up, need to increase the amount of petals next time.
  3. Dumplings will taste better with cooked glutious rice, adding some water in it will reduce the cooking time.

Comments :

6 comments to “Nyonya Dumpling [For glutinous rice lovers]”
Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Oh, your Zhang looks so pretty! I have never made dumplings before and have no idea how to wrap the dumpling with bamboo leaves... actually I am now looking for dumpling classes to attend!

J.C. said...

I love the Bak Chang season! As I hail from Melaka, Nyonya Chang is easily found here throughout the years. My fave chang is the 'hokkien bak chang with salted egg yolk'. I just had one awhile ago and it's heavenly. Yahoooooo, Bak Chang, Bak Chang ~ I love this celebration!

Lian said...

This is the time I wish MIL was living closer to us. She makes bak chang like a pro. I guess this DIL will have to eventually learn the trade one day :)

Anonymous said...

Hi just happened to see your blog. will be interested to receive the receipe for Apam Balik (Crispy version) from you. Pls be kind enough to share with me at ednakk_2002@hotmail.com
Many thanks in advance.
Mrs Poh

Anonymous said...

Hi just wonder are u based in Penang as am planning to bring a group of dragon boat rower to participate the International Championship Dragon Boat Competition on 22/7 - 26/7. Understand Penang has very good durian, by then is it the right season and where is the best place to go? how about local food? Pls share. Thks Mrs Poh

Lydia said...

Check out my other post with photo guide, should be able to make it yourself at home.

I love bak chang too, but this year made something different. Hb also prefer bak chang n he is asking for it! Perhaps I will make some soon. beep beep.... huraaaaay!!! lol

Learn from her, then pass down to your children in the future.

Mrs Poh,
I will send you the apam recipe soon. As for durian, it is now durian season. Went to Georgetown this afternoon, it can be found easily. I don't know where is the best place for durian as we always buy from the stall near to our house (sungai dua pasar).

As for local food, there are many places to go. The most famous ones are:
Gurney hawker stalls (only open from evening till late nite and it is near to Gurney Plaza/Gurney Hotel within walking distance.)

Macalister Road - Many hawkers/restaurants there offering local food, seafood, dimsum etc...
You can find durian there too.

New World (aka xin sei kai) located at Jalan Burma. It is a newly renovated foodcourt with local food, open for lunch too. To me, I prefer Macalister road... more feel n more food.

If you guys come in June, there is a Durian and Food fair in Balik Pulau (11am - 6pm). We are going next week... care to join? lol

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