Chinese Dumpling aka in hokkien "Chang"

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Dumpling Festival is also known as 'chung chit'. Hokkien clan, we called the dumpling 'Bak Chang' which means Meat Dumpling. Dumplings are a traditional Chinese food, made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves. They are cooked usually in boiled style.

It is true that there are many types of 'chang' that can be found throughout the whole world. They are known in Japanese as chimaki. Laotians, Thais, Cambodians, and Vietnamese (bánh tro) also have similar traditional dishes influenced by 'chang'. They have also been known as "Chinese tamales" to the Western world.

There are some 'chang' that are shaped like a pillow (rectangle and flat). But the popular ones are shaped in triangle. These 'chang' contains pork, salted egg york, mushroom which are wrapped in bamboo leaves. Preparing for this 'chang' takes a long time and a lot of hassle. It takes 3 to 4 days just to prepare the ingredients but to eat it is so fast. In just one gobble, the 'chang' goes into our body system!

The Dumpling Festival Legend

Did you know there is a legend to this chinese delicacy? 'Chang' is traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival (Mandarin: Duanwu; Cantonese: Tuen Ng) which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese calendar (approximately late-May to mid-June).

During the Warring States period, this festival commemorates the death of a famous Chinese poet named Qu Yuan from the kingdom of Chu. This famous poet is well known for his patriotism whom he tried unsuccessfully to warn his king and countrymen against the policy of expanding his country's economy for their Qin neighbors. When the Qin Dynasty general Bai Qi took Yingdu, the Chu capital, in 278 BC, Qu Yuan's grief was so intense that he drowned himself in the Miluo river after penning the Lament for Ying. According to legend, packets of rice were thrown into the river to prevent fish from eating the poet's body. There is another version which states that the dumpling were given to placate a dragon that lived in the river.

Recipe of the 'Chang'

The recipe for this 'chang' or 'chung' pronounced in cantonese in which I will not share. I found the recipe in a few of blog sites. Some of the blogs that I read have also videos on how to wrap the 'chang'. Incredible!

The following links are some of the good blog sites :

1. http://eatfirstthinklater.blogspot.com/2006/05/making-chinese-rice-dumpling-bak-chang.html

2. http://www.deliciousasianfood.com/2008/06/16/bak-chang-recipe/

3. http://thefoodsite.net/2008/06/make-your-own-bak-chang-dumplings/

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anglnwu 7 years ago

I just saw some dumplings in the Chinese supermarket--i'm really homesick for some. I've not had one of those for a really long time--i'm from Singapore. It's too time consuming to make, yet the store-bought ones taste nothing like my mom's.

Very informative and it's nice to be reminded of home again. Food--always brings me home.

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