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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Alkaline Glutinous Rice 'Kan Sui Chang' Dumplings

This year's Dragon Boat Festival falls on June 6. Usually I will prepare the Savoury Glutinous Rice 'Kiam Bak Chang' Dumpling but this year my Ma taught me how to make the alkaline glutinous rice dumpling. The ingredients are simple and much cheaper compared to making the savoury type rice dumpling.

Called 'Kee Chang' in Hokkien dialect
[makes about 70 pieces]
1200 gm glutinous rice - wash, drain and set aside to dry
3 tbsp alkaline water 'kan sui'
140 pieces of dried dumpling leaves - soak, wash and wipe dry
Water  for boiling with 1/4 tsp borax 
  1. Mix rice and alkaline water together and set aside for 1/2 - 1 hour.
  2. Wrap dumplings - overlap two bamboo leaves and fold into a cone.  Fill 3/4 full with the glutinous rice.  Fold the extended ends of the bamboo leaf over the rice and fold into a pyramid shape.  Secure with hemp string.
  3. Boil a big pot of water till boiling. Add in borax and wrapped dumplings. Water must be enough to cover and above dumplings. Boil for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  4. Remove cooked dumplings from water and hang to drip dry.
  5. Serve dumplings with castor sugar or gula melaka syrup or kaya.
Wrapping of the dumpling

100 gm palm sugar - break into smaller pieces
125 ml [1/2 cup] water
1 pandan leaf - knotted
  • Boil the palm sugar, water and pandan leaf together in a pan.
  • Stir until sugar dissolves.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes until syrup is slightly thick.
  • Remove and strain.
  • Store in a clean, dry glass jar to serve to kee chang.
  • For richer flavour, substitute 50 ml water with 50 ml thick coconut milk.  Refrigerate until required.
  • Can reduce the quantity according to the number of dumplings to make. 400 gm rice to 1 tbsp alkaline water - makes about 22 - 23 dumplings.
  • Left over dumplings can be kept in the freezer for months or use to cook any bean soups. The beans will tenderise much faster.


Mae Cheah said...

What is borax? I searched online and found it is a cleaning chemicals... Is it safe to eat?

Kimmy said...

Hi Mae, borax is a chemical that is added to Loh Shu Fun and it's banned too but a pinch of it in the boiling water is okay. The purpose of adding it in the water is to prevent the dumpling from sticking onto the bamboo leaves. Some people will add some oil to the rice if they aren't using borax.

Anonymous said...

where to get alkaline water and is it a must for this dumpling

Kimmy said...

Hi Anonymous, yes, it's a must. Without alkaline water [aka lye water], you can't make this dumpling. It is the alkaline water that gives this 'chang' the nice yellow colour and flavour. Please follow the quantity use otherwise, the chang wouldn't taste or look good. You can get it in supermarkets, grocery stalls or stores selling baking ingredients. Try to get good quality ones.

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