Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Savoury rice dumplings are my nephews' favourite.  This year the prices of Bak Chang ingredients could have gone up quite a bit thus the prices of it on sale at the market place have gone up too.  Taking this as an excuse, I told my mom I will make some Kee Chang and less Bak Chang for her.  Actually, it isn't for this reason. I didn't reduce the quantity of Bak Chang which I made [you may think I'm stingy, kiam siap, hehehe!].
I just wanted to try this recipe [3 times the original recipe].  So these are the alkaline rice dumplings with palm sugar/gula melaka syrup  which I made.  The size isn't very small or big [about 2 bites] and I managed to get 60 pieces. 
Kee Chang ingredients are few [glutinous rice, alkaline water and bamboo leaves] but you need to have some skills in wrapping which is different from making bak chang.  You cannot pack it full otherwise you will end up getting very tough Kee Chang which is not chewy at all.  The wrapped Kee Chang before cooking should be slightly hollow where you can shake and hear the rice.
Recipe adapted from Nyonya Flavours [modified]
[makes 58-60 dumplings]
800 gm glutinous rice - rinsed and soaked overnight, drained
2 tbsp alkaline water
120 small size bamboo leaves
hemp strings
enough water to cover the dumplings in the cooking pot
1/4 tsp borax [maybe can substitute with bicarbonate of soda]
Things to prepare a day or two before making 
Rice Dumplings

  1. Soak bamboo leaves until softened [preferably overnight], rinse with clean water.  Wipe each leaves with a clean kitchen towel.  Stacked the leaves and fold into half, keep in a plastic bag.
  2. Wash glutinous rice with clean running water until it turns clear.  Soak rice for 10-12 hours or overnight.

Making the Dumplings
  1. Drain rice.  Stir in alkaline water.  Mix well and set aside for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Wrap the dumpling with 2 pieces of bamboo leaves, about 1 tbsp of glutinous rice.
  3. Tie up with hemp string.  Finish wrapping all the dumplings.  Trim the excess bamboo leaves and strings.
  4. Boil a pot of water over high heat.  Add the dumplings into boiling water.
  5. Add in the borax.  Once the water comes to a rolling boil, turn to medium heat and continue to cook dumplings for about 2 hours.
  6. Remove from water and hang dumplings to dry [allow water to drip].
  7. Serve with fragrant palm sugar/gula melaka syrup.
Palm Sugar/Gula Melaka Syrup - dipping sauce
250 ml thick coconut milk [original uses water]
350 gm palm sugar/gula melaka
  1. Combine coconut milk and palm sugar in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil until sugar dissolves.
  3. Turn off the heat and strain the syrup.
  4. Keep in airtight container or store in refrigerator.
I'm sharing this post with Cook Your Books Event #24 [June 2015] hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours



PH said...

Kimmy, when I was small I did not like kee chang at all although I would take a little bit with sugar. I have since learnt to appreciate it. I have eaten it with kaya and it is very good. But I won't be making any lah because I find this so tedious hee..hee...

Kimmy said...

Hi Phong Hong, you are a smart girl, not to make any cos' it's quite tedious. I have no choice cos' my mum isn't making any but my nephews love eating kiam bak chang and sometimes Kee Chang. Kee Chang is good with kaya like the Pulut Tai Tai. Kee Chang has the least of ingredients but you need some skills to make it soft and chewy. My late granny can eat as many as 7-9 in one go when she was in her 80s. Great.

Madeline said...

Hi Kimmy, this recipe is slightly different from yr previous recipe. The soaking time is longer compared to the previous one. I followed yr previous one and it turned out well but a bit sticky. The kee Chang stick to the leaves. I didn't put in the borax. May I know what is it for?

DG said...

Hi Kimmy, you are very good in everything. I have not yet try DIY any chang, scared of, cause heard need high skill to do this :). I love to eat Kee Chang with caster sugar or kaya.

Kimmy said...

Hi Madeline, the previous recipe is my mum's recipe which is quite similar to this. It's best to just soak the rice overnight for easy remembering. Borax [controlled item not easily available] is the ingredient that prevents the rice from sticking to the leaves and making them soft and QQ. Try adding bicarbonate of soda as substitute for it. After boiling, do hang the dumplings for a while to cool down and let trapped water drip off them. Both these 2 recipes are workable and the alkaline taste is not too strong.

Karen Luvswesavory said...

Hi Kimmy,
My late mother made only the savoury meat bak chang while my neighbours would give us kee chang in exchange. Yes, like Phong Hong, I like to spread it with kaya. Those were the days.

Kimmy said...

Hi DG, paiseh, paiseh... there are many things I don't know how to do and still learning. I agree that you need some skills in chang wrapping but once you DIY you will know how to go about it. With practice you can do it too.

Kimmy said...

Hi Karen, if you like eating rice dumplings, you must try making some. It is worth the trouble. My family loves Kiam Bak Chang too but I like trying to make chang with various fillings, not so much to eat it myself but out of curiosity, hehehe! So far so good, all jadi lah...

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Kimmy,
My mother used to make kuih chang abu (the Melaka Nyonyas called this chang as kuih chang abu, because of the alkali water used). Like Phong Hong, I don't like eating this when I was young, but now I kinda enjoy eating it. Today I bought some from the market, and make my own gula melaka syrup to eat with it. My daughter likes this chang too, sometimes we eat it with kaya.
Thanks for linking!

Kimmy said...

Hi Joyce, since your family loves this, I think you have to make some. It's quite easy to make and with minimal ingredients. Keeps well in the fridge and better than the 'Kee Nya Kuih'. Leftover kee chang can also be added to red bean soup.