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Monday, July 15, 2019


Haven't had enough of the fragrant pork belly fillings of my rice dumplings... Prompted me to prepare this dish which has the flavour and taste of it minus the glutinous rice.  Instead of using the dried chestnuts, I used arrow roots [ngaku]. 

I have intended to add a tablespoon of minced dried prawns but have forgotten about it.  I believe it would add to the fragrance and ultimately awesome.
Nevertheless, this dish turns out yummy.

600 gm pork belly - cut into bite size pieces
15 small arrowroot [ngaku] skinned and cut half
15 dried mushrooms - soaked, squeezed dry, remove the stems
2-3 tbsp each of oil
6 shallots - sliced thinly
4 pips garlic - chopped
1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp each oyster sauce and dark soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt

  1. Heat oil in a non stick wok, saute shallots and garlic until golden brown.  Dish up.  Leave the oil in the wok.
  2. Add pork pieces, fry until meat turns white and firm.  Add in the seasoning.  Continue to fry until aromatic.
  3. Add in dried mushrooms.  Stir fry for 5 minutes until all the ingredients are well coated with seasoning.  Add in  ngaku and dried prawns [if using].  Stir to mix well.
  4. Add in the fried shallots and garlic.  Continue to fry until aromatic before adding enough water to cover the ingredients.  Bring to boil and then simmer until meat is tender and water reduced to thick [about an hour].  [I have transferred the fried ingredients to a thermal pot and leave it to cook for 2 hours].  
  5. Serve with rice and sambal belacan if preferred.

Thursday, July 4, 2019


When comes the time  for making rice dumplings [chang] for Duan Wu Jie, it is common to hear people advising not to eat too much of the rice dumplings made with glutinous rice.  There are some of my friends who love eating changs but due to health reasons, they opted to make rice dumplings using Brown Rice, oatmeal etc.
So far, I have not made such rich dumplings because my family members and relatives still prefers the traditional Kiam Bak Chang made of glutinous rice.  Even my mom, a diabetic did not refrain herself for it.

Recently, I have started eating Embryo Rice and I was curious to try making a healthier version of Kiam Bak Chang with this rice.  Below is my attempt.  Instead of using Brown Rice [needs soaking] and oatmeal, here I used Embryo Rice [no need soaking] and glutinous rice.  The dumpling looks like this.  The rice is not crumbly and tastes awesome without the 'sinful' feel when you dig in.

Ingredients - Dumpling Filling
20 pieces dried mushrooms - rinsed, soaked and drained - keep whole
20 dried chestnuts - soak with 1/2 tsp alkaline water with some water for 15 minutes.  Blanch with boiling water for 15 minutes then boil for 15 minutes.  Drain and set aside
5 salted egg yolks - steamed with some sesame oil - quartered
2 tbsp each of oil, chopped garlic and sliced shallots [I used 8 shallots and 4 pips garlic]
400 gm fatty pork belly - cut into 20 big pieces
5 tbsp water
Seasoning for Meat
2 tsp each of Chinese 5 spice powder, sugar, oyster sauce and dark soy sauce
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt

  1. Heat oil and fry chopped garlic and shallots until aromatic and brown.  Dish up 1/2 of it, set aside for frying rice.
  2. Add in pork belly, stir fry until meat pieces are firm.  Add in seasoning and continue to fry until aromatic, then add dried mushrooms and chestnuts.  Add in water, fry for 5 minutes or until all the ingredients are well coated with seasoning and water almost dry.  Cool before dishing up, separating the main ingredients [pork belly, mushrooms and chestnuts in a container.   Set aside for later use.  This filling can be prepared a day earlier.
Ingredients - Rice
[makes about 20 dumplings]
500 gm glutinous rice - soaked for 4 hours or overnight and drained
500 gm Embryo rice - washed and drained [no need to soak]
2 tbsp each of oil
2 tsp each 5 spice powder and salt
1 tbsp dark soy sauce and 1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp pepper
50 gm dried prawns - rinsed and drained
100 gm prepared peanuts [can prepare days ahead and freezed]
  1. Wash peanuts and soak it in salty water for several hours.  Drained and transfer to a freezer bag.  Freeze in refrigerator until required.
  2. Heat up oil, saute dried prawns for a few seconds, add in the fried shallots set aside earlier from frying the fillings above.
  3. Add in the glutinous rice, stir fry for several minutes before adding the Embryo rice, peanuts and seasoning.  [off heat while adding ingredients].  Stir fry to mix well the seasoning and rice. 
  4. Turn on the fire and fry for 5 minutes or until the rice is well mixed with the seasoning and looks clear with a nice soy sauce colour.
  5. Dish up and leave aside.
Wrapping Dumplings
about 40 pieces of  bamboo leaves - soaked in hot water until soft, then wash by wiping each pieces, then wipe dry, set aside
hemp strings enough to tie 20 dumplings

  1. Using  2 pieces of bamboo leaves to fold into a cone. Scoop some rice into the cone [I used about 1 tablespoon], place 1 piece pork belly, chestnuts, salted egg yolk and mushroom.  Cover with about 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp rice [depending on the size of chang you wish to make]. 
  2. Press the rice firm, cover it with the extended ends of bamboo leaves and form into a pyramid [chang] shape.  Tie and secure it with the hemp string.
  3. Finish doing the same for the rest of ingredients.  Trim the edges of the bamboo leaves and excess strings. 
  4. Place the changs in a big pot.  Pour water  enough to cover them.  Bring to boil and cook for about 3 1/2 hours or until the rice dumplings are cooked.  Add more boiling water should the to water is reduced below the changs.
  5. Remove from water and hang dumplings to dry before storing them or serve warm.

Notes: Some benefits of Embryo Rice - contains selenium said to prevent cataract, helps to remove body toxin and absorption of nutrients

Wednesday, July 3, 2019


Again one healthy porridge suitable for the old and young, even for those who are feeling weak and poor appetite.  This porridge cooked with Embryo Rice and other ingredients such as sea kelp [hai tai], minced meat, carrots and peanuts is just awesome. 
You can see the rice grains but they are soft, light and fluffy.  I believe this is easily digestible
Enjoy with some shredded ginger and chopped spring onions add extra flavour to the porridge.
150 gm minced pork meat 
50 gm peanuts - soak in water for an hour and drain well
150 gm Embryo rice - cleaned and drained
1 piece sea kelp [hai tai] - rinsed and shredded
some chopped red carrots
Marinade for meat - 1/3 tsp salt, 1 tsp sesame oil, dash of pepper,1 tbsp cornstarch, 2 tbsp 
Salt to taste
some shredded ginger
some chopped spring onion
dash of pepper
  1. Mix marinade with minced meat and shape into meatballs.
  2. Put rice and water in a pot, bring to boil for several minutes at high heat.  Add in the peanuts and carrots to boil for 20 minutes over medium heat our until the rice grains are fluffy.  Add in sea kelp and meatballs to cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Off heat and cover with lid for 5 minutes.
  5. Scoop into individual bowls.  Serve with ginger and spring onions.

Benefits of Embryo rice - prevent diabetes [gluten free] and heart disease, hypertension and stroke.
Benefits of Sea Kelp - Natural source of  vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D and E, as well as minerals including zinc, iodine, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper and calcium. ... Weight loss: Iodine is a trace mineral vital for the operation of the thyroid gland which plays an important part in body development and metabolism.

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