Monday, 29 April 2013

Bamboo Leaf Alkaline Dumpling With Red Bean Paste 豆沙碱水粽子

Bamboo Leaf Alkaline Dumpling With Red Bean Paste 豆沙碱水粽子

The dumpling festival is just round the corner and falls on June 12th this year. So instead of making the traditional dumplings with only alkaline water we decided to add red bean paste to it. My late mother-in-law used to make alkaline dumplings and dipped them into sugar. I didn't like it and here is the new improved version. I am planning to make two more varieties. The traditional 'bak chang' (or pork dumpling) and the home-grown Malaysian 'sambal belacan chang'


The alkaline glutinous rice filled with red bean paste


500g glutinous rice, soak overnight and drain
35ml lye water or kan sooi in Cantonese
35ml oil
1/2 tsp salt
600g red bean paste  ( You can refer to my previous post on how to make red bean paste )
130g dried bamboo leaves, soaked overnight to soften the leaves before cleaning them.
Strings to tie the dumplings 

 Glutinous rice which has been soaked overnight, well drained and mixed with lye water, oil and salt. Ready for wrapping

Refer to the above link to read up my previous post on how to make red bean paste

  Strings to tie up the dumplings


Step-by-step instructions on how to wrap the bamboo leaf dumpling

Some called this "Hong Kong" style wrapping, while others called this "nasi lemak" style. 
My family call this method of wrapping the dumplings the "pillow" style! 

Wipe clean 2 pieces of bamboo leaves and place them parallel to each other. 
Let the two pieces of leaves over-lap slightly as seen in the picture.
Cut off the stems and the ends of the bamboo leaves. 

 Place one tbsp of glutinous rice on the bamboo leaves

 Add in about 50g of red bean paste

 Top up with another tbsp of glutinous rice

 Cover the glutinous rice with another piece of bamboo leaf

Using both hands, press down on the top piece of  bamboo leaf to cover the glutinous rice before wrapping it up

 Fold in one side of the bamboo leaves to wrap it up  like a parcel or like wrapping up a packet of "nasi lemak"

Fold in the other side of the bamboo leaves to complete the wrapping

 Using both hands, hold the parcel and turn one end of the edges to place it under the parcel

Bring the other end of the edges and place it under the parcel to form a neat packet

 Secure the parcel by tying it up with a string

 Circle the string around the parcel and tie a knot at the top

 Using the top as the pivot point, circle the string another round on the other side of the parcel like a "V"-shape

 Tie a knot to secure it

 It looks like a "pillow"

Snip off the odd ends of the bamboo leaves

Boiling the dumplings

1.  Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
2.  Place all the wrapped dumplings into the boiling water. Ensure that all the dumplings are submerged in the boiling water.
3.  Boil over high heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If the water level is below the dumplings, add boiling water to top up. Do not add cold water.
4.  Unwrap one dumpling to check that is is truly cook before switching off the flame.
5.  Remove the dumplings and drain well.
6.  Allow to cool.
7.  The dumplings taste better when they are cooled down.

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