Last Wednesday June 12, 2013 was Dragon Boat Festival. The popular dish to celebrate this occasion is sticky rice dumpling or in Indonesia we call it bakcang. The dumplings are made of glutinous rice with meat filling. In Indonesia people make the filling by using mince pork, chicken or beef. Some also add dried shrimps, Chinese mushrooms, Chinese sausage or boiled eggs. One exception, in western part of Java the dumplings (bakcang) are also cooked by using ordinary rice. But personally, I like the sticky rice better.
After reading Wee Lynn’s blog about Dumplings and Dragons : http://feastingintheknow.com/2013/06/13/dumplings-and-dragons/ , I decided to make some today. Now as I am writing this blog the dumplings are not cooked yet, as it will take at least 3 hours to boil the dumplings.
During this festival many Chinese families cook this special dumplings and every family seems to have their own version. I made mine the Indonesian version with mince pork and shiitake mushroom sautéed together with chopped garlic and onion, soy sauce, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce), a bit of oyster sauce, sesame seed oil, salt, pepper and a bit of sugar. The glutinous rice was soaked overnight, drain and sautéed in oil and garlic and a bit of salt and pepper. This way the sticky rice will not stick on the wrapper (bamboo leaves).
The tricky part of making this sticky rice dumplings is wrapping them in bamboo leaves. It is a bit hard to explain, but I made some photos.
After the rice and filling have been prepared, it is time to wrap. I use dry bamboo leaves and I soak them in boiling water until soft. Drain and wipe them with a clean cloth.
- Take two leaves and lay the tip together, overlapping.
- Make a funnel shape and remember do not make a hole on the bottom of the funnel.
- Fill with a bit of prepared rice first on the bottom of the funnel, then put some ready filling in and then cover it with more rice.
- Fold the tip of the leaves and then bring the sides of the leaves together and fold it again towards the front/ away from you. Make sure all the 4 tips of the parcel are folded and fully closed.
- Tie the parcel with a piece of long string tightly. Tie several dumplings together to make them easier to boil and also later they can be hung when cooked.
- Boil the dumpling parcels in rapidly boiling water in a large pot for at least 3 hours or until they are fully cooked and not crumbly.
About 3 hours or so later……