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Monday, June 18, 2012

Making Zongzi or chang

Zongzi, or Chang, is a special food that Chinese eats during the Dragon Boat festival. It is made with sticky rice that usually wrapped in pyramid-shaped with reed or bamboo leaves. I love eating zongzi, especially it is only available during the Dragon Boat festival, which is only once a year. In the past, where my mom will buy the chang from the market and I will happily eat it as much as I like. Sometimes my aunt will give us some of her homemade chang too. However these few years back I don't get to eat chang as much as I like. Why? The price of chang has increased so much that I will only buy few to eat, and still the filling is so little, far from satisfactory as compared to homemade chang. Last year, I was very lucky to get some homemade chang from Mamarazzi. And this year? I'm actually very lucky that I get a chance to learn to make the chang myself! 

When I get to know Mamarazzi has her change-making marathon started, good thing it is before my new job started, and after I just completed my freelance job, talking about just the right timing for me! 

Mamarazzi helped me buy all the ingredients needed, including marinating the meat for me. She also cooked the meat and mushroom, and fried the soaked glutinous rice with spices. So what I just need to do is to wrap them into chang. 

First, I have to learn to fold the bamboo leaves into con shape. Then fill it with the rice and other ingredients. Let me tell you, it's not that easy to make the leaves into con shape. But once I get the hang of it, it's not that difficult too.

Then wrap it to become pyramid shape and tie it tightly. 

And then put into a pot or rice cooker and cook for 2 hours.

These are all I get after 3 hours standing there wrapping the chang! Mamarazzi said me not bad because none of them burst inside the pot. Consider very good at a first timer. Hehe this is because I have good sifu here who shows me step-by-step and tips on how to wrap the chang. :D 

Before going home, Mamarazzi 'poison' me into making kee chang at home. Just need to soak the glutinous rice and bamboo leaves? Really that easy? Mamarazzi definitely know how to tempt me. LOL! Could not resist the temptation, I made the kee chang last weekend. :)

I soaked the bamboo leaves and glutinous rice the night before. Before I want to make the kee chang, add 2 tablespoons of the alkaline water to the soaked rice. Mamarazzi taught me to add some pandan leave into the kee chang to enhance the flavor. I make the simplest one, plain kee chang without any fillings.

After standing there for 3 hours, and additional 2 hours cooking time for 2nd batch, these are what I get. This time I was not so lucky, as without the fillings, the kee chang is smaller in size. Seems like I did not tie them tight enough. Quite a few kee chang bursting inside the pot during cooking. I managed to save some but still I lost about 3 of them.

Kee chang drizzled with honey, requested by hb. :D

As this is my very first attempt on making chang, I did not give to any friends, but only to family members. With the first experience, I know what I can improve next year. Though it's time consuming, but it's cheaper to make it myself and not to mention, I get to choose the fillings that I want to put. And not to mention I have improve on the wrapping too! Ok so I should not complain why it's so expensive outside, talking about the long hours and those kungfu on wrapping the chang. Hope next year I get to make more and better version that I can give away some to friends. Learn to make chang is always an item on my wish list for many years. Thank you Mamarazzi for making my wish come true! And this year, I get to eat the chang as many as I like. :D


cleffairy said...

Ur kee chang looks so golden... =D

Small Kucing said...

You are most welcomed.

ya homemade paling syok coz can put whatever liu we want. I love the fung lut so choose big big ones to put. hubi pulak likes to put har mai. buy outside don't hv har mai.

you first time make Kira very good already. very fast sheong sau.

come next yr we do Kari Zhang pulak. Eli cook d Kari , we wrap.

Broccoli Ginger said...

Good try! I can smell the chang now.. hehe.. :)

Cynful Pleasure said...

nice work... gambateh, and more and more to come soon ya..

Yee Ling said...

Wow...first attempt very good jor. i yet to take up the challenge. So lazy.

Oliveoylz said...

Wow! You can make zhang!!! Very impressive indeed! As for me, I love zhang very much but only know how to eat...dunno how to make...haha.

Mummy to QiQi said...

can tell me if you use Rice Mode or Porridge Mode to cook the zhang inside your rice cooker? Am tempted to try soon!

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