I did not have any of those pyramid-shaped meat dumplings this year…not during the actual date of the bak chang or dumpling festival, otherwise known as the Duan Wu Jie…
Every year, my mother-in-law would make for everybody, sometimes more than once a year…and at other times, I would go and buy from the mini supermarket near my house. The normal ones used to cost RM1.00 each while those with salted egg inside would cost more…but the thing was the dumpling kept getting smaller and the price kept getting higher. I loved the ones with salted egg but after a few occasions when I got those with not-very-nice salted egg inside, I stopped buying them altogether. It just was not worth it especially when the price had gone up to RM2 something for one of those. I might as well go and enjoy a nice plate of kampua noodles instead.
I have not had any nice ones for a while now…so when the festival came round this year, I did not bother to go out and buy some to eat in keeping with the old Chinese tradition. My mother-in-law did not make any as she had gone for an eye surgery sometime back and was told not to do any cooking after that.
Quite recently, however, my missus bought some at the Bus Station Food Court. The shape was kind of odd as the base of the chang was longer than the usual ones…and they were not very big either. They tasted good – almost like what my mother-in-law used to make…but there was hardly any meat inside.
I had almost given up on ever getting hold of any nice changs around here until the other day when I dropped by the coffee shop at the back portion of the Sibu Medical Centre premises. They have some of the better pulut panggang (RM0.70 – big and long ones, kosong) in town and other nice kuihs like ang-koo, kuih lenggang and so on. I saw the changs on sale, so I asked the lady how much they were. She said, “RM1.50,” and I thought to myself that they probably were not that good as they were comparatively cheaper than elsewhere.
The lady insisted that they were very nice and told me that somebody placed an order for a whole lot of those to bring over to Johore. With that kind of testimony, I could not resist buying two to try…and to my delight, they were really very nice – perhaps even better than the ones my mother-in-law made (…though my missus would never admit that! LOL!!!) and the best part was it had a lot of meat inside.
Actually, these photos were taken the second time I stopped by to buy the changs…and rest assured that I would be going back there for more.