…once again for the Chang or Dumpling Festival, more accurately called the Duānwǔ or Dragon Boat Festival which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar (approximately late-May to mid-June) every year – today. How time flies…and I really must thank my friend, Richard, for giving me some of the gorgeous ones he would make every year…
– the sweet and salty nyonya variety with the fragrance of ketumbar (coriander) that I love so very much. We can’t get those here, just in Kuching where there are places that sell pretty good ones.
For the uninitiated, the Chinese have this tradition of eating chang to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese poet. He tried unsuccessfully to warn his king and countrymen against the expansionism of their warring neighbours and when they conquered and took over their territory, he was so deeply grieved that he drowned himself in the river. Legend has it that the dumplings were thrown into the river to prevent the fish from eating the his body. In this connection, there is a superstition that when you make and give changs to friends and family, you will have to cut them and not give the dumplings tied together in a bundle as that was how they were thrown into the water as an offering to the deceased poet. Of course, on my part, I do not care whether they are tied or not – just give them to me! The more the merrier! Hehehehehehehe!!!!
Here, we can only get what we call the Hokkien chang…
…but the ones available are getting more and more expensive and the quality has gone from bad to worse. Do not expect any trace of meat inside – no, there will be none of those slices of stewed pork belly, no shitake mushroom, no chestnut, nothing…and should you be so foolish enough as to fork out the money to buy the bigger ones with salted egg inside, be prepared to find the same inside, just that they’re bigger…and if you’re lucky, you may find bits of the egg, not just the taste of it. One problem I’ve encountered was that they did not use very good eggs so that, of course, made it all the more disappointing.
I got these from a bakery here, their branch located right behind Delta Mall round the corner from where I live at over RM2.00 each, and they’re much nicer that the rest in terms of taste and the meat inside, quite a lot of it, is visible…
…to the naked eye except that it’s chicken as it is, after all, a certified halal bakery. The ones from another bakery where I got these curry puffs are quite good too and likewise, they also use chicken for their dumplings. Well, as the say, beggars can’t be choosers…and until I can find some place that has anything better than these to offer, I am afraid these would just have to do.
Thank you so very much, Richard, for remembering me each year without fail. I wish you were not watching your figure and sticking vigilantly to a strict diet. Then, I would be able to invite you to dinner or give you some edible goodies to reciprocate…but one thing’s for sure, your kind and generous gesture is truly very much appreciated.
Happy Duānwǔ Festival to you…and also to one and all…
15 thoughts on “It’s time…”
it’s always so difficult to stop at 1… or 2… or 3…
Stop! Stop! Cannot eat so many… Must bagi kawan-kawan also, share the joy. 😀
I am so emotional right now… my mom couldn’t find any chicken dumplings for me this year T.T
Can’t find in Penang? Can lah…. You celebrity foodie blogger, should know where to get the best in town, no? Hehehehehe!!!!!
oh bak chang bak chang!! HAPPY DUAN-WU FESTIVAL to Food Mayor of Sibu and Family.. ah, i have not had any bak chang yet this year.. troublesome to make at home, and now expensive to even buy one from outside..
Buy one, can lah!!! Eh…that mamakucing did not give you kah? Aiyor…sampai hati lah dia tu!!! 😀 😀 😀
Sigh …. I haven’t eat one yet !
Aiyor!!! Why so kesian? 😀
Oh my, that time of year again! I do enjoy those sticky fatty dumplings!
I like the Chinese ones…but the nyonya ones are my absolute favourite. Guess that’s because that’s the type my mum and also my aunties used to make so that’s what I grew up eating.
You are blessed with friend who never fail to give you his home made bak chang during Dragon Boat Festival. His bak chang looks so good and yummy. Yesterday, bought a few nyonya bak chang from Kenyalang Park. Quite nice with lots of fillings, cost RM4.00 for one.
Yes, I’ve bought from Kenyalang Park before too. Pretty good – one of the stalls above the market. Can get some nice nyonya kuihs there too. Can’t get those in Sibu. 😦
Lucky you! Yesterday I saw some being sold at the pork outlet at Aeon. One nonya chang is RM7.50. Good lord! Of course I didn’t buy and I don’t bother buying anymore because they are not that great. My aunt is not around this time to make. Hers are pretty good.
RM7.50!!!!! Hmmmm…but if it is really nice, I’d probably buy ONE…just to buang gian. Hehehehehehe!!!!
Bought these famous ones in Malacca two years ago: https://suituapui.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/going-in-circles/
RM4.50 already then…and the woman like so sombong, probably stuck up as she thinks her chang is the best in the world. Ok lah, not all that great – I know some places in Kuching, nicer…and of course, these that my friend makes – a whole lot better.
Happy Dumpling Festival to you and your family…
Usually nearer the day, they will mark up the price…
Here, ok. Missus bought from the bakery yesterday – still the same. She said the changs, like a mountain!!!!
Is it today? I guess it is.. since the wishes comes on in FB… I still have two in the fridge… thanks to my neighbour and my sister…
Last time when younger, I could afford to take two or three a day… but now? One a day is advisable and not more than that… that is why I used to tell my girl… eat when young.. when old, one has to refrain from taking too much of this and that, spoils all the fun eating, right?? LOL…
I’m much older than you but when it comes to eating, there’s no stopping me! Better eat while I still have teeth. Hehehehehe!!!!
Happy “zhong” festival to you, Lucy and Melissa!!
Thanks, and the same to you. We went for dinner last night with my in-laws and today, we’re having popiah…and the changs, of course.
Happy Duanwu to you…. this year I only had 1 zhong, kinda forgot about the festival this year.
Thanks, and the same to you. Yes, I was taken by surprise when my friend sms-ed me to tell me that he would be sending the dumplings over to my house. So soon, I thought. Time really flies these days…
I’m going back Malacca this weekend for some Nyonya Changs! Can’t wait. Woo hooooo! 😀
Can’t wait to see the photos! Your mum makes her own? Definitely better than any sold outside, that’s for sure.
Yes, changs are getting more expensive each year. Of course homemade ones can be generous with fillings. I am blessed that my mom in law and sisters in law make them every year and stuff them with big chunks of pork, mushroom, egg yolk & red beans. Yum yum! But I just can’t master the wrapping part 😕.
Nyonya changs, are those with fillings of pork, shrimp & sambal belacan? I love those!
Nope. Dunno what version that is. Nyonya would be the meat cut into minute cubes (not minced), with equally minute bits of shitake and melon…and the most important ingredient is fried ketumbar, pounded into powder – that would give it its special fragrance that makes it different from the rest.