Shades of blue…

My missus can’t make chang (meat dumpling). Ummm…let me rephrase that! She can’t tie chang very well – her previous attempts did not turn out too badly but the dumplings came out in all shapes and sizes. I guess she did not have much practice because my late mother-in-law would do it all by herself and my missus would taste those commercially-made and sold ones and would, without fail, declare outright that her mum’s were the best!

However, they only made the Chinese Hokkien chang unlike my late mum and others in my family – they would make the nyonya variety with ketumbar (coriander seeds). We can’t get those here in Sibu but I would get them every year from my good friend/ex-colleague, Richard or from my uncle’s wife in Kuching or buy those available there. My brother used to buy the ones from Katong in Singapore too when in transit everytime he came home.

Well, it so happened that the other day, I saw my missus busy making chang in the kitchen and much to my surprise, she was making those nyonya ones and they turned out really well…

Nyonya chang 1

…perfect cones, all of them…

Nyonya chang 2

I tried one…

Nyonya chang 3

…and I noticed that it was half white and the other half was a light shade of blue. Obviously, she had made use of the butterfly pea flowers now growing abundantly along the back fence of my garden and we would harvest the flowers every morning (and some of my mint leaves too) to brew a pot of the delightful tea to drink.

I did ask her why she made them like that and she said that she saw people doing it that way in some instructional video. So far, I’ve seen those not dyed at all or dyed completely blue or just stained lightly here and there. Of course, it did not matter one bit as it was just the colour and did not affect the taste in any way, unlike the little piece of pandan that she put inside – the fragrance of the leaf sure brought the taste to a whole new level.

Yes, the meat filling…

Nyonya chang 4

…was great, a little sweet with the addition of the dried winter melon (冬瓜糖) and yes, I must say that I sure did enjoy eating those changs that my missus made a lot! Yum yummm!!!

Of course it was a whole lot of work and those of us who do not know how to tie those dumplings would take the easy way out and cook it in a baking tray, the glutinous rice with a layer of the filling in between. I told her that she could cook the glutinous rice and the filling the way her mum would do it for her Hokkien chang (yes, my missus does not have a problem with that, just the tying) and cook it in aluminum foil cups like Lo Mai Gai (糯米鸡). That way, she would not have to go through the tedious task of tying the dumplings.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

7 thoughts on “Shades of blue…”

  1. Well done to your wife for making delicious nyonya dumplings. You must have been the one who motivated her to do it and you are so proud of her now for successfully making them despite the tedious work. I also don’t mind eating bak chang cooked in a baking tray instead of individually wrapped in bamboo leaves.

    No lah, she watches videos on her smartphone and that includes cooking ones. I guess she came across one that showed how to make nyonya changs and decided to give it a try. I guess tradition has it that we need to tie and eat chang once a year when the festival comes around, otherwise it is a whole lot easier to take the shortcuts.

  2. Homemade ones are always the best. I also don’t know how to tie chang so usually I take the easy way out, cooking in a baking tray. Thumbs up to your missus.

    Yes, own-made would be filled with lots of the best ingredients. No nyonya ones here and yet to find a really good Hokkien chang here, all expensive and quite disappointing.

  3. I made once and I didnt tie well and some changs broke off. A good experience and learning skill for me.

    I think that happens to the best of them – no need for many, one is enough to make such a mess in the boiling water. Keep trying, practice makes perfect.

  4. I think you have a very loving misses…who wants to please you. Good for her.

    I am indeed blessed in so many ways, praise the Lord. Don’t recall seeing you around here – thanks for dropping by and for commenting. Cheers!!!

  5. Wow, great job to your missus for successfully making Nyonya chang. I’ve not eaten good Nyonya changs since my late grandmother stopped making them. My mother never did inherit her recipe so it stopped right there 😦

    The ones I bought in Melaka were not all that great – the best would be the good ones in Kuching, nicer than the Singapore Katong ones even.

    In my family, only my maternal uncle’s wife, an Iban lady, and also my Jee-ee’s daughter-in-law know how to make nyonya chang the way my mum and her sisters would make them. These that my missus made were very nice too but not quite the same probably because she followed some other people’s recipe.

  6. Making Chang is tedious work wor, kudos to your wife for making those delicious Nyonya Chang. Her family are blessed to be able to taste it.

    It is. That is why I do not encourage her to make them again, just take the shortcuts…or settle for the not-so-nice Hokkien ones sold everywhere in Sibu to keep the tradition alive.

  7. It seems to be quite a skill to tie them.

    It is. Especially with the dried grass/straw – it breaks easily. That is why some people use nylon string – I would not want to eat that, imagine the plastic being boiled for hours while the dumplings are being cooked. Some use cotton thread – that is fine by me.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own.

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